Life Insurance Laws
Going home from work is not automatically covered by life insurance
Federal Social Court of Kassel (Case B 2 U 9/19 R)
Sometimes life does not go as planned. The case we are reviewing with you today is unfortunately concerning the tragic car accident of Hannes Hanke.
Mr. Hanke used to work as a chemical worker in his hometown in Germany. One day, just like many others, leaves Mr. Hanke his workplace, leaves the machine running, doesn’t say goodbye to his colleagues and doesn’t log off at the working hours file record. He usually calls his wife before going home, but he doesn’t do that that day either. He gets into his car and goes on the usual and direct way home. In doing so, his car gets caught in oncoming traffic and Hannes Hanke suddenly loses his life in a car crush. His widow is now claiming survivor´s loss benefits from the statutory life insurance. However, the employers’ insurance association rejects her claims as the accident was according to the records on his way home and not at his actual working place.
Ms. Hanke decided then to go to court and let the judges at the Federal Social Court in Kassel decide.
The Tribunal Decision:
They took the following decision: An accident on the usual way home from work is not always covered by the statutory accident insurance. Rather, it must also be clear that the employee actually wants to drive home. This cannot be established in the present case. After a normal working day, it can be assumed that the employee does indeed want to go home. However, this does not apply to the completely atypical procedure that Mr. Hanke had on the day of his death.
So, Ms. Hanke unfortunately had not received her insurance benefits.
What do you think about this case? Do you have questions on German insurance law?