Procedure descriptions

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

License for Insurance Brokers and Insurance Consultants

Do you wish to broker commercial insurance and advise clients accordingly? Then you require a permit.

There are three different permits which are distinguished from each other:

  • Permit as an insurance representative. As an insurance representative you are contractually bound to one or more insurance companies during your brokerages and therefore you represent the interests of these insurance companies.
  • Permit as an insurance broker. As an insurance broker, you broker insurance policies without being contractually bound to one or more insurance companies. You should represent the interests of insurance customers in a neutral manner when selecting suitable insurance products for them.
  • Permit as an insurance advisor. As an insurance advisor, you do not broker insurance. Therefore, you do not receive brokerage commission from the insurance companies and are also independent of these. You develop concepts for the correct customer-specific insurance coverage and the suitable insurance companies in this respect. You only work in the interests of the customers and are only paid by them.

In addition, you have to be registered in the “Register of Brokers” (Eintragung in das Vermittlerregister).

It is possible to act as an agent for insurances even without a license, in particular if

  • you act as a broker and consultant for insurances to a small extent as a sideline (so-called “bagatelle agent”)
  • the service is as a supplement to another activity, e.g. car dealers acting as agents of third party insurance (product-specific insurance broker) (produktakzessorischer Versicherungsvermittler). The relief however is only valid under certain conditions and if you have applied for a license exemption (Erlaubnisbefreiung für produktakzessorische Versicherungsvermittler).

Specific issues for foreigners

Foreigners who have a subsidiary in another EU country, have to be registered in this country. They do not need a license in Germany nor can they be registered in the German Register of Insurance Brokers

Foreign nationals from non-EU states or EU citizens, who have registered such a business only in Germany, are subject to the same requirements as German nationals.

General legal provisions governing foreign nationals have to be complied with. If certain German training qualifications are sufficient as evidence of competence, comparable evidence from the European Economic Area (EEA) shall be recognised.

Responsible authority

the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Industrie- und Handelskammer - IHK), in whose district the business has its premises

Prerequisite

The applicant has to:

  • have the required reliability to run the business
    You generally do not have the required reliability if you have been legally convicted of a crime or specific offences in the last five years.
  • have orderly financial circumstances
    This is generally not the case if insolvency proceedings have been initiated on the assets of the applicant or have been rejected due to lack of assets or the applicant has an entry in the debtor’s files.
  • provide evidence of a professional indemnity insurance
    The minimum amount covered is at present 1,230,000 euros for each insurance claim and 1,850,000 euros for all insurance claims totally in one year.
  • have adequate knowledge and skills

Procedure

The application to issue the licence has to be submitted to the responsible authority. You can download a form from the Internet.

A decision will be made on the application as soon as all details have been submitted and the documents have been presented.

Tip: You can apply for the Entry in the Register of Insurance Brokers (Eintragung in das Vermittlerregister) at the same time as applying for the license as an insurance representative, insurance agent or insurance consultant.

The license is granted for an indefinite period.

It will expire only when the businessman no longer requires the license. Under strict legal conditions, the IHK can revoke or withdraw a license and by virtue of its office it can cancel the entry from the register.

Simplified procedure

There is a simplified procedure for insurance brokers who are bound by contract, i.e. insurance representatives that are bound to only one insurance company or who act as a broker for several insurance companies, whose products however are not competitive products. The registration can be carried out through the insurance company, to which the service provider is bound by contract. In this case, the insurance company also assumes liability for the performance of their representative. In such a case, the insurance representative will be registered in the Register of Insurance Brokers without having to through the license procedure.

Required documents

  • completed application form
  • copy of the identity card or comparable identity documents
  • for proof of the corporate legal form
    • If the location of your company is in Germany, you will need:
      • for registered companies: an excerpt of the Commercial Register (Handelsregisterauszug) and if applicable a copy of the shareholders agreement (e.g. for a company constituted under civil law, (GbR)).
    • If your company is located abroad, you will need documents from the country where it is located which prove its legal form.
  • for proof of personal reliability
    • If your place of residence is in Germany, you will normally need:
    • If your place of residence is abroad, you will need documents from your native country, which prove that you have the personal reliability to provide the requested service.
  • proof of orderly financial circumstances
    • If your place of residence is in Germany, you will normally need:
      • Exceprt from the debtor’s files (Auszug aus der Schuldnerkartei)
      • Attestation from the bankruptcy court (Bescheinigung des Insolvenzgerichts)
      • Certificate from the tax authorities regarding tax matters (Bescheinigung des Finanzamtes in Steuersachen)
    • If your place of residence is abroad, you will need documents from your native country, which prove that you are living in orderly financial circumstances.
  • Proof of expertise or proof of certain professional qualifications
    Please make enquires of your competent chamber of industry and commerce as to what professional qualifications are recognised.
  • proof that there is a pecuniary damage liability insurance (Vermögensschadenhaftpflichtversicherung) A sample for confirmation of sufficient professional indemnity insurance can be obtained from the chamber of industry of commerce which is responsible or from the Internet, depending on the service offered.

When checking the personal reliability, in individual cases the authorising authority could request alongside the documents listed additional documents, which are appropriate to make a statement about your personal reliability as applicant.

In the case of legal entities (GmbH, corporate companies, AG, registered cooperatives) the application form only has to be completed by the legal entity itself. All personal documents have to be submitted for all natural persons authorised to manage the company (e.g. certificate of good conduct, personal documents). In addition, an excerpt from the Central Trade Register has to be applied for in the case of legal entities.

In the case of partnerships, which as such are not capable of holding a licence (GbR, KG, OHG, PartG, GmbH & Co. KG), each of the managing partners requires the licence. I.e. an application form and all personal documents are required for each person.

N.B. Some of the submitted documents may not exceed an expiry date at the time of the decision (not only at the time of submission). Please request further information from the chamber of industry and commerce.

Deadlines/Duration

You may not start work until you have received the permit.

Miscellaneous

For insurance representatives, insurance agents and insurance consultants there are, in particular, the following duties:

  • duty to inform
    During the first business contact, a lot of details have to be given to the insured person, e.g. name, address, details as to whether you are an insurance representative, insurance agent or an insurance consultant. The “List of Compulsory Information" (Liste der Pflichtinformationen) is however significantly longer.
  • in addition, the insurance broker or insurance consultant is obliged to transmit certain information to the responsible Chamber of Commerce and Trade, e.g. if the data, which has been stored in the Register of Brokers, changes.
  • obligations to keep records
    The “List of Records” (Liste der Aufzeichnungen), which the service provider has to document, is just as extensive.

Costs/Benefits

Charges are incurred to grant the license, the amounts differ and may be specified by the relevant Chamber of Commerce and Trade in their articles of association. At present, they are between 200 and 300 euros.

Charges are also incurred to process certain applications (e.g. license exemption). The exact amount of the charges can be found on the website of your responsible regional Chamber of Commerce and Trade.

Costs could also be incurred if you request documents, which you have to submit during the procedure.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 29.07.2016. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

Die hier dargestellten Informationen werden von service-bw übernommen und regelmäßig aktualisiert.