Car insurance - Schadenfreiheitsklasse

35 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi guys,

 

I have searched high and low but can't find anything which quite answers my question, so here goes.

 

I have been in Germany for a few months now and want to get myself a car. I have had my license for 10 years and have 5 years no claims (and a letter from my last insurer to verify this). I've read up on insurance here and see that each driver has a class of insurance, or a 'Schadenfreiheitsklasse', which determines what percentage of the tariff they pay. How do I work out what my SF Klasse is?

 

I can find tables telling me how much I save if I go up a class, but nothing to tell me what class I currently am. Is it purely based on number of accident-free years, or do other things come into the equation?

 

Thanks in advance :)

 

Sera

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Posted

On this topic (and hopefully people know the answer to this one):

If I have a zeugnis of my previous (Belgian) car insurance, stating I have x damage free years up until I moved to Germany, if and how long is it valid? I am not intending to buy a car in the near future as I am just starting work and there is no immediate need for it when living in Munich, but I did rack up some years before. If I have a gap of several months/years after this certificate before trying to insure, they might think I had another insurer in the meanwhile where I did get some damage.

 

Anyone with experience on this?

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Posted

yes, ''experience''

 

I applied online for car insurance, had no idea what to answer on the SF question, chose the wrong answer, therefore the application was delayed, not accepted, had to call me back, they corrected it, they informed me etc.

 

Now I think its ok but it was a trouble cause they called me many times just to tell me that this and another thing were wrong and they must delete the application, then instead of deleting it they corrected it.

 

My SF chosed was 6, and they said its 1/2 !

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Posted

There can be an unpleasent surprise if the gap in having a car insured is significant. Anyone with a company car is liable to fall into this. Many years ago (like 12) I had a car insured here & had reached the maximum (or minimum depending how you look at it) SF level. Now I have a company car which the company insures - when I retire or company throws me out & I decide to buy & insure a car I will be considered to be a beginner which means high premiums.

 

This cuts in after 10 years I think - a German Vereinskollege was caught by this one recently so its nothing to do with nationality etc.

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Posted

There you go: http://www.autoversicherung-vergleichen-online.de/schadenfreiheitsrabatt/schadensfreiheitsklassen-sf-klassen/

The first column is the number of claims-free years, the next is the "SF-Klasse", the last two columns ("Haftpflicht Beitragssatz in %" and "Vollkasko Beitragssatz in %") are the percentage of the "base insurance premium value" that would be applied for each class for third party liability and full coverage insurance respectively.

 

To answer your question to the best of my knowledge, the SF-Klasse you're in depends only on the number of claims-free years (or, to be pedantic, of years or fractions of years, as long as the latter are bigger than 0.5). In other words, if you had a no-claims letter for 31 months (2 years 7 months) you would be in SF3, while if you had it for 29 months (2 years 5 months), you would end up in SF2.

 

Be advised not all insurers accept foreign no-claims letters - best would be to get in touch with an independent insurance broker and follow his/hers suggestions. I can pass along the contact details of the guy who helped me if you're interested - everything was done over phone/e-mail/post, no physical visits were required.

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Posted

You can keep your "No-claims" bonus active without insurance for as long as your last insurance company keeps archived records. Most abide by the minimum retention period of 7 years so your bonus can be kept on ice for as long as that, even if you start new insurance with a different company.

 

It's a well-known trick if you are planning an insurance "pause" to buy and insure a cheap vehicle and attach your insurance to that, even if you don't drive it. A moped (for example) can cost under 100€ a year to insure, but ensures your bonus years continue to increase, so can make a big difference if you insure an expensive vehicle later. You can also transfer your bonus to a family member such as son, daughter or wife, so if a child is a few years off getting their driving license, but you no longer need your own insurance in the meanwhile you can use the "moped" trick to retain and increase your discount during that time, and give them a decent birthday present of a large discount when they finally get their own vehicle.

 

Transferable (or even any) bonus is ultimately at the discretion of the company when you start new insurance and is always calculated as years (or part of years) without a claim, not as a percentage. Different companies attach different %age discounts to claim-free years. German insurance calculates claim-free years independently for liability ("Haftpflicht") and full coverage ("Vollkasko") insurance elements. Some brokers can often increase the discount on offer with a new customer to secure the business or hope for more. Many German companies accept evidence of claims-free insurance from other countries, but their is no obligation for them to do this. If you have been driving a company car on their own insurance and want to take up a new private insurance, then a letter from your company or their insurer may transfer some of your claims-free years as a discount to your new policy, assuming you no longer have, or drive the company car. It's a matter for negotiation.

 

If you have a protected no-claims ("Rabattretter") clause in your insurance you can (usually) have up to one claim in a year without any adverse affect on your discount, BUT if you move insurance companies, then your transferable no-claims bonus will take recent accidents into account.

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Posted

Ok, thank you all for the answers.

 

 

You can keep your "No-claims" bonus active without insurance for as long as your last insurance company keeps archived records. Most abide by the minimum retention period of 7 years so your bonus can be kept on ice for as long as that, even if you start new insurance with a different company.

