Are you a proud car owner? Then you’ve also got car insurance. Third party coverage is mandatory in Germany for all drivers. But you can add extra protection by opting for partial or fully comprehensive coverage. As many insurers only offer annual contracts, you can check once a year if your insurance policy meets your needs or if it’s time to switch car insurance providers. A handy consequence of this is that your insurer will try to keep you as a customer – sometimes with some surprising offers.
Anyone who listens to the radio is familiar with adverts trying to get you to switch car insurance. This also often happens at the same time of year. After a few minutes, you’ve probably forgotten about these types of adverts. Until today, of course. After all, you’re reading this text. If you’re thinking of switching car insurance providers and are looking for answers to the most important questions surrounding this topic, this article is for you.
What time of year do you always hear radio adverts for switching car insurance? When is the right time to switch? Typically, car insurance expires at the end of the year, so on the 31st of December. Many insurance providers offer a one-month notice period. Therefore, you generally have to cancel or switch by the 30th of November. You see Christmas items on the shelves in shops from September onwards. The same applies to adverts for switching car insurance – they start early. This gives you enough time to find the best offers.
The general answer to this question is no. Most car insurance providers in Germany only allow you to cancel at one point in the year. The notice period is typically one month. If you don’t cancel during this period, your contract is automatically extended by a further year. There are a few exceptions to the rule, which we’ll look at later.
If you decide to switch car insurance providers, you must provide written notice by the 30th of November at the latest. This is the deadline for switching car insurance. In certain cases, the contract term may be different from a typical calendar year. It’s best to check this with your insurer to be absolutely sure.
Now, let’s look at the exceptions to the rule. Under these circumstances, you can cancel your car insurance policy in the middle of the year:
In both cases, you can either continue with your existing car insurance, or switch to a new policy. If the owner changes, such as if you give your car to your partner, the new owner must become the policy holder.
Did you know that you have a special right to termination if you make a claim after an accident? You have up to four weeks after the incident to cancel your contract. You don’t need to provide a reason for terminating the insurance policy. This also applies to your insurance provider, who has exactly the same right.
Last but not least, you can switch car insurance if your premium increases. This grants you a special right of termination. The notice period is one month from the day you were informed of the premium increase.
You now know when you have the right to cancel your car insurance. The next question is what kind of coverage is right for you. Is a third party enough? Or is partial or fully comprehensive coverage more suitable for you?
If you don't have the answer yet, we have compiled the most important information for you in the following sections.
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The most basic level of insurance in Germany is third party car insurance. As previously mentioned, it is mandatory for all drivers. Its main aim is to insure any damage you cause to someone else. You can extend this policy with partial or fully comprehensive coverage.
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This additional coverage is optional. It covers damage to your own car. Theft, broken glass as well as damage caused by natural hazards, wild animals, storms, hail, lightning, and flooding are included.
Damage to your car that you caused yourself and vandalism are typically not covered.
Fully comprehensive coverage offers you complete protection against all damage to your car. It covers accidents you are responsible for and vandalism, for example. As this level of coverage is comparatively expensive, switching providers can be particularly beneficial here.
For both third party and fully comprehensive coverage, a no-claims bonus is calculated on the basis of what is known as no-claims classes (SF). Depending on how many years you have been accident-free on the road or have not made a claim, you will be assigned an SF class. The higher the class, the higher the no-claims discount.
After you make a claim, you will be downgraded by your insurance company for the next insurance year, and your insurance premium will increase. If you asked yourself why it would make sense to change your insurer after making a claim (one of the reasons for cancellation above), you now have the answer.