Vehicle Insurance in Germany
Before a person can register a car in Germany he or she must have proof of third party liability coverage for all damage or injury to another person, car or object. While collision or comprehensive insurance isn't required by law, most institutions financing the purchase of a vehicle do require it. This can raise the insurance bill considerably, and insurance is not cheap in Germany.
There are numerous factors in addition to coverage that influence the insurance price. Beginning drivers pay more than experienced drivers; those driving big, powerful cars pay more than those with more modest vehicles; those living in urban areas pay more than those in rural areas, and those who have been found liable in accidents pay more than those who haven't.
If you have a good driving record in your home country you can get credit for it here. Get a letter from your insurance agent back home. If the German agent says you can't get this credit try another agent.
There is no requirement for a driver to have any but third party liability insurance, but others kinds are available and sometimes advisable. There is full comprehensive, covering all damages or injuries done to your own car, another car or a person or object. There is also partial coverage for fire, theft and other sorts of damage (from break-ins, shattered glass, animals, etc.), and policies covering the death or disability of a passenger. Such policies often have deductibles, meaning you must swallow the cost up to a certain upper limit. These make the insurance less costly.
Rental agencies and institutions financing the purchase of a car often make some sort of collision insurance a condition of the transaction.
Several insurance agents in Germany are geared to getting the expatriate through these complexities. (See our Resources data base) Your agent will issue you, free of charge, an International Green Card as the proof-of-insurance document you need to drive in other European countries.
For information on getting a no-claims bonus (NCB) for your German insurance before arrival in Germany, click here.