Desperate people are fleeing the war in Ukraine every day, and more and more are finding shelter in Germany. In response to this, German ICMIF member R+V Versicherung is supporting the volunteers who are working to help refugees and the refugees themselves with non-contributory insurance cover.
The willingness to help amongst people in Germany is great says R+V Versicherung, some people are organising aid transportation, others take refugees into their private homes. “For us as a cooperative company, it goes without saying that we will make a contribution and support people,” says Klaus Endres, Executive Board Member at R+V Versicherung. “That is why R+V offers an unbureaucratic solution: refugees who are taken in by R+V customers in the same household are automatically included in private liability, residential building and household contents insurance.”
“No one knows how long this exceptional situation will last,” says Endres. “We are pleased that the European Union is taking in refugees from Ukraine in an unbureaucratic manner.” According to the EU Council decision, the refugees are initially granted protection status for one year – with the option of extending it. “We are following the European path with our offer,” explains Endres. He continues: “The extended insurance cover is initially also valid for one year and can be extended depending on the EU decision.”
Refugees are insured free of charge
In private liability cover, R+V is now expanding the group of insured persons within customers’ households without asking for a contribution. All those seeking protection from Ukraine who live in the same household as an R+V customer are automatically insured. This also applies if the refugees are accommodated in granny flats or second homes of R+V customers. The refugees are treated the same as the policyholder. This means that they receive the full protection that was agreed in the respective policy – namely for personal injury, property damage and financial losses. This regulation also applies if private liability insurance has been taken out as part of business and professional liability insurance.
R+V customers don’t have to worry about residential building insurance either: they can easily take refugees into their household without this affecting their insurance cover. In household contents insurance, the property of the refugees is also insured indefinitely.
Help for the helpers
R+V is also supporting the volunteers who organise aid transportation for the Ukraine. They will receive non-contributory accident insurance if they have their permanent residence in Germany. For example, the helpers are insured when they load and unload the vans, distribute donations in kind or are active in refugee stations.
In addition to the voluntary work itself, accidents on the way to and from this work are also insured. This insurance cover exists within the European Union up to the Ukrainian border and is initially valid until 30 April 2022.
R+V is also expanding the insurance cover for companies that use their trucks to transport relief goods such as sleeping bags, baby food or medicines to the Ukrainian border. Customers with a forwarding goods policy can also insure aid transports free of charge. The usual contribution for each individual transport within this framework contract does not apply. The prerequisite is that the transport is declared under the goods category “Relief goods” when registering – the easiest way is via the KRAVAG-online platform. The insurance cover does not extend into Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
Insurance coverage for private cars
The General Association of the German Insurance Industry (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft – GDV) has a regulation for refugees who enter the EU in their car. If an accident occurs in Germany with a Ukrainian car, the liability claims are passed on to all insurers who will cover it between them. It is regulated by the German Green Card Office. This regulation is initially limited to the end of May 2022.
R+V advises that anyone making their own car available to refugees should check their insurance contract and, if necessary, expand the group of authorised drivers. In addition, the owner should make sure that the driver has a valid driver’s license. Otherwise, the insurance cover may be jeopardised. According to information from the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport, Ukrainian driving licenses are also valid without a German translation as long as the stay is temporary.
EUR 800,000 for Ukraine: R+V and employees help people in need
R+V Versicherung and its employees donated more than 800,000 euros for the victims of the Ukraine war. The amount came together in just over a week – and the campaign continues.
“The pictures from Ukraine touch us enormously,” says R+V CEO Norbert Rollinger. “We also have colleagues who are personally affected by the war.” Shortly after the outbreak of the war, R+V therefore started a fundraising campaign, for which an initial interim assessment is now being made:
- R+V provided 250,000 euros as emergency aid. The money went in particular to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
- R+V directly donated a further EUR 70,000 for a joint fundraising campaign by the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network. This money went to the German Red Cross.
- The R+V employees donated a total of EUR 254,520 euros (as of March 14), which among other things went to the aid organisation Humedica for the medical care of war victims.
- R+V matched employee donations up to a limit of EUR 250,000.
“It’s important to us that the help really gets there,” says CEO Rollinger. “We therefore support large aid organisations such as the UN refugee agency UNHCR or the Red Cross. These are active in the region and have the infrastructure for quick and efficient help for the local people.”
Enormous support from R+V workforce
The employee fundraising campaign, which the non-profit R+V FOUNDATION initiated, will continue indefinitely. Tens of thousands of euros were collected every day until the very end.
“The helpfulness of our colleagues is enormous,” says R+V’s HR Director Julia Merkel. “In just over a week, way more than EUR 250,000 euros have been raised. There are also impressive initiatives by colleagues: Some organise aid and ambulance transports or lend transport vehicles, others take refugees into their homes or help with vouchers for drugstores and grocery stores. We probably don’t even know all the offers of help.”