Car insurance

What is it?

Car insurance, known as “Kfz-Versicherung” in Germany, is a legal requirement for every vehicle owner. The roots of mandatory car insurance can be traced back to 1939, with the efforts to create a safer, more responsible driving environment for everyone on the road.

Today, car insurance is generally divided into three main types: liability insurance (“Haftpflichtversicherung”), partial coverage (“Teilkasko”), and comprehensive coverage (“Vollkasko”). Liability insurance is the minimum legal requirement and covers damage caused to other people, property, or vehicles.

With about 100 different insurance companies in Germany offering a variety of rates and coverage options, finding the right plan can be a complex process but is very important to your financial and physical protection.

What are the benefits?

It’s essential to know what each plan offers and excludes because, unlike health insurance, the benefits are not regulated by the government. Many insurers offer additional features such as a free rental car in case of repairs, roadside assistance, or no-claims bonuses. Therefore, it is extremely important to know what to look for and to know what you want.

 Haftpflichtversicherung (Third-party liability insurance)

  • Coverage: This type of insurance is the minimum mandatory for all vehicle owners in Germany. It covers the costs that arise if you cause damage to someone else’s car or injure someone in an accident. This includes both bodily injury and property damage to third parties.
  • What’s not covered: It doesn’t cover damage to your own car or personal injuries you might sustain.
  • Premiums: Depends on the vehicle and how many years you did not have any accidents. Generally, here the cheapest option is often good enough.

Teilkasko (Partially comprehensive insurance)

  • Coverage: Teilkasko can be added to the liability insurance separately, adding some protection for your own car, including theft, glass breakage, fire, and damage from natural forces like storms or hail.
  • What’s not covered: damages your car might sustain in an accident that you cause, e.g. bumping into a lamp post
  • Premiums: More expensive than Haftpflichtversicherung, but cheaper than Vollkasko.

Vollkasko (Fully comprehensive insurance)

  • Coverage: this is the most extensive form of car insurance in Germany. In addition to the features of both Haftpflichtversicherung and Teilkasko, Vollkasko also covers damages to your own car even if you caused the accident. Some policies may include additional perks, such as a rental car while yours is being repaired.
  • What’s not covered: deliberate damage to your own vehicle is not covered. Some exclusions may apply depending on the policy.
  • Premiums: Most expensive among the three.

Insurance providers in Germany are highly competitive, often providing various discounts for new drivers, experienced drivers, and even for eco-friendly vehicles.

Who is it for?

Car insurance is for anyone who owns or operates a vehicle in Germany. The cost and type of insurance you should opt for can depend on various factors such as the age of the car, the driver’s experience, and the region where you live.

Young drivers and those with a history of traffic violations will typically face higher premiums. However, if you’ve had a long, incident-free driving history, your premiums could be much more affordable. Always compare multiple offers and consider what kind of coverage you actually need before making a choice.

Did you know?


The number of traffic accidents recorded in Germany in 2022 [1]