I have a document now stating I have 5 damage free years (even though I had more, this was from the latest car and they said they couldnt provide it for the previous one). If there is no theoretical 'frist' on this document, this would mean I could insure and total a car here in Germany, only to go to a different insurer with the document afterwards, claiming the 5 damage free years again. This doesnt seem right or it is a way too easy method to preserve damage free years.

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Posted

Any document from a German insurer will be checked for validity with the issuing company before new insurance will be confirmed (which can often be after cover has started). When the new insurance is confirmed the previous company will be advised that the no-claims benefit has been transferred, making the original document void and they would reject any request for a subsequent transfer.

 

There is more of a potential "loophole" if you are transferring no-claims from a non-German company, but I suspect they may keep/destroy the document prevent re-use. This is also part of the reason why a transfer from another country is at the discretion of the new insurer.

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Posted

I'm sorry to bump this topic back up, but as I am actively looking to buy a car now I've run into an issue transferring my no-claim years. I've been driving since 2006 (until I moved to germany at the beginning of this year) using the company car of my parents, where I was registered as one of the drivers. Neither me or any other member of the company (my parents) had any accidents in that period.

 

Unfortunately, a document stating this information by my insurer is not accepted by the insurance company (HUK24) since they only transfer international no-claims if you had insurance on your name as a 'natürliche person' (i.e. no company). Does anyone now of any insurer in germany which does allow the transfer of no claims from a foreign company? Maybe there are other possibilities such as partial transfer of no-claim from parents (they also had a private car insured in which I regularly drove)?

 

Help is much appreciated :)

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Posted

Nope. What the insurance company are saying is correct. You need to have had insurance in your own name to qualify for the associated discount. You MIGHT find an insurance company prepared to compromise on the basis of a statement from the insurance company stating you were a registered driver, but they would only be worth a couple of years of discount at best. Part of the reason for this is that it wold be easy to have your name on someone else's policy but never drive the car simply to get a "no-claims" benefit. Were you a policy-holder without a claim, then it's a different thing. Online discount insurance services such as HUK24 are likely to be the least flexible.

 

It's usually a better idea to engage the services of an insurance agent (or even multiple agents) to get your initial cover. As they are earning commission (and see potential additional insurance business) they are better placed to argue your case or offer discretionary discounts. Key to your first policy is securing the discount rather than the actual cost of the insurance. Once the first full year is over you can move to a cheaper insurance and move the now established discount there.

 

Alternatively, if your parents have given up driving or have cancelled their insurance policy they can transfer their discount to you, crazy though it may seem. When my Dad died in UK a few years ago, I got a letter from his UK insurance confirming 20 years of claims-free driving and was able to transfer it to my German insurance.

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Posted

Thanks for the help. You are absolutely right it's more important getting the discount..It's a discount which I will have year after year (unless, let's hope not, I have an accident).

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Posted

I will buy a car here very soon. I have a German license (because I transferred my UK one).

I already got a letter from my previous UK insurer saying I was the named driver, with 7yr of no claims. Former UK insurance terminated last February because I sold the car.

Now I will be searching for quotes, sure it does not help that I cannot speak German, we will seee...

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Posted

 

Now I will be searching for quotes, sure it does not help that I cannot speak German, we will seee...

 

Another good reason to use an agent at the beginning.

 

Remember too that being a named driver on someone else's policy does not necessarilly entitle you to equivalent discounts in Germany (see above)

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Posted

 

Another good reason to use an agent at the beginning.

I agree.

 

 

Remember too that being a named driver on someone else's policy does not necessarilly entitle you to equivalent discounts in Germany (see above)

 

I agree, of course. Anyway, the policy was in my name.

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Posted

Does anyone have advice on how to find the best car insurance offer?

 

My husband had his own insurance policy in Russia in 20004-2007 and was included in a relative's policy from 2005 to this day, no accidents in all those years. Now we're looking to buy a car here in Germany, and it's rather difficult, comparing the results of the online calculators with the info I got when I called a couple of insurance companies - because the online calculators cannot take info from abroad into account, and the info I got from calling two insurance companies was so wildly different.

 

For instance, I called Janitos, and they said it would be around 1700 Euro a year if he just came to them with his freshly received German license, but only 700 if he obtained letters from his previous insurance companies...while HUK24 said they'd take into account the fact that he got his Russian license in 2001 and offer him 1250 per year, but there's no way they can say how much it would be if he brought those letters (even though they'd consider them), since only special people in Coburg can calculate that by looking at the originals of the letters (well, if we want a price comparison, we can't very well send everyone the originals, right?)

 

So any tips on how to pick the best offer in this situation?

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Posted

I did read it, but I don't know what to google in order to find an agent like that. Would you be so kind as to tell me what such an agency might be called in German? I tried but all I get is insurance companies.

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Posted

Look for "Verscherungsmakler" or "Versichungsbüro", preferrably "unabhängig" (independent). Rather than filter the junk that Google spews out, much of it sponsored and maybe not in your best interests, it might be better so look in something more traditional, like the Yellow Pages or ask colleagues for recommendations.

 

You could of course even contact one of the TT insurance agents such as John g - they don't need to be in Berlin to provide such a service...

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Posted

There's a john g in Berlin? Amazing...

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