The only car insurance, without which nothing works in Germany, is the motor vehicle liability insurance. Without them you can not officially register your vehicle, it is a prerequisite and not without reason. This insurance is the vehicle itself, not you as a driver or owner. It will pay if you have caused a traffic accident and are obliged to pay compensation to the accident victim. This ensures that accident victims in any case have a way to enforce their claims.
Reasons why a car insurance does not provide are:
- Lack of coverage : There are various differences between the policies of individual insurance companies in comprehensive insurance.
- Accident requirements : The conditions also differ when it comes to whether damage was caused by “negligent” or “gross negligence”.
- Too Late Accident Report : Normally, in the case of a traffic accident, the period of seven days from the date of the accident applies. If deaths are related, it must be reported to the insurance within 48 hours. Of course, there are also cases where the regulation simply goes on and new facts, blame and the like always new facts arise and the thing is abducted. So it is not enough to send the insurance company all necessary documents and documents and let them do the rest. Rather, you should constantly inquire and get informed about the current state of processing and state of affairs.
Services excluded in the insurance contract
In general, car insurance is the policy that includes the most exclusions. The insurance then lists cases where you are not required to reimburse or limit coverage. Statistically, however, many benefits can be attributed simply to breaches of duty.
The insurance company argues to you that you have breached (pre-) contractual obligations or that you did not act in accordance with the contract in the accident, whereupon it refuses or reduces benefits. Especially with the reform of the Insurance Contract Act of 2008, legal regulations have explicitly entered into force, which you should definitely observe.
The risk is that the insurance company will not pay after a car accident. But how is that possible?
The fact that car insurance does not pay can be allowed, despite ignorance of essential contractual points. Because of the already mentioned reform of the insurance contract law of 2008, it comes to the fact that the insurer must hand over to you all contract documents. Whether you actually read or notice them has virtually no meaning. They therefore also apply if, for example, you claim that during the counseling session, these or those points came up and now the refusal of performance results.
However, the consultation must be documented, you can claim for damages if not comprehensively or even incorrectly advised. However, the “all-or-nothing” principle no longer applies, so the insurance company can not necessarily refuse to pay because you acted negligently. Simply negligent behavior therefore has no effect when it comes to breaches of duty. Now applies a grading, according to which there is a quota system for the reimbursement of “gross negligence”. However, if you act intentionally, performance may be completely denied.
The following cases show by way of example, when the motor insurance does not or only partially.
|TÜV overdue||If you drive a vehicle without a valid TÜV, this may also cost the insurance cover: Especially if you know of a defect, you endanger not only yourself but also other road users. But even in the event that you lead a car without a valid TÜV, can already constitute a slight negligence – and lead to a reduction in the insurance participation in case of damage.|
|Kissing in the car / at the wheel||It is grossly negligent, however, if you are kissed by the passenger while driving and in the course of which cause an accident. The Landesgericht Saarbrücken decided in 2012 that this tenderness can be compared to the grossly negligent behavior of an alcoholic driver during the journey.|
|Alcohol at the wheel||A clear case is drunk driving: If you get drunk behind the wheel, you lose your insurance cover. Although the damage is paid to the accident opponent, but then also the drunk driver of his car insurance in recourse. In addition, the protection expires in illegal car racing or if you sit without a handlebar authorization on the steering wheel.|
|Mobile phone operated while driving / telephoning at the wheel||If you need to take your mobile phone into your own hands, you must not use it while driving for communication – this also applies to SMS. Also pushing away a caller is not allowed. If you cause an accident with the mobile phone at the wheel, pay the liability insurance. In the case of a comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, you will remain completely on top of the costs if you are guilty of gross negligence. Even if you are guiltless, it may be that you are partly to blame.|
|Brakes for an animal||A ruling by the Federal Supreme Court in 1991 indicates that the insurance must cover the damage if you evade a deer and subsequently cause an accident. Small animals, on the other hand, are regarded less as a reason – at least outside the village – to suddenly brake.|
|Car was stolen without activated immobilizer||If the vehicle has been damaged or stolen, and there was no immobilizer in place or activated, some insurance companies deduct around 10 percent of their performance. It is different with activated immobilizer: According to a judgment of the Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe of 1991, the insurance must pay even if a car with immobilizer has been stolen. Since an immobilizer makes the theft much more difficult, the insurance occasionally assumes a fake deed – but there must be specific evidence for it so that the company can refuse to settle the claim.|
|Radio operated while driving||The comprehensive insurance may not refuse the replacement for “gross negligence” if you operate your radio and therefore cause an accident – at least not if the traffic situation required no increased attention.|
|Barefoot / driving with flip flops||Basically, it is not forbidden to drive a car without sturdy shoes. However, if you wear flip-flop while driving and cause an accident that can prove that the loose footwear is responsible, the insurance company will at least partially refuse the payment. The same applies if you drive barefoot.|
