A car accident can be expensive. Even scratches in the paint can quickly cost four-figure sums if they are repaired professionally. Partial or fully comprehensive insurance is therefore a must for most Germans.
General motor vehicle liability insurance, i.e. basic protection, is even required by law. It steps in if not only your own car but also other vehicles are damaged in an accident. Additional policies such as partial or fully comprehensive insurance pay for damage to your own car. Partial comprehensive insurance covers damage caused by storms, fire or theft. Comprehensive insurance offers more comprehensive protection.
Anyone who is dissatisfied with their current vehicle insurance can now take their chance and cancel. The deadline is November 30th: car owners who want to change their policy for the new insurance year must submit the cancellation notice by this day. Attention: This is only valid if it is received by the insurer on November 30th. A postmark from the deadline is not valid.
If you want to change, you should take a close look at the new policy. “It is important that insured people only cancel their existing motor vehicle insurance contract when they are absolutely sure that the new tariff offers the protection they need,” says Bianca Boss from the Association of Insured People (BdV). "A careless decision can lead to a rude awakening in the event of a claim." The insurers' price war tempts people to quickly compare costs, but details then quickly fade into the background.
It is not possible to say in general terms how expensive car insurance is. The premium largely depends on the vehicle and the vehicle owner's accident-free period. However, according to the comparison portal Check24, the premiums for motor vehicle liability insurance are above the previous year's level - insured parties have to pay an average of eleven percent more.
However, a real price war has begun just in time for the changing season: compared to the summer of this year, prices for vehicle insurance have fallen by 16 percent, according to Check24. Drivers should definitely compare the services of the policies apart from the price. If the policy costs less, it usually protects the policyholder less comprehensively.
From the perspective of consumer advocates from the BdV, good motor vehicle liability insurance must meet several conditions: The insurer should pay for personal injuries, property damage and financial losses amounting to at least 100 million euros. The policy should also apply to rental vehicles abroad, i.e. contain the so-called Mallorca clause, and also cover gross negligence.
Another important clause, not only in the winter months, is insurance cover in the event of collisions with animals of all kinds. A purely game damage clause often only covers so-called furred game. These include fallow and red deer, foxes, rabbits, wild boars and hares. On the other hand, anyone who catches a runaway cow, a sheep or the neighbor's cat will come away empty-handed without the supplement. According to the BdV, a good policy should also cover damage caused by marten bites and their consequences up to an amount of 3,000 euros. If drivers use navigation devices, they should make sure that they are also insured when taking out the policy.
In the short term, car owners can save money by switching from fully comprehensive to partially comprehensive insurance. However, the savings are usually small. Anyone who has had many accident-free years often pays similar amounts for fully comprehensive insurance as for a partially comprehensive policy.
Car owners should have the partial comprehensive insurance premium calculated before a possible tariff change. If you are fundamentally satisfied with your insurer, you can see whether it offers a new, cheaper tariff. This is another way to save money without much effort.
Anyone who misses the deadline usually has to wait until next year before terminating their contract. A special termination is only possible in three cases: If the insurer increases the premium but does not offer any better or new services. If an insured event occurs. Or if the owner sells the insured vehicle. Then you can change in the middle of the year.
This article first appeared on Capital.de.