Car Insurance Germany
Every car owner in Germany needs car liability insurance. If you’re planning to stay in Germany longterm, it’s required by law that you have German car insurance. You will also need to provide proof of valid car insurance in Germany to register your car. This guide has all the information you need on car insurance in Germany!
Types of Car Insurance in Germany
There are three types of car insurance in Germany: liability, partial and comprehensive. Below is a description of all three so you can know the differences!
* It’s also important to note that according to the law, your insurance must cover personal injury up to at least 7.5 million euros, property damage up to at least 1.12 million euros and financial loss up to at least 50,000 euros.
Liability Car Insurance
This car insurance is the most basic car insurance you can purchase. Vehicle liability insurance only covers damages you cause to other people or their cars. It does not protect your or your own car.
German law requires you have at least liability car insurance. In other words, it’s the minimum requirement.
Simply put: It covers you if you inflict personal injury or property damages to others. However, liability car insurance does not cover injuries or damages you cause to yourself or your own car. That’s why most people choose either partial car insurance or comprehensive car insurance.
Partial Car Insurance
Partial coverage includes the liability car insurance mentioned above, plus some extra protection. It protects you financially from car theft and damages caused by random acts of nature. For example, with partial coverage you would be compensated for the following damages:
- Damages caused by fire or explosion
- Broken glass (e.g. a broken windshield)
- Car theft
- Damages to your car’s wiring because of a short circuit
- Marten (weasel) bites that damage coolant hoses and spark plug wires (This may comes as a surprise, but Martens caused over 300 million euros in car damages from 2010-2014 in Germany. They sneak into cars’ engine bays and can be a big problem for car owners!)
- Damages caused by storms, hail, lightning or flooding
Note that with partial coverage, acts of vandalism are not covered.
Comprehensive Car Insurance
As the name suggests, comprehensive car insurance is the most extensive car insurance you can purchase. It includes all the benefits of liability car insurance and partial insurance, plus extra protection.
In addition to the protection mentioned above, comprehensive insurance covers damages to your own car when you were the one responsible for the accident. Comprehensive insurance also covers acts of vandalism.
Comprehensive insurance is normally the most expensive option of the three insurances you can choose from. If you choose to pay more in order to have comprehensive insurance, however, you will pay less when you need to repair damages.
Extra Features To Consider
When you read about what different car insurance companies offer, make sure you pay attention to the following features if they are of interest to you.
If your car has a lot of “extras”, the policy should cover optional equipment expenses to the extent necessary. The car insurance company specifies exactly what is considered optional equipment in the conditions.
Extended Elementary Damage
If you live near the mountains or on a slope, this option protects your car from damages due to avalanches and mudflows. How much more expensive the comprehensive insurance becomes depends on your place of residence. In areas at risk, the insurance premiums are significantly higher than in other regions. Not all providers offer this additional protection. If you are looking for insurance with elementary protection, you often have significantly fewer policies to choose from.
Compensation for Replacement Value
If you insure a new vehicle then you should make sure that your provider pays the replacement value of the vehicle for as long as possible in the event of a total loss. It is very good if your insurance covers the replacement value for up to 24 months after the first registration. Otherwise you only get the time value, which decreases very quickly, especially for new vehicles. For example, let’s say you register your new car worth €16,000. Nine months later, your car is totaled in a bad car crash. Well, if you have compensation for replacement value, then your insurance would cover the full value of your car at the time you registered it. If you don’t have compensation for replacement value, then your insurance would only cover the current value of your car.
How to Save on Car Insurance in Germany
How much car insurance costs depends on how the insurance companies assess your individual risk of damage. Car insurance companies create a risk profile based on a large amount of information that you must provide when you submit an application. The information below can help you save.
However, you should not make false statements. Always tell the truth. Notify your insurance company as soon as a characteristic changes. Then your insurance company will recalculate the contribution cost.
A deductible is the amount of money you pay in an insurance claim before your insurance company pays. For example, let’s say you have a €150 deductible. You get in a car accident and cause €500 worth of damages. You would pay €150 and your insurance company would pay the remaining €350.
Many drivers with comprehensive insurance have a €300 deductible. In some cases, it might be worthwhile to agree to a higher deductible. Usually, increasing your deductible decreases the cost of your contribution.
