Information about insurances and retirement provisions for PiAs and (young) licensed professionals

Mara B.

Mara B.

, Update from

This article provides an overview of the topic of insurance and retirement provisions for psychotherapists. The most important insurances, especially for self-employed psychotherapists, are presented and their relevance is assessed. At the end of the article you will find information on retirement provisions for psychotherapists.

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Do I need professional liability insurance? 

Professional liability is obligatory for every psychotherapist according to the professional code of conduct. Psychotherapists bear a great responsibility in the treatment of patients, which can lead to personal liability risks in the event of a treatment error and resulting damage. This means that psychotherapists are liable by law with their private assets in the event of damage. This also applies in the case of misconduct on the part of their practice staff. Thus, even a damage caused by inattention can quickly endanger the professional and private existence. 

For this reason, professional liability insurance is the most important insurance for psychotherapists to protect themselves against professional risks. It provides comprehensive protection against claims for damages by third parties. On the one hand, it ensures that justified claims are satisfied, for example in the case of demonstrably faulty treatment, and on the other hand, it also defends against unfounded claims, even in court. Many psychotherapists in further training are insured against professional liability through their training institute. However, this is not the case for some further training institutes and a professional liability insurance policy must be taken out independently. Psychotherapists in further training who also work as freelancers require a separate contract. 

Does daily sickness benefit insurance make sense for me? 

For psychotherapists who are self-employed, their health and the associated ability to work is an important asset. In the event of illness or accident, the ability to work is impaired, which leads to financial losses. While employees receive sick pay from the statutory health insurance fund in such cases, freelancers are dependent on private daily sick pay. This insurance protects against loss of earnings due to illness or accident and also takes effect during the statutory maternity protection periods.

Therefore, the daily sickness allowance insurance is one of the most important insurances for self-employed psychotherapists.

As a psychotherapist, do I need:in disability insurance? 

An occupational disability can become an existential threat with financial problems, which can also affect self-employed psychotherapists. Licensed psychotherapists are members of the Chamber of Psychotherapists and are also members of the professional pension fund of the respective federal state. This has the task of offering its members a secure and sustainable retirement provision. Psychotherapists therefore receive occupational disability insurance through the pension fund, which is only paid out in the event of full, i.e. 100% occupational disability. In order to be covered already in case of an occupational disability of 50%, an additional private occupational disability insurance is recommended. 

What other insurances are recommended for psychotherapists?

In addition to the insurance policies already presented, which are considered particularly important or even mandatory by law, there are a number of other insurance policies that can be useful. These include legal protection, practice content and cyber protection insurance. Additional inpatient insurance (private patient in hospital), as well as daily nursing allowance or insurance for serious illnesses can be considered. Which of these insurances seem sensible depends on one's own needs. 

What does my retirement plan look like as a psychotherapist:in?

Psychotherapists who are freelancers or self-employed are not compulsory members of the statutory pension insurance, but through their membership in the Chamber of Psychotherapists also become members of the professional pension fund of the relevant federal state. The pension fund of the chamber of psychotherapists is responsible for old-age, occupational disability and survivors' pensions. This means that the pension scheme for self-employed psychotherapists is independent of the state pension scheme. Nevertheless, it makes sense to build up the pillar of private pension provision in addition to the supporting pillar of professional pension provision.

Contributions to the pension scheme for psychotherapists depend on income from self-employment. Income from employment and civil service is not taken into account. 

Psychotherapists who work exclusively as civil servants or employees or who are only marginally self-employed are exempt from the obligation to pay contributions to the pension fund. In this case, as well as in cases where it is not possible to use the pension fund (for example, in Berlin), a private pension plan is of particular importance. 

Our conclusion: 

With regard to insurance, it can be stated that professional liability insurance is mandatory by law for all freelance psychotherapists. Other important insurances are the daily sickness allowance and a private occupational disability insurance, which supplements the occupational disability insurance of the pension fund. There are also other insurances that can be useful, depending on your own needs. 

The pension scheme for self-employed psychotherapists is regulated by the pension scheme of the Chamber of Psychotherapists, but it is still advisable to supplement this with private pension provision. Psychotherapists who work exclusively as employees or civil servants are covered by the statutory pension insurance and should also make additional private provision. 


Mara B.

Based on science

All contents of our magazine are based on current scientific knowledge. Our articles are written by psychologists and reviewed before publication.

Any general advice published on our blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical or doctor's advice. If you have any particular concerns or a situation arises where you need medical advice, you should consult a suitably trained and qualified health professional.

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Psychologically and medically verified by:

Dr Peter Neudeck

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