Changing car insurance: when it pays to change | save money

Change car insurance: When it's worth switching | Saving money . It can be worthwhile to consider a change: A lot of money can be saved on car insurance under certain circumstances. (Source: imago images/Future Image)

Every car must be insured. Car owners can decide for themselves how much this will cost. At least once a year, you have the opportunity to optimize your rate and, if necessary, change insurers.


"A car insurance policy can always be changed at the end of its individual insurance year, which is also the change of year for most car insurance policies", says gerrit reichel of the automobile club verkehr (ACV).

Until when can I change my car insurance??

motorists should therefore make sure they have the 30. mark november red in your calendar. "This is the date by which the cancellation must be received by the insurance company", says reichel. But under certain circumstances, policyholders also have the option of changing insurers outside the normal cancellation period.

"In the event of a premium increase, the insured always has the option of cancelling the contract. This is still possible even if the new premium invoice doesn’t arrive until mid-December", says elke weidenbach from the verbraucherzentrale NRW (consumer advice center). Even in the event of a claim or vehicle deregistration, the insurance can be changed or terminated immediately. The savings potential is large.

Depending on the type of insurance, there may be additional recognized reasons for special termination. This special right of termination can be due to a special life situation: double insurance, death or change of vehicle.

How much money can I save by switching?

The magazine "finanztest in a recent comparative test for a family, a range of rates between 214 and 600 euros per year was determined for motor vehicle liability insurance. Basically, many factors influence the price of insurance, explains lena sington from "finanztest". "It starts with the vehicle age and model and ends with the accident-free years."

"The price is also significantly influenced by the number of drivers, i.e. how many people use the vehicle. This is much more important than, for example, the mileage per year or a parking space in the garage, says the expert.

The extent to which individual components affect the price of the policy varies from insurance company to insurance company.

Which benefits do I need and which no longer??

Elke weidenbach advises drivers to think carefully about the scope of their insurance cover and what they can do without before making a change. "Particularly in the case of comprehensive cover, it is worth considering whether only partial cover insurance is still required or whether fully comprehensive insurance is necessary. Often, but not always, the differences in premiums are large."

Also offers like discount protection are to be enjoyed with caution, just with an insurance change. "Thus the insurance grants a kracher free and does not rank the insured one highly ", says weidenbach. "However, if you subsequently change insurers, you will still be downgraded by the new provider, because the downgrade will then be taken into account." A discount protection clause can only be applied to the current insurer, but not when changing insurers.

"However, it can be worth asking the new provider under which conditions you can still remain in the old class", says lena sington. For example, by taking out a new discount protection policy.

What benefits should the new car insurance include??

It is important to check carefully whether all the components that are still desired also appear in a new, possibly more favorable policy. Among other things, the stiftung warentest recommends at least the following: for motor vehicle liability, the sum insured should be 100 million euros and at least 15 million euros maximum coverage per injured person.

In the case of comprehensive insurance, there should be no reduction for gross negligence. And the wildlife accident cover is best not only for hairy game, but ideally for animals of all kinds. Partial cover should not only cover direct damage from marten bites, but also consequential damage with at least up to 5.000 euro. In the case of fully comprehensive insurance, it makes sense to have the new price reimbursed for at least 12 months.

Experts also recommend a "mallorca policy". This liability extension protects when customers drive a rental car abroad.

If you’ve been insured for a long time, your old contract often includes a so-called discount saver at no extra charge. You won’t be downgraded immediately after the first claim. Instead, new contracts usually offer discount protection under individual conditions for a surcharge of around 20 to 30 percent. This often allows one claim per year without slipping into a worse class.

Important: be sure to check with the new provider whether this class will remain in force when you change providers. Because in most cases it is classified as if there had been no discount protection, according to "finanztest".

If you want to save even more, you can pay the bill all at once. The savings are often 5 percent compared to quarterly and 3 percent compared to semi-annual payment. Even a direct debit can still save a little compared to bank transfers. And for e-cars, companies now often offer their own policies.

What should I compare before switching??

If you want to change and save, you should compare well beforehand. "This can be done quickly and easily via comparison portals. But you should take the trouble to adjust the search profile with all details to really get a meaningful result", says gerrit reichel. The new value compensation option, for example, is only worthwhile if a new vehicle is insured.

In the case of liability insurance, on the other hand, customers should make sure that the sum insured is not at the lower end of the scale. According to reichel, the aforementioned sum insured of 100 million euros for personal injury, property damage and financial loss is common today. But local insurance brokers can also offer good prices.

"If the agent has negotiated high discounts with the insurer, for example through fleet insurance, he can also pass these on to private customers if necessary", says weidenbach. The advantage for some customers is that they usually have a direct contact person in the event of a claim.

How can i change car insurance online?

Whether online or offline: whenever an agent comes into play, a commission payment is also due from the insurance company to the broker. This makes the insurance more expensive.

"It may therefore be worthwhile to check online whether a contract can be concluded with a direct insurer", says weidenbach. The comparative calculator from stiftung warentest works completely independently. Consumer advice centers also offer help.

Further savings potential can be found in the no-claims classes (SF classes). Accident-free years are documented by the classification in an SF class.

"If you have been driving accident-free for many years and have an older policy, you may already be at SF 35 in the SF scale, which is the end of the line.", says sington. "It may be worth asking for a new contract with a longer SF scale, for example up to SF 50." however, there are no uniform rules for this among the insurance companies.

How many classes will I be downgraded?

Downgrading in the SF class after a claim is also not uniformly regulated. There are differences both between insurers and between tariffs: "in general, the downgrading in basic tariffs is often stricter and harsher than in comfort or premium tariffs", says sington. Customers can find out how many SF classes they will actually be downgraded by after a claim in the respective terms and conditions of their policy.

If you want to change your insurance company, you should always do it yourself and not leave the cancellation to the new insurer. "Also, the new policy should be signed before the old one is canceled. This is the only way to guarantee continuous insurance cover", says reichel.

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Incidentally, the insured does not have to inform the vehicle registration office. "The insurers automatically take care of this, says reichel. "Both in the case of a cancellation and in the case of a new contract."

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