Partial or fully comprehensive car insurance

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Basics of partial or fully comprehensive insurance for your car in Germany

There are a few basic things you need to know about partial or fully comprehensive insurance for your car in Germany. These basics include:

  • Comprehensive insurance is voluntary. It provides an additional layer of protection to the obligatory liability insurance.
  • Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your own car.
  • Partial cover will cover you if your car has been damaged by factors out of your control.
  • A fully comprehensive policy also pays if you have caused damage to your car yourself.
  • Fully comprehensive insurance is more extensive and therefore usually also more expensive. However, under special circumstances it can be cheaper than partial coverage.

Difference between comprehensive cover and partial cover

The main difference between partial and fully comprehensive insurance is that fully comprehensive insurance covers all damage to your car. Partial coverage, on the other hand, excludes damage or accidents you caused yourself, as well as vandalism. Remember, no matter which level of insurance you choose, you always need liability insurance.

What does partial insurance cover?

What the partial insurance covers depends on your insurance provider and your tariff. These basic elements are covered by any partial insurance:

 

Basic protection of partial insurance Notes
Fire, explosion and short-circuit damage to the wiring system E.g. cable fire
Broken glass E.g. In the event of rockfall
Theft, robbery and embezzlement Including theft and unauthorised use of car parts
Natural disasters E.g. Storms from gale force 8, hail, lightning, flooding
Wild boar damage E.g. Accidents with deer or wild boars
* This basic protection is guaranteed by any partial coverage insurance.

There are extended options offered by insurances. Which add-ons are offered, depends on the insurer. Sometimes, you can select or deselect individual components individually for your tariff. Examples of extended options for partial insurance include:

Extended protection / additional clauses in partial cover Notes
Marten bites The level of coverage varies from provider to provider.
Animal damage Collisions with animal species other than furred game
Extended natural disasters E.g. avalanches
Gross negligence

Gross negligence occurs, for example, when an accident happens because of speeding. The person driving was not as careful as they would generally be and therefore acted negligently.

Which cases are covered by insurers depends strongly on the policy. Damage caused by alcohol or drugs will never be paid for by the car insurance company.

Extended replacement value For up to 24 months after initial registration, compensation for the new value of the car
Extra equipment An optional surcharge for customised cars

Overview: Fully comprehensive insurance, partial insurance, or change?

Fully comprehensive insurance suits new cars within the first 3 to 5 years and for cars financed through leasing or credit.
Partial cover is usually for cars older than 5 years. However, if the car has only a low resale value, liability is sufficient.

Exemptions to this could be:

  • If the prices for partial cover and comprehensive cover are very close to each other, or comprehensive cover is even cheaper (e.g. due to certain conditions with you as an insured person, or your car).
  • Do you want to switch from full to partial cover? If the no-claims bonus of your fully comprehensive is very high, it would be worthwhile for you to let the fully comprehensive continue. This is because your no-claims bonus does not apply to partial insurance.

Differences in the premium

The following factors in particular influence the level of the premium for comprehensive insurance:

Type class
The type classes of comprehensive insurance reflect the property and casualty balance sheets of all vehicle models registered in Germany. While liability insurance primarily takes traffic accidents into account, comprehensive insurance adds further points in order to determine the type class:

  • Thefts
  • Vehicle fires
  • Glass damage

Partial cover distinguishes 24 classes, while comprehensive covers 25 type classes: each from 10 (low) to 33 or 34 (high).

Regional class in comprehensive insurance

The regional class in comprehensive insurance reflects the loss balance of a certain region, as it does in liability insurance. The number of damages and registered cars, as well as the average amount of damages are compared. The regional class also takes into account the frequency of:

  • Thefts
  • Storm and hail damage
  • Animal accidents
  • Flood damage

The higher the regional class, the higher your monthly contribution to the policy will be. Partial coverage insurance distinguishes 16 regional classes, with class 7 as the national average. In fully comprehensive insurance, there are 9 regional classes, with the national average as class 4.