|Worn tires did not change||If the payment is also governed by gross negligence in the policy, insurance companies must at least partially pay for the damage. However, if an accident was not caused by vehicle defects, full payment may be required even if the tires are worn. This case occurred when a man lost control over his vehicle when driving over a 25 centimeter deep puddle and it came to the accident. According to an expert’s report, the accident could not have been avoided by the depth of the water even with “correct tread depth”. The Higher Regional Court Koblenz was of the same opinion and condemned the insurance for payment.|
|Car door open inadvertently||If you open your car door and thus cause an accident, carry as a careless road user the main blame and remain sitting on your damage. In the case of an already half-opened door, which opens completely as a result of lack of adherence, both participating road users pay half of the costs if the accident opponent had previously ignored the open door previously.|
|Fueled incorrectly||Not all insurance companies take over damage by incorrect refueling. According to a BGH judgment of 2003, at least legally, the comprehensive insurance does not have to bear the damage because it is an uncovered operating loss.|
|From the accident site fled||Rider flight is not a trivial offense: According to §142 of the Criminal Code, this is either a significant fine or imprisonment of up to three years, as well as an additional entry in the driving fitness register and points in Flensburg. Depending on the seriousness of the case, in addition to a driving license withdrawal, the permanent withdrawal of the driving license may also be imminent. In addition, the insurance company can take the policyholder in regress.|
|Accident due to excessive speed / disregard of traffic rules||If an accident occurred in which the policyholder has exceeded the applicable speed limit or violated traffic regulations, the insurance company can make recourse claims.|
Many benefit exclusions are legally questionable
As you can see in the above list, even “minor” offenses lead to a power exclusion. For example, is it allowed to drive barefoot? Is driving with flip flops allowed? What are the consequences of being caught at the wheel with your mobile phone?
Well, the first two questions are relatively easy to answer. Because basically there is no legal requirement on which footwear you must necessarily wear when driving. Even if barefoot driving is allowed and therefore also driving a car with flip-flop shoes, this does not necessarily have to be recommended. Because that does not change the fact that you must continue to fulfill certain “due diligence” while driving. For example, if you are involved in an accident and it is determined by an appraiser that the accident is wholly or partly due to this “footwear”, this is equal to dereliction of duty. Are you allowed to drive cars while wearing flip flops? According to prevailing case law, such a thing is considered to be a “negligent act”, and all consequences are borne by it (see AG Speyer, judgment of 9 August 1957, Az. Cs 420/57).
If you use your mobile phone in the car or use the phone while driving, you risk a warning first. A penalty gets, who uses the mobile phone at the wheel. So you have to pay a fine if you operate your mobile phone at the wheel – regardless of a possible accident.
In case law, however, “use” is interpreted differently. In some cases, the mere “take in hand” of the cell phone has been fined. According to §23 Abs. 1a StVO is pure holding or passing no offense, as several higher regional courts noted. However, if you use the navigation device of the smartphone or press away calls, the courts set the same as the “use” and declare the fine for the misdemeanor as lawful.
The regulations for someone who wants to drive a drunk car are also interesting from the insurance point of view. For that reason, not only are most driving licenses withdrawn, but also some draconian penalties for the cause of the accident are due. The frequently mentioned petty limit of 0.5 per thousand has only limited significance here. First of all, it depends on how much blame you have as a driver and whether the accident could be prevented if you had not drunk alcohol. As you can see from the quota rule mentioned above, at least a percentage reduction in the obligation to pay should be lawful. In any case, you must carry your own personal damage. If 1.1 per thousand or more are proven, even threatens the complete refusal of insurance. According to the recommendations of the German Traffic Day, the performance in the comprehensive insurance is halved, if you can be proven a value between 0.5 and 1.1 per thousand. However, you must not equate the legal rules regarding misdemeanors and the like with the insurance law issues.
Exclusion of gross negligence does not always protect
Even if the insurance contract excludes the “objection of gross negligence”, it may lead to a refusal of performance. Many insurers rule out alcohol or drug-related damage in principle. Apart from that, the drunk driving from 1.1 per thousand for you also have very concrete consequences, because from this limit, the offense is fulfilled. Permanent driving license withdrawal or even imprisonment threaten.
Is the car insurance with another driver?
In practice, you know that you always owe your insurance company an indication of the drivers of the insured vehicle. Depending on the insurance occasional loans are not a problem, sometimes an additional fee is charged. However, usually a minimum age of 23 years is required, with some insurance companies exact details of the person and details of the duration of the loan are necessary. With regard to insurance coverage, however, this has little significance. Because both in the liability and in the comprehensive insurance, the insurance must be paid even if the accident was caused by a driver who was not registered in the insurance contract. Consequences threaten anyway, namely for the policyholder.
