Insurance, insurance, insurance.
How German angst created the welfare state – The state sets the tone. Your health insurance contributions are deducted automatically from your salary at a rate of 14.6 percent. You and your employer pay half each. Unemployment, pension and long-term care insurance are also taken out of your pay.
Liability insurance isn’t legally required, but people will raise an eyebrow if you don’t have any. Additional dental insurance, for procedures not covered by the statutory system, comes widely recommended. And if you have a pet, expect to be judged for not guarding against all eventualities…
See German Oddity 11. Germans don’t like surprises. That is probably why they have insurance for practically anything you can imagine. It’s crazy. They not only have vacation insurance, for example, they also have what-if-I-decide-to-cancel-my-vacation insurance. They have insurance for their insurance, you see. And if you were to ever tell a German that you didn’t have any Rechtschutzversicherung (legal costs insurance) they would gasp for breath and look at you like you just beamed down from Mars.