With its excellent reputation in terms of research, technology and innovation, a lot of students apply to Germany for higher education, especially for master’s and PhD. Also, Germany is becoming an upcoming destination for students looking to study an MBA.
Germany has a robust automobile industry, and the majority of residents own and drive automobiles on a regular basis. As in other European countries, you will need to be covered by a minimum level of car insurance in Germany and will also be able to choose optional extras.
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Getting car insurance in Germany is as essential as getting your health insurance in Germany, as simple as that. If you do not have your car insurance, you will not be able to register your car, regardless of your driving experience and state of residency in Germany. Without car insurance in Germany, you cannot even drive your car. Importantly, it is legally binding on you to get your car insured if you are driving in Germany. Getting your car insured if you are driving in Germany has many advantages in terms of financial well-being as well, the most prominent being that should you happen to get into an accident, the insurance will cover all damage cost. There are a number of car insurance policies as there are car insurance providers in Germany. Let us understand car insurance in Germany in more detail.
If you are a long-term resident in Germany, you will have mainly 3 types of car insurance:
This is also known as third-party insurance and is the most basic type of car insurance you can get in Germany. Basically, with this, you can meet the minimum requirement for car insurance in Germany. As such, the policy coverage is also minimum, providing coverage only for damage caused to other people or cars by you and your car. This coverage also includes medical expenses. However, with this insurance you will not be protected against any damage that your car may have suffered, especially if you are responsible for inflicting the damage on your car. Hence, this car insurance is usually not opted for by people.
This actually includes the coverage provided by liability insurance and also extra coverage that protects people from damage caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, fire, and theft. It does not provide coverage in the case of vandalism. Additionally, with this insurance, you can claim for damages such as broken glass, any wiring issue, and weasel (Marten) bites. Owing to the vast range of protection that this insurance provides, it is naturally expensive than the former.
The most expensive of all, this one as the name suggests, basically covers all types of damages. The most substantial car insurance available in Germany, this will take care of coverage provided by both liability and partial insurance and even extend beyond that such as protection in cases of vandalism. Additionally, it will allow you to claim damages if you happen to be responsible for an accident of your own car. Even if you need to put in a large sum of money to get this car insurance, it is more economical as you will be ultimately paying less in case of damages.
Before arriving at the cost of car insurance policies available in Germany, let us understand the factors that determine this cost of insurance in Germany. These are, mainly:
Besides these primary factors, the insurance that you will pay will also be determined by your deductible, or the amount that you will have to pay before the insurance company takes care of the expenses. For instance, if your deductible is 300€, and the damages amount to a cost of 1000€, you will have to pay around 300€ and the insurance company will cover the remaining 700€. This deductible will vary with the type of insurance you chose for your car. For partial insurance, it is usually 150€ and for comprehensive insurance, you will have to pay between 300€-500€. When it comes to your age, you will need to pay more if you are a young driver.
This is based on the fact that road inexperience will result in more accidents. In such scenarios, and more so if you have a new car, insurance providers usually advise young drivers to opt for comprehensive coverage. You can go for partial insurance if you have an old car. As explained already, liability insurance is the cheapest option to go for and would be the safest one only if you are an experienced driver.
You can get liability insurance for €100 a year even. Moreover, paying a higher deductible can also help you to reduce the cost of your annual premium of car insurance in Germany. You can pay the annual amount in full or even reactivate your no claim bonus to reduce the annual premium of car insurance.
Barring these broad specific types of car insurance in Germany, there are other forms of car insurances available as well. These are merely optional and extra add-ons to your broad car insurance. These include breakdown insurance, legal insurance, additional equipment coverage, and extended elementary change.
1. Breakdown insurance will cover the cost of towing your car if it breaks down on the road. It can also include replacement vehicle cost and ambulance costs for transporting injured or ill people in the event of a breakdown.
2. Legal insurance will cover all legal expenses if an issue of accident or otherwise is taken to court.
3. Additional equipment coverage will cover the cost of damage or theft to any extra expensive equipment stored in your car. For this, you will have to pay a higher premium.
4. Extended elementary damage will cover damages if you happen to be living or traveling to mountainous areas, where damage due to extreme snowfall and/or avalanche can inflict considerable damage.
A good thing in Germany is that the government does not offer any bonus system of car insurance. Thus, even if you have not made any insurance claim in a year, you can actually get a discount on your annual premium. The following will help you get an idea of the extra discount that you may avail in Germany on car insurance.
You can even carry over the no claim periods if you change your insurance provider, even if your insurance company was based out of Germany. In the event of relocating to Germany, you should get a letter from your former insurance provider attesting to your no claim period.
However, if you have a poor driving record, including being a young and inexperienced driver, being responsible for an accident, and have been booked for violations such as drunk-driving or speeding, you will be penalized by car insurance providers.
Study the factors such as no claim bonus offered, the policies around transfer of no claim bonuses, the coverage provided by the policy, the deductible options, provision of roadside assistance, and reputation of the insurance provider.
To apply for a car insurance in Germany, you will have to provide your driving license number (issued in Germany), your ID, all relevant personal information related to your driving record, account details of your German bank account (mandatory if you are paying by debit), and car purchase documents. You can even buy your car insurance online and this takes only about 24 hours to be processed and executed.
Once your car insurance request gets through, your will receive your EVB insurance number, insurance policy information, and EU accident form that is to be used in the case of an accident.
To claim your insurance in Germany, especially in case of accidents, you will have to get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible. Fill up the accident form, take photos of the damages, and exchange details with the party/parties involved in the damage and with any eye witness of the accident. Your insurance claim will come through in three months.
Few of the well-known auto insurance providers in Germany are listed below:
Considering that there are 90+ insurance companies available in Germany, you can use Verivox and Junko to compare the services provided by the firms.
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