Who we are

The German Association of the Insured (BdV) is a registered association founded in 1982. It has about 50,000 members and is the only fully independent organisation representing the rights of insured people in Germany. It is therefore one of the most important German consumer associations and it acts as a political counterweight to the insurance lobby.

The BdV conducts test cases against insurers to enforce consumer rights. The Federal Constitutional Court and Federal Supreme Court have made groundbreaking rulings in favour of policyholders in response to actions launched by the BdV. These rulings have led to legal amendments.

Federal ministries and the German Federal Parliament regularly consult with the BdV. The BdV states its position on planned laws and appears in hearings as an expert. The BdV also organises regular scientific conferences to strengthen the consumer’s position in academic debate.

The organisation is represented in all media (television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online media). Its mission is to draw attention to deficiencies and lobby on behalf of fair treatment for consumers. The BdV “Leitfaden Versicherung” (insurance guide) is available in bookshops. The BdV serves as an independent and free information source through its brochures and information sheets on all sorts of important insurance subjects.

BdV members also have three key benefits:

  • They receive advice and information on private insurance. Please note, that this service is only in German language.
  • They can sign up to BdV group contracts.
  • They support an independent consumer protection organisation committed to the interests of insured persons.

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Press release


German Life Insurers under tension.

BdV and Zielke Research recently presented a common study on the current situation of German life insurers. The study is based on the so-called Solvency and Financial Conditions Reports (SFCR), which had to be published by the insurers on EU-level this year for the first time. The results are poor. “The bad quality and non-sufficient transparency of some of these reports are troubling”, Kleinlein, Spokesman of BdV, points out. Besides the issue of the financial resources of the companies, the study analyzes statements on benefit prospects, the management of surplus and the capital investments. “Our conclusion is that there is an urgent need for action for nearly all companies”, Kleinlein emphasizes. The results of this study including the analyzed key figures can be downloaded – for free – from the website of BdV.

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EU Commission softens European Regulations on Insurance Distribution

Only a few months before the implementation of the EU Insurance Distribution Directive the European institutions still have to fix regulations in detail which will be valid on European level. The European insurance supervisory authority EIOPA had published a proposal from which the EU Commission now removed crucial issues. “The Commission softens EIOPA’s proposal and obviously inclines to the insurance industry”, Kleinlein, spokesman of BdV, assesses. One of these crucial issues is the conflict of interest which occurs by the payment of commissions. Additionally, when launching new products, insurance companies will not be obliged anymore to identify groups of customers for whom a new product is generally not compatible.

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Bund der Versicherten (BdV – German Association of The Insured) sees opportunity for private European pension scheme

After repeated consultations, the European Commission is pushing plans for a Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP). The German Association of The Insured (BdV) has delivered its statement and is willing to support the project. BdV-spokesman of the board Axel Kleinlein said: “We need simple, efficient and pan-European concepts for pension schemes.”

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European Commission Draft Delegated Acts supplementing Insurance Distribution Directive

We are strongly concerned that several changes of EIPOA's original proposals by the European Commission do not only lower the level of consumer protection, but will also hinder a convergent application by market participants. These changes are related to the product oversight and governance requirements and to insurance-based investment products.

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EU Commission Consultation on FinTech: a more competitive and innovative European financial sector

FinTech, including InsurTech and Robo-Advisors, may be a factor for a more competitive and innovative European financial sector. But BdV underlines that consumers and investors must always be able to continue relying on high standards of consumer and investor protection, of data protection and privacy rights and of legal responsibility on the part of financial services providers.

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EIOPA Consultation on the proposal for Guidelines under IDD on complex insurance-based investment pr

BdV welcomes Guidelines on complex IBIPs but emphasizes the need for strict criteria. If too many exemptions from the suitability and appropriateness assessments are made, there will not be any changes in distribution practices of life insurances.

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