Accident Insurance

What are Berufsgenossenschaften (professional associations) in Germany?

You can also find out what professional associations (Berufsgenossenschaften) do and which one you have to register with.


 Berufsgenossenschaften, also known as BGs, is an integral part of the German social insurance system. They play a vital role in providing statutory accident insurance coverage to employees across various industries. This knowledge article aims to shed light on the purpose, operations, and obligations of Berufsgenossenschaften for both employees and employers in Germany.

What are Berufsgenossenschaften?

Berufsgenossenschaften are professional or occupational associations responsible for safeguarding the welfare of employees in specific sectors. Each Berufsgenossenschaft is tailored to cover the unique risks and challenges faced by workers in their designated industries, such as manufacturing, construction, trade, agriculture, and more.

The Purpose of Berufsgenossenschaften

 The primary purpose of Berufsgenossenschaften is to provide comprehensive accident insurance coverage to employees. This coverage extends to work-related accidents, occupational diseases, and health issues that may arise during employment. By offering financial support, medical rehabilitation, and compensation, Berufsgenossenschaften ensures that workers receive appropriate care and assistance after experiencing workplace-related incidents.

How Berufsgenossenschaften Work

The functioning of Berufsgenossenschaften involves several key processes:
1. Employer Registration: Employers are legally obligated to register with the relevant Berufsgenossenschaft that corresponds to their industry or sector. This registration ensures that they participate in the accident insurance system.
2. Insurance Contributions: Employers fund the accident insurance coverage by paying insurance contributions to their designated Berufsgenossenschaft. The contribution amount is determined based on the size of the company's workforce and the level of risk associated with the industry.
3. Occupational Safety and Health: Employers must adhere to occupational safety and health regulations to create a safe working environment for their employees. Berufsgenossenschaften actively promotes safety measures and provides resources to support employers in this endeavor.
4. Reporting and Investigation: In the event of a work-related accident or occupational disease, the employer must report the incident to the relevant Berufsgenossenschaft. The BG then conducts an investigation to assess whether the incident qualifies for insurance coverage.
5. Employee Support: Employees are entitled to receive accident insurance coverage from the Berufsgenossenschaft in the event of work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage includes medical treatment, rehabilitation services, and compensation for temporary or permanent disabilities.

Obligations for Employees and Employers

Employer Obligations:

 - Register with the appropriate Berufsgenossenschaft based on the industry.
- Pay insurance contributions to fund the accident insurance coverage for their employees.
- Adhere to occupational safety and health regulations to provide a safe workplace.
- Report work-related accidents to the Berufsgenossenschaft and cooperate with any investigations.

Employee Obligations:

- Report work-related accidents or occupational diseases to their employer promptly.
- Cooperate with their employer and the Berufsgenossenschaft during any investigations or claims process.

Which trade association is responsible?

The responsibility of trade associations is generally divided based on economic sectors, but there can be overlapping areas, especially for mixed companies. In such cases, the key factor for determining the responsible trade association is the core business of the company. If you need help in identifying the appropriate trade association, you can contact the umbrella organization German Statutory Accident Insurance e. V. (DGUV) through their general hotline at 0800 - 60 50 404.

For employees: Unfortunately, we cannot give you any information about which trade association your employer belongs to. This information is not public.
Either ask your employer directly or use the service number of the German statutory accident insurance: 0800 – 60 50 404.

List of all trade associations and responsibilities

Here is a contact directory of the commercial professional associations. The following nine professional associations are grouped under the umbrella organization German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV):.


Trade association  Contacts
Trade Association for the Construction Industry (BG BAU)
Professional Association for Food and Hospitality (BGN)
Trade Association for Raw Materials and the Chemical Industry (BG RCI)
Trade Association for Energy, Textile, Electrical, Media Products (BG ETEM)
Professional Association for Trade and Goods Logistics (BG HW)
Professional Association for Health Services and Welfare (BGW)
Administrative trade association (VBG)
Professional Association for Wood and Metal (BG HM)
Professional Association for Transport Economics, Post-Logistics, Telecommunications (BG Verkehr)