Realistically Estimate Annual Mileage
The longer the distances you travel, the greater the risk of an accident. As a result, your insurance will increase in cost. The more kilometers you specify, the more expensive your insurance contribution will be. So – try to be really precise. Don’t overestimate how many kilometers you drive. According to a study done in 2019 by Finanztip, 15,000 kilometers a year cost an average of 8 percent more than 10,000 kilometers. 20,000 are on average 12 percent more expensive than 15,000 kilometers, and 25,000 cost another 13 percent more than 20,000 kilometers a year.
Pay Contribution Annually
Making an annual payment for your car insurance in Germany is cheaper than making half or quarterly payments.
In addition, some German car insurance companies do not offer monthly payments. Therefore, if you want to pay every month (as opposed to once per year) you have less choices.
Special Conditions for Employees of Certain Companies
Some insurance companies offer special conditions to employees of certain companies. Check to see if your car insurance in Germany has special offers for employees where you work.
Reactivate No-claims Discount
If you insure a car again after a long break, oftentimes you can reactivate your old no-claims discount . The deadline for reactivating this discount varies between insurance companies.
Cost of Car Insurance in Germany
How much your German car insurance policy will cost depends on many components. For example, things that impact the cost of car insurance in Germany include:
- Your age and age of the youngest driver
- The number of years you’ve been driving
- Whether you live in an urban or rural area
- Previous driving record
- How many drivers you’re insuring
- Your postal code (some areas are more prone to theft/ vandalism)
- How much you drive (how many kilometers the vehicle is driven in one calendar year)
- Where you most often park your vehicle overnight (e.g. a single/double garage, outdoors, a single/double carport, a secured property, or a collective garage)
- Usage: Do you use your car for private, commercial or business purposes?
Get German Car Insurance in ENGLISH & ONLINE
Trying to search for cheap car insurance in Germany can be like trying to search for a needle in a haystack. It’s especially difficult if you don’t speak fluent German. With Joonko, however, you can easily compare German car insurance companies all at once in English! Joonko is Germany’s newest car insurance comparison. It provides a useful overview of German car insurance companies’ prices and benefits. This will help you find the German car insurance that fits you best.
How does it work?
All you have to do is answer some questions. Then Joonko will show you your best car insurance options. Customer support is available in both German and English. Furthermore, Joonko is transparent – its partners‘ offers are ranked based on your answers, not any back-end deals. You can compare and apply 100% online!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply with my current driving record?
Yes – you can usually apply for car insurance in Germany with your current driving record! If you have a good driving record from your home country, you can use it to get a cheaper car insurance rate in Germany. Ask your previous insurance company to provide a formal summary of your good driving history. Then give this report to your new car insurance company. In most cases, you can get a discounted rate if you have a good driving record!
What is breakdown car insurance?
An additional car insurance in Germany you can choose to purchase is breakdown car insurance. If your car breaks down or has an accident and needs to be towed, this insurance would cover the cost. Something to consider when you purchase breakdown car insurance is whether or not your insurance covers the cost of a rental car if your car is being repaired.
Why shouldn't you give false information?
Always tell the truth when you get car insurance in Germany. Incorrect information in insurance questions is not a trivial offense. Here’s what can happen: – It can be considered fraud. – You will face a severe fine. – Most insurance companies require a full annual contribution as compensation. – You might lose your current insurance. And it will be very difficult to get insurance from other insurance companies. If the provider terminates the policy because of this or if you are even convicted of insurance fraud, you have a poor chance of getting car insurance from other providers.
Do I need a German driving license?
If your driving license is from a country outside of the EU or EEA, then your driving license is only valid in Germany for 6 months. Therefore, you must get a German driving license within the first 6 months of establishing residency in Germany. In some cases, however, you can get an extra six month extension if you plan to live in Germany for longer than 6 months, but less than 12 months. Tell your local driving registration office (Führerscheinstelle) that you will live in Germany for more than 6 months but less than 12 months. The local driving registration office will usually let you extend the deadline by an extra 6 months. You should contact your local driving registration office before the first 6 month period expires.
How does a deductible affect the price of the premium?
A deductible lowers the price of your car insurance premium. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.