As soon as the insurance company becomes aware of it, it will send you a supplementary invoice. It asks you for the excess that you would have had to pay if you had indicated the correct driver from the start. In some cases, single-driver contracts can also result in fines equal to one year’s contribution. In practice, however, this point does not matter due to the difficult conditions of detection.
Car key lost: Does the insurance cover?
When keys are lost, problems are usually preprogrammed. Who owns this key and needs a replacement? How do I secure the house or garage in time? In practice, lost car keys cause headaches to many car owners. Because otherwise the vehicle can hardly be secured and, depending on the situation, rapid reaction is necessary. What does the insurance company do if car keys are lost?
Basically, you are contractually obliged to inform your car insurance company immediately about the loss of the key. And regardless of whether you could continue driving with a second key. According to prevailing case law, you act “grossly negligent” if you can not show the original key to your insurance company. If in doubt, you would run out of weight if the car is actually stolen and reappears later with massive damage.
How courts decide depends above all on the individual case. Leave only briefly from your key and this is stolen meanwhile, the insurance can still be liable to pay. The first contact is always the car insurance, because private liability insurance exclude company or car keys consistently. Even in comprehensive insurance it is not clear that key loss will be made. Make sure you pay attention to the performance coverage of your tariff.
This is what happens when the insurance company refuses to pay
You should assume that insurance companies know their own contracts exactly and every single case is checked. The chances that you will “come through” with minor minor damage, for example, are not necessarily high. In principle, the insurance company must explain and justify why it does not have to accept the reported insured event in its own opinion. In many cases, it is about form questions, that is, missing documents or, for example, inquiries about the accident.
First insurance reaction is not set in stone
So the first reaction of the insurance does not necessarily have to stop, but your commitment is required.
Depending on what amount of damage it is and what consequences threaten, worth the commission of a lawyer. Lawyers specializing in traffic law have completed additional training and call themselves “Specialist Lawyer for Traffic Law”.
Now you have to estimate what your actual chances of success really are. Not in any case worth the walk to the lawyer. Especially not if the amount in question is manageable. Because in most cases, traffic law cases are negotiated before the district court. There is no lawyer here, so you could theoretically defend yourself. However, it is not recommended, because in traffic law, there are various special cases and considerations that only a specialist can really overlook.
- First, make sure that you have sufficiently proven the damage. Workshop invoices in the original, expert opinion and the like are sufficient.
- Remind the insurance politely, but definitely to the “early settlement” of the claim. It is recommended that in this letter you reiterate the urgency of the payment and, if necessary, summarize the most important points that will benefit you.
- If the process continues and you receive no further information by telephone, it is worthwhile to call in the insurance-based complaints department. In practice, this has proven to be useful as files are then edited with higher priority.
- Does not help, you should recite the case of your legal expenses insurance and ask for reimbursement. In the situation you can turn to an experienced specialist lawyer for traffic law, part if necessary the legal way treads.
Accident victims have free expert choice
As an accident victim you have basically free choice, as far as the vehicle experts. This created as an independent entity a damage report. In practice, this also bills his performance directly to the opposing insurance company. For this reason, you should reject the offer of the insurance to take over the complete regulation together with the appraiser.
Digression: damage during loading and unloading
The situation is clear if you push your cart across the parking lot and cause a sheet metal damage. In this case the liability insurance is responsible. Since the damage is in no way related to your car, your car insurance has nothing to do with the matter. The situation is less clear when the shopping trolley sets itself up and damages another vehicle while you store your purchases in the trunk or in the interior of your car.
Basically, the motor insurance for damages that the insured inflicts when using the vehicle other road users. And in the opinion of the German Insurance Association (GDV), the vehicle is already in use in this situation. “The loading and unloading of a car by insured persons is part of the use of the car. The resulting damage will be replaced by the motor vehicle liability insurance, “said GDV spokeswoman Kathrin Jarosch to” Stiftung Warentest “.
However, Munich District Court saw the situation in a verdict announced earlier this year (Az .: 343 C 28512/12) differently. In that case, a motorist had parked his cart next to his trunk on sloping ground to load it with crates. The shopping cart rolled away and damaged a strange vehicle. In contrast to the GDV, the judges believed that the rolling cart “had nothing to do with the typical dangers of moving a motor vehicle.” Rather, the insured did not ensure that the shopping cart was safely turned off and must therefore be responsible even for the damage. According to the judgment, the motor vehicle liability insurance must only take effect if an accident occurs during operation of a motor vehicle.
Leaving the parking lot can be considered an accident flight
If in doubt, you should inform in case of damage in the parking lot both your motor insurance and your liability insurance, advises Stiftung Warentest. Which of the two insurance companies is responsible, would then clarify. Incidentally, ignoring the damage is not only unfair, but also unlawful. Even if it is just a small sheet metal damage, it can be considered as an accident escape if you do not inform the injured party about the mishap. Thus, you commit a crime that can lead to corresponding consequences.