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!

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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 on amendments to the PRIIPs KID (JC 2018 60)

BdV welcomes the possibility for comments on new proposals for targeted amendments concerning the presentation and content of the key information document (KID) for Packaged Retail and Insurance-Based Investment Products (PRIIPs). BdV urges the introduction of past performances and of new parameters for transparent cost disclosures and (if any) for reliable performance scenarios.

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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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