In Germany, a long tradition exists of employers assuming responsibility for their employees. This tradition has proved effective: social peace and stability at the workplace have been assured and promoted over the long term as a result.
The statutory accident insurance system is also committed to the concept of social peace and stability. By excluding claims for compensation and by extension lawsuits, it serves as liability insurance for employers against the risk of their employees suffering occupational accidents and diseases. In practice, this means that the statutory accident insurance institutions absolve employers of their liability and compensate employees in the event of an occupational accident or disease; in return, the employer pays premiums: his financial outlay is therefore predictable, and lawsuits with an uncertain outcome are avoided.
Apportionment of costs
Preventive measures, rehabilitation and compensation are funded in full by the employers. The level of premiums corresponds to the necessary expenditure in the preceding year (adjustable contribution procedure). The premiums are thus calculated retrospectively for each calendar year. The statutory accident insurance system does not generate a profit; only the actual costs are apportioned.
Accident insurance costs falling within the responsibility of the accident insurance fund of the Federal government and the accident insurance institutions responsible for the regional and local authorities are borne by the relevant incorporated bodies responsible for the regions concerned and financed essentially through tax revenues. The premiums for insured individuals in private households must be paid by the person managing the household.
Compared to other social insurance premiums, those for statutory accident insurance are low. Averaged over many years, the premium for employers has been in the region of 1.3%.