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Section tax and degree of disability

How accident insurance benefits are measured

Martin Klotz
Expert for pensions As of September 23, 2019

Martin Klotz

Martin Klotz is responsible for the areas of old-age provision and income security at Finanztip. Even in his time as a self-employed financial planner, he kept a close eye on insurers and knows the pitfalls of contracts. In addition to economic issues, Martin is particularly passionate about sports. In this department he started his radio career in 2007, parallel to studying economics and journalism.

  • The “link tax” is one of the most important features of private accident insurance.
  • It determines the degree of impairment (degree of disability) the insurance assumes if damage to certain parts of the body persists after an accident.
  • The link tax, together with the sum insured and the progression, is decisive for how much money the insured receives.
  • Depending on the tariff, the link tax can differ significantly.
  • Think carefully about whether you need accident insurance, because this only pays if there is permanent damage after an accident. Most permanent disabilities, however, are the result of illness.
  • If you decide to take out accident insurance, compare the link tax of different offers. The differences between good and bad tariffs can amount to tens of thousands of euros in an emergency.
  • This table provides a good orientation as to which section taxes are common.

Private accident insurance takes over if there is permanent physical damage after an accident. The so-called degree of disability is one of the decisive factors in determining how much money there is from the insurance. It indicates how severe the handicap is. The so-called link tax also plays a role here.

How is the degree of disability determined?

The insurance calculates the degree of disability with the help of the so-called member tax. This is a table in which each provider specifies what level of impairment they will assume if a customer has one loses certain part of the body or can no longer use it.

If a handyman's saw slips while working on wood on a shed and his thumb has to be amputated, he usually gets less money than a woman motorcyclist who loses a leg in an accident.

How does the link tax work?

The sum insured is determined after an accident. How much the insured receives also depends on the severity of the health impairment. If the disability is minor, there is only part of the sum insured.

In order to quantify the degree of disability, the insurance arranges with the member tax different parts of the body a percentage to. For example, an eye can be assigned a value of 50 percent, a complete arm 70 percent and a big toe 5 percent. This percentage value, in conjunction with the agreed sum insured and the progression, is used to calculate how much money the insurance pays after an accident.

An example: A customer has agreed an insurance sum of 100,000 euros. The link tax of his tariff sets a value of 40 percent for the foot. If his foot actually has to be amputated after an accident, he will receive 40,000 euros from the insurance company. If he has agreed on a progression, the sum can also be larger, because the progression ensures that the insurance pays more in the event of severe disabilities.

When a part of the body is not completely broken

However, the values ​​of the link tax only apply in the event that the person concerned can no longer use the corresponding part of the body at all. Is the Function only to a limited extent, the payment will be calculated on a pro-rata basis. This means that if after an accident only half of the eyesight is left in one eye, the insurance halves the percentage that is specified in the link tax for the eye.

A doctor determines how severely a part of the body is impaired in its function. If several parts of the body are affected by the accident, the individual degrees of disability are added up. As a result, the degree of disability cannot exceed 100 percent.

If a part of the body is missing from the limb tax

Not every part of the body is listed in the table for the limb tax. But injuries to the head, spine or internal organs can also have serious consequences. Therefore, in such cases, the Degree of disability determined differently. To do this, a doctor assesses how severely the injury limits the person's overall performance. This is how the percentage comes about, which influences how much the insurance company pays.

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Do the insurers use different member taxes?

Private accident insurance rarely makes sense, because only 2 percent of all severe disabilities are caused by an accident. The vast majority are the result of an illness and it is precisely then that accident insurance does not provide protection. It is therefore much more important to have occupational disability insurance (BU). If this is too expensive or if you do not get BU protection, you should seek advice on alternative options for protection.

More on this in the advice on occupational disability insurance

  • The state disability pension is not sufficient; occupational disability insurance makes sense for almost everyone.
  • Brokers recommended by us: Hoesch & Partner, Buforum24, Zeroprov, Dr. Schlemann independent financial advice, P&F.

To the advisor

If you still want to take out accident insurance, it is worthwhile Comparison of the member tax of different tariffs. Because every insurance company sets its own standards. Although there are recommendations from the insurance association GDV for the link tax, good tariffs do a lot more. For example, while the complete loss of a hand, according to GDV recommendation, means 55 percent disability, with good tariffs it is between 70 and 100 percent. In an emergency, that can make a difference of tens of thousands of euros.

A good help an overview by the analysis company Ascore provides a comparison. The company has examined the link tax of 105 accident tariffs and evaluated which degrees of disability the insurances assume on average for which part of the body. The link tax of a high-performance tariff should at least reach the mean values ​​mentioned and, in the best case, exceed them.

Comparison of the member tax of different tariffs in percent

body partrecommendation
of the GDV
Mean valuesTariff with the
Member tax
an eye506080
Hearing in one ear304080
Sense of smell101525
Sense of taste51525
complete arm7080100
Arm above elbow6575100
Arm below elbow6070100
complete hand5570100
index finger102060
other finger51020
Leg across mid thigh7080100
Leg to mid thigh6070100
Leg to below knee5065100
Leg to mid-lower leg4560100
complete foot4055100
big toe51020
other toe2510

Source: Ascore analysis, GDV model conditions (as of September 23, 2019)

The decisive factor for how much the insurance ultimately pays is the interplay between the member tax, the sum insured and the progression. The latter ensures that a multiple of the sum insured is paid out in the event of particularly serious injuries. To get a feel for how different tariffs differ, it is worth taking a look at the amount paid out for the loss of thumb, hand and foot. Based on these three specific payouts, you have a good comparison that includes both the progression and the member tax.

Julia Rieder

Julia Rieder

Julia Rieder is an editor for insurance companies and, as the deputy head of text, takes care of the linguistic quality of all texts. During her traineeship at Finanztip, she sat in on RBB Inforadio. Before that, she gained journalistic experience in the editorial offices of Frontal 21, the Berliner Zeitung and the online magazine politik-digital. Julia graduated with a master's degree in political science in Berlin.

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