There is a small house located in my orchard in Germany. The orchard contains mostly fruit trees and is situated in a landscape protection area. The house has two stories and is built of stone, but it does neither have access to water or electricity, nor does it contain sleeping facilities. Therefore, I am unsure how to insure it against fire and other damages caused by elements. There are insurance options for huts on the same property as the living home, insurances for huts in allotment garden associations (Kleingartenverein) and for weekend homes that contain sleeping facilities. Neither of these options seems to fit. The official term in the building permit is shelter (Unterstand).

Could the house fall under one of the formerly mentioned insurances, or are there other options available?

Why I would consider insurance:

  • the way this house is built would not be permitted anymore. It is way to big and massive and nowadays it is only permitted to renovate old buildings (Bestandsschutz), but if I needed to build a new one, it would be a lot smaller.
  • These kind of houses are rare due to the reasons stated above, so the building makes up a significant part of the value of the property.
  • There are three huge beeches directly next to the building, so a storm could probably destroy the roof, if a big branch falls on top of it.

I am not sure, if those reasons are actually covered by insurance.

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    Have you talked to someone that sells insurance? It seems to me that they would be the ones that could answer the questions about what type of insurance you need and what would be covered.
    – Ben Miller
    Jul 15, 2020 at 11:11
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    @Ben Well my old insurance cancelled the insurance the prior owner took out and an insurance broker said most big insurance companies don't offer fire ensurance for this type of building anymore because it's just not worth it and I should look online if some specialised company offers something. Unfortunately I was not able to find anything fitting because I guess I used the wrong terms.
    – Lehue
    Jul 15, 2020 at 11:23
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    @Fattie not sure if this would work, as the property has no real address (the street has no name), and "living space" needs to be at least 30m^2. Might work with consultation of a broker, probably not when I try do book it over the internet. I am not sure though, if insurance companies would decide not to pay, if I "lie" about living there (house insurance seems to be only for properties where people live)
    – Lehue
    Jul 15, 2020 at 12:40
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    @JTP-ApologisetoMonica Do we need to "do" anything with it? The question seems perfectly valid, and – if answered authoritatively – could be useful to others. The "problem" is that probably only someone from Germany who has been in a similar situation, or a German insurance agent is likely to be able to provide that answer. Is there a problem of leaving it "open" on the off-chance such a person comes by? Like you, "contact an insurance seller" seems not really "enough" for an answer.
    – TripeHound
    Aug 28, 2020 at 14:39
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    @TripeHound - Understood, and agreed. I'll resist the urge to feel like this is something needing anything more than waiting for an authoritative answer. Thx for the feedback. Aug 28, 2020 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Take out an insurance policy in the amount you believe the structure adds to the property

You can insure it, but your valuation and the insurance company's valuation are likely to be WAY different. You may get a small payout from your current insurance already since destroying it would likely count as property damage.

What to do

Get a supplemental policy just for that building. Talk to your agent about the best way to insure the structure. You may want to structure it as a cash payout since you won't be able to rebuild to the original specs. If/When it caves in, you can add to your existing house to make up for it, or just pocket the money.

If it's not in great shape, you'll likely pay quite a bit to cover it. They'll likely also want you to remove the branches/trees nearby to ward off immediate damage.

How much coverage to get

Decide how much the peace of mind is worth a month (which is really what you are buying) before talking to the agent.

When you talk to the agent, look at what payout you can get per monthly cost. Usually, there is an inflection point where the payouts start to drop-off, but the cost per month doesn't

  • Thank you for your answer. Unfortunately it does not help much, as this is more a strategy for what amount I should insure it and not an answer to what kind of insurance I need. It does add some points to consider though.
    – Lehue
    Aug 31, 2020 at 7:09
  • @Lehue Talk to the agent and determine where the inflection point is. Essentially when it cost a lot more to insure for only a little more payout. Start there and decide how much the building is worth to you. Aug 31, 2020 at 21:46

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