Excess in fully and partially comprehensive insurance
In the case of comprehensive and partial cover, an excess (also known as a “deductible”) is possible. This means that, in the event of damage, you bear part of the costs yourself. In return, your monthly price for comprehensive insurance is reduced.

What is a standard deductible?

  • Partial insurance: 150 Euro
  • Fully comprehensive: 300 Euro

Workshop commitment in comprehensive insurance
Workshop commitment can be really worthwhile with comprehensive insurance. This means that you’re obliged to contact a specific workshop if you make a claim. Your insurer will specify this in the contract.

Before signing a contract, check where the partner workshops of your insurer are located.

Special features:

  • New cars: The manufacturer’s warranty for new vehicles can be lost if the workshop does not use original spare parts, or if the manufacturer already has a workshop connection.
  • Leasing and financing: Leasing and financing partners such as automobile banks also usually specify which workshops are suitable for their vehicles.

No-claims discount
A no-claims bonus is granted within fully comprehensive insurance, but not in partially comprehensive. Only fully comprehensive insurance covers self-inflicted damage. Within comprehensive insurance, you can influence your no-claims class as the person driving the vehicle. However, with partial insurance, you have little influence on whether damage occurs or not. Therefore, you can not be rewarded with a discount for careful driving.

Differences in benefits

When choosing your car insurance, make sure that the following tariff features are included:

Marten bites – with or without consequential damage?
Ensure that defects resulting from a marten bite are also covered in the event of marten damage. Some tariffs only cover minor cable damage, other insurers only reimburse up to a certain amount and still others offer protection free of charge within their tariff.

Extended wildlife damage
For some providers, damage caused by game includes only damage caused by furred game, such as wild boars or deer. If not included by default, you can extend the protection with the clause “damage caused by wild animals of all kinds”. This means your car is also insured in the event of collisions with cows, sheep or dogs.

Longer replacement value
With new vehicles, pay attention to how long your provider will pay for the new value in the event of a total loss. Normally, the insurer reimburses the current value, which drops sharply for new cars – especially in the first few months. With a longer replacement value, you get the replacement value, even if the time value has fallen.

A good tariff includes replacement value compensation up to 24 months after initial registration.

Extended natural disasters
Extended natural hazard damage includes damage caused by avalanches or mudslides. In particularly endangered regions, the premium for insurance is significantly higher. In addition, the offer is often limited, as not all insurers offer natural hazard coverage.

If you live in a mountainous region or on a slope, insure your car against extended elemental damage.

Extra equipment
If your car contains a lot of special extras, then choose a tariff that covers them completely. Check the tariff to see which parts the insurer will accept as included extras. Some providers will insure you up to 10,000 Euros without increasing the premium.

What is neither fully comprehensive nor partially comprehensive insured?

When choosing your car insurance, make sure that the following tariff features are included:

Marten bites – with or without consequential damage?
Ensure that defects resulting from a marten bite are also covered in the event of marten damage. Some tariffs only cover minor cable damage, other insurers only reimburse up to a certain amount and still others offer protection free of charge within their tariff.

Extended wildlife damage
For some providers, damage caused by game includes only damage caused by furred game, such as wild boars or deer. If not included by default, you can extend the protection with the clause “damage caused by wild animals of all kinds”. This means your car is also insured in the event of collisions with cows, sheep or dogs.

Longer replacement value
With new vehicles, pay attention to how long your provider will pay for the new value in the event of a total loss. Normally, the insurer reimburses the current value, which drops sharply for new cars – especially in the first few months. With a longer replacement value, you get the replacement value, even if the time value has fallen.

A good tariff includes replacement value compensation up to 24 months after initial registration.

Extended natural disasters
Extended natural hazard damage includes damage caused by avalanches or mudslides. In particularly endangered regions, the premium for insurance is significantly higher. In addition, the offer is often limited, as not all insurers offer natural hazard coverage.

If you live in a mountainous region or on a slope, insure your car against extended elemental damage.

Extra equipment
If your car contains a lot of special extras, then choose a tariff that covers them completely. Check the tariff to see which parts the insurer will accept as included extras. Some providers will insure you up to 10,000 Euros without increasing the premium.