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.

We are the best remedy against bad insurances!

Solvency Reports 2020


Besides their fundamental business figures, insurance companies have to disclose how stable and secure they are in annual solvency reports. In 2021, for the first time, BdV – Europe’s most important association for insurance policyholders – in cooperation with BETTER FINANCE, the European Federation of Financial Services Users – analyse these reports from the 10 biggest life-insurers from France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Read more.

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BdV - The best antidote to bad insurance

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Press release


Conditions of German life insurers despite homage to solvency under tension

The German Association of Insured (BdV) together with Carsten Zielke, insurance analyst (Zielke Research), again analyzed the Solvency and Financial Conditions Reports (SFCR) with regard to the stability and safeness of German life insurers. Axel Kleinlein, spokesman of BdV, stresses in his conclusion: “We observe the veneration of solvency. But high solvency ratios alone are not sufficient for carelessness.” Higher ratios of capital requirements do mostly not rely on sustainable measures and are exaggerated with regard to other parameters. “Only the consideration of various parameters and their mutual interaction enable a precise analysis of the companies”, Zielke underlines. Positively BdV and Zielke assess that the solvency reports are more understandable than last year. “Many companies proved their willingness to learn and published significantly more transparent reports”, Kleinlein states.

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Strong Warnings against the Inclusion of Life Insurances into PEPP due to Opacity

The German Association of the Insured (BdV), an organization of consumer protection in the private insurance sector, published a serious statement about basic problems related to life insurances in Europe. "The opacity of life insurances is a threat to European consumers and the European economy" says Axel Kleinlein, spokesman of the board of BdV. With view to PEPP Christian Gülich, EU Policy Officer of BdV, adds: "The opacity in life insurances is too deeply rooted. We warn against relying on life insurances with regard to pension plans".

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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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BdV comments for EIOPA consultation on Differential Pricing Practices – 07.10.2022

BdV supports EIOPA's efforts to ensure that some differential pricing practices do not result in unfair treatment of consumers (like "customer scoring" in the banking sector).

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BdV-comments on customer’s “sustainability preferences” following to EIOPA draft guidelines under ID

BdV strongly welcomes EIOPA’s proposal of the two-step process to assess the suitability of the insurance-based investment product. With regard to the “sustainability preferences” of the policyholder (the initial questioning and the necessary information about them) we support EIOPA’s “layered” approach presented by these guidelines as well balanced and pragmatic.

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BdV-Comments for EIOPA consultation on Insurance-based Investment Products

In its comments for this consultation on insurance-based investment products BdV stresses again that "product complexity" must not be limited to the "criteria originating from the securities market", but should include the opaque combination of investment part and biometric risk coverage. Additionally we ask for actual "independent" advice and better understandable cost indicators.

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