How to switch car insurance in Germany

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Switching car insurance in Germany is possible under certain circumstances. You can for example change it once a year when your contract is up for renewal. This is called the “switching season” and happens in fall. There are also other circumstances which allow you to change your car insurance and switch to a different provider. Joonko helps you navigate this topic so you can get car insurance that suits your needs.

Basic information about switching car insurance

There are a few basic yet helpful rules you should be aware of before considering a change in car insurance. In general, the following rules apply in Germany:

1. You can change your car insurance under ordinary or extraordinary circumstances.

2. In the case of third-party liability insurance, an insurer is legally obliged to accept you. With partial and fully comprehensive insurance, the insurer is not obliged to accept you.

3.You can usually transfer your no-claims bonus when you change car insurance.

Difference between changing liability insurance and changing comprehensive insurance

Car insurance refers to either third-party liability insurance, partial or fully comprehensive insurance, or a combination of the two. Depending on which type of insurance you want to change, there are differences to be aware of.

Liability insurance
Third-party liability insurance is compulsory. This means that insurance companies have to accept all applications. This is referred to as “compulsory acceptance”.

Partial and fully comprehensive insurance
As partial and fully comprehensive insurance is voluntary, insurance providers can choose who they insure.

Note: Do not cancel your partial or fully comprehensive insurance until you have signed up for a new policy. Otherwise you could potentially incur high costs should an accident or car damage occur.

When is it possible to switch car insurance?

There are several possible dates on which you can change your car insurance. It is important to know how to cancel your old policy properly – for example, within a specific period. You may also be able to make use of a special cancellation clause in your contract.

Changing car insurance at the end of a contract

If you want to change your car insurance at the end of the contract, you must observe the notice period. In the case of a standard cancellation, the notice period is one month.
Since most car insurance policies end on December 31st, your insurer must receive your termination notice by November 30th.

Changing car insurance after an increase in premium

If your premium increases or the conditions of your contract change, you can change policies outside of the standard notice period. However, this special right of termination only applies if the scope of benefits remains the same. You can cancel your old policy within one month of being notified about the increase.

Note: An increase in premium is not always immediately obvious. Check the comparison contribution in your invoice. If it is lower than the new contribution, the contribution has increased.

Changing car insurance due to a new type class

If the type class of your car changes and your insurance premium increases, you can exercise your special cancellation right. On a yearly basis, the GDV (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft) determines type classes. This assessment is based on the damage and accident balance of car models. If your vehicle is classified in a higher type class and your insurance premium increases, you can change your car insurance early.

Changing car insurance due to a claim

In the event of a claim, it is possible to make use of your special right of termination and change policies outside of your notice period. To benefit from this, you must cancel your old insurance within one month of being notified that your premium is increasing (due to the claim).

Changing car insurance due to a change in vehicle or vehicle owner

Whether it is a change of owner or a change of vehicle, you can change insurance. The following options exist:
Replacing the owner. If you buy a car, you can take over the existing car insurance. You can change car insurance if you are also the policyholder.
Replacing the vehicle. If the used car is already registered, you can keep or change the insurance. If the used or new car is not registered, you must take out new insurance.

How often can I switch my car insurance?

You can change your car insurance as often as you like, provided a standard or extraordinary cancellation is possible. You should not cancel your old insurance policy until you have taken out a new one.

Important: If you cancel your insurance policy without replacing it with a new one, you cannot use or park your car in a public space. This is considered a criminal offence.

How do I know it is worth changing car insurance?

Some people are reluctant to change car insurance because the process is seen as time-consuming and inconvenient. However, changing policies is usually worthwhile for more than just financial reasons. If you move house or build your own garage, for example, your car insurance needs will change.

Before changing car insurance, you should be clear about your priorities. Always keep in mind:

  • Your contribution amount.
  • Additional services offered (e.g. discount protection in the event of damage, foreign damage insurance, cover letter for assistance in the event of accidents).
  • Quality and services of customer support.

If you find a good offer it is worth changing insurance. Prices vary widely between insurers. In any case it pays off to check your policy every year.

What do I have to consider when switching my car insurance policy?

Here are a few key points to follow to ensure that everything goes smoothly when you change your policy.

The date of receipt counts. A termination request is only effective if it is received by your insurance company within a certain period. It is not the date on which you sent the letter that counts but the date your insurer receives it.

Your no-claims class may change. Your no-claims class (SF-Klasse) is transferred if you have fully comprehensive or liability insurance. However, your new insurer may not offer you the same no-claims class:

  • Your new insurer may not offer you the same discount and special classifications as your previous provider. As a result, your SF class may change.
  • If you have any unsettled losses when you are changing insurance, this can influence your new SF class. Your classification can also be lower than in your previous contract.
  • If you switch from a fully comprehensive to a partially comprehensive insurance, you cannot take the SF class with you, as partial insurance policies do not benefit from no-claims discounts.

Note the points in Flensburg. Some insurance companies will ask about your entries (points) in Flensburg when you change insurance. Entries can lead to higher premiums, but this is only the case for a small number of insurance companies.

How does changing car insurance work in Germany?

Step 1: Observe – until when can I change my car insurance?

Take a look at your previous insurance policy and check what notice periods apply to you. Can you cancel regularly or do you have special cancellation right?

Step 2: Compare – which tariffs and services are available?

With Joonko changing car insurance is simple. You should have the following documents ready:

  • Vehicle registration document, registration certificates (key number, initial registration date and vehicle number plate)
  • Documents from your old insurance policy (name, insurance number, no-claims class, premium, etc.)
    Equipped with these documents, you can easily and quickly switch car insurance.

When comparing, make sure you have a precise breakdown of prices, additional services and benefits.

Step 3: Conclude – decide on a new contract

Once you have decided on a new car insurance policy, first ask the insurer to send you an offer. If it meets your expectations, sign the contract and ask for written confirmation of the contract.

Note: Insurers can reject an application for partial or fully comprehensive insurance on the basis of individual risk factors. Always make sure you have enough time to find a new policy.

Step 4: Cancel – cancel your existing contract on time

Do not cancel your current contract until the new one has been confirmed. This avoids the risk of being left uninsured. You can cancel your car insurance by sending a letter containing your insurance number, licence plate number, cancellation date and the reason for cancellation (in the case of special cancellations). The best way to send your cancellation letter is by recorded mail.

FAQ: Changing car insurance in Germany

1) Question: Is it necessary to report the change to an authority?

Answer: No. Your new insurer will send this information to the relevant registration office, including the eVB number (electronic insurance confirmation).

2) Question: Is it also possible to change a car insurance policy with a leasing contract?

Answer: If you leased the car without insurance, you can change your insurance at any time, as long as you observe the notice period. However, if it is a leasing contract including car insurance, you are bound by the contract. In this case you cannot change your insurance on your own.

3) Question: How does changing car insurance work for a second car?

Answer: Changing insurance for a second car is essentially the same as for the first car. Note that many insurers only offer deals for second cars if you insure both vehicles with them.

4) Question: How do I find a new insurance policy?

Answer: Remember to take out new insurance policy before you terminate your existing one. This helps you to avoid a gap in coverage that could result in you being uninsured for a while. With Joonko you can find the right insurance* quickly and easily. With just a few questions, we help you find your perfect policy.


* Note regarding the car insurance comparison

Joonko has shut down its car insurance comparison as of October 30, 2020. The comparison is now done by another provider. Joonko earns an affiliate commission on every sale. For the user the comparison remains free of charge.