Social insurance is a statutory insurance system that provides protection against general life risks. These include unemployment, illness, the need for long-term care, disability, occupational accidents and occupational illness as well as security in old age. Social insurance is structured as follows: Statutory pension insurance including old-age insurance for farmers, statutory health insurance, social long-term care insurance, statutory accident insurance and employment promotion.
Persons with more than marginal paid employment are as a rule covered by social insurance. If an event that is insured against occurs, insured persons are entitled to benefits from the respective social insurance scheme. As a rule, employees and employers each pay half of the social insurance contributions; in the case of statutory accident insurance, the employer alone pays the contributions. The contributions are automatically deducted from a person’s pay.
The self-employed are partially covered by social insurance. For example, the artists' social insurance scheme provides self-employed artists and publicists with statutory health and pension insurance as compulsorily insured persons.