Car insurance in Germany, what is covered?
Motor vehicle liability insurance is (for vehicles) the legally mandatory part of the German car insurance (compulsory insurance), which covers the claims for damages that arise from the operation of a motor vehicle towards a third party (fault or liability). The damage can be caused, for example, by a traffic accident, for which the permitted driver of a motor vehicle is at fault or for whose consequences. The holder / owner of the vehicle is responsible regardless of fault. Motor vehicle liability insurance law is largely standardized in the European Union, but the legally stipulated maximum compensation amounts and the assumption of certain costs, for example for rental cars or experts, still differ considerably in the EU countries. The sum insured describes the maximum indemnity payment from motor vehicle liability insurance or car insurance.
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Current coverage amounts for the car liability insurance in Germany are:
The statutory minimum cover amounts according to § 4 PflVG (see appendix to § 4 para. 2) are 7.5 million € for personal injury, 1.22 million € for property damage and 50,000 € (as of 01.2018) for those who are neither directly nor indirectly involved Personal or property damage and related pure financial losses. Common in the german market are 50 or 100 million € coverages for personal injury, property damage and pure financial loss, whereby the compensation for personal injury per person is limited to 8 to 15 million € depending on the insurer.
If the amount of damage exceeds the sum insured, the injured party is liable, basically, even in the amount of the difference. That means, that the car owner or driver have to reimburse the third party in full, regardless his insurance coverage or personal financial standing.
The motor vehicle liability insurance is always legally obliged to cover the cost of the injured party within the scope of the coverage. The insurer cannot rely on exemption in the event of gross negligence but can regress up to 5,000 euros per case from the driver in the case of drunk driving, unauthorized use or driver evasion. In the event of intent, the insurer is exempt from payment, which means that it does not have to bear any costs.
Comprehensive car insurance (Kasko)
Comprehensive insurance is a voluntary supplementary insurance that covers damage to your own vehicle. In contrast to the mandatory liability insurance, this type of coverage can be taken out voluntarily, so there is always the possibility to include or exclude partial coverage.
However, some insurance companies bind partial coverage to the main maturity of vehicle liability insurance, so that it must exist for at least 1 year.
Partial comprehensive insurance covers the following cases:
- Fire or explosion
- Theft including burglary
- Glass breakage
- Damage to the wiring due to short circuit (scorching damage)
- Marten bite without consequential damage or with consequential damage, possibly up to a maximum amount or in unlimited amount.
- Exposure to storm, hail, lightning or flood. This includes damage caused by the fact that objects are thrown onto or against the vehicle by these forces of nature.
Damage caused by behavior of the driver caused by these forces of nature is excluded. The approval of a storm damage requires confirmation by a weather agency. In addition, damage can also be recognized if further damage with a similar damage pattern has been reported in the immediate vicinity of the damage location or region.
A classic example of this is hail damage. It is not always the case here that weather agencies such as the German Weather Service (DWD) can confirm hail events. Here are other damaged vehicles from the surrounding area that have been damaged by hail, as enough evidence for the damage settlement.
This also applies to damage in other property lines.
Collision with wild animals while the vehicle is moving. In the basic tariffs, it should be noted that this generally only applies to haired wild animals (wild pig, deer etc.) in accordance with the Federal German Hunting Act.
The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main, for example, has ruled that a collision with a reindeer in Norway does not result in comprehensive damage, as reindeer are not covered by the Federal German Hunting Act.
More sutomer friendly tariffs have an extended scope of coverage and thus offer extended insurance protection. Usually collisions with horses, cattle, sheep, goats, dogs or cats are also insured. Furthermore, restrictions like all vertebrates or birds are common.
The annual premiums for comprehensive insurance for cars are based on the type classification. With partial insurance, the no claim bonus is considered (in contrast to full insurance).
However, it should be noted that when the contract is concluded, previous damage is asked for in the last 24 months. In addition to damage in liability and comprehensive insurance, questions are also asked about partial damage.
If there is partial damage in the last 24 months, this is not relevant for a downgrading in the damage-free years (partial comprehensive insurance / Teilkasko is always free of no claim bonus calculation), but this information is relevant to tariffs and affects the amount of the insurance premium. In other words, with a partial comprehensive damage in the requested period (24 months), the insurance premium becomes more and more expensive due to the increased risk for the insurer.
German Car insurance fee factors
The amount of the contribution depends, among other things, on the vehicle type (type class), the regional class and the postal code of the owner. Other tariff criteria are also used, on which the insurance premium largely depends.
- the annual mileage (in Kilometer),
- the age of the vehicle upon registration to the policyholder,
- the age of the group of drivers; Drivers under the age of 23 or 25 and later up from 55 years onwards in particular are often classified as a high risk and are therefore relevant for the amount of the premium.
By agreeing a deductible, the insurance premium is reduced. It is also reduced by agreeing a fixed workshop / garage commitment of the insurer network.
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