In addition to the bicycle, the car is still the most important means of transport for German families. According to statistics from the Federal Environment Agency, more than three quarters of all households in Germany own at least one car. Around every fourth family has even bought two or more cars. Since insurance is compulsory in Germany, liability insurance must be taken out for every vehicle that is registered – this also applies to second cars. Just like the first car, other cars can also be equipped with partial or fully comprehensive insurance.
Man and woman equal owner community
A second car does not necessarily have to be registered in the name of the same person as the first car. Married couples living together are normally regarded as one owner community. So if a car is registered to the husband, then the vehicle that is registered to the wife is considered a second car for insurance purposes. If, on the other hand, a car is registered in the name of a couple’s child, then it is not a second car, since the joint ownership applies exclusively to the couple.
Free choice of insurance
Anyone who takes out car insurance in Germany is free to choose which insurance carrier they choose. It is therefore possible to insure the second car with a different company than the first car. However, before registering the second car, it is advisable to first contact the insurance company with which the first car is insured and to request a quote for the second car insurance from them. In many cases, the insurance company offers favorable conditions if you also insure your second vehicle with them.
Liability, partial and fully comprehensive insurance
As far as the benefits of the insurance are concerned, there are no exceptions for the second car compared to the first car. However, it is possible that the type of insurance for the cars differ. So while the first car could be equipped with comprehensive insurance in addition to liability insurance, the second car can only have liability insurance. Liability insurance is there to regulate damage caused by the insured vehicle to other cars, people or objects. However, damage suffered by the vehicle owner himself is not covered by the liability insurance. In such cases, partial or fully comprehensive insurance is required instead. The partially comprehensive insurance pays for damage to the vehicle owner’s car for which he is not at fault. These include storm damage, accidents with wild animals, theft and damage to glass panes by stones. If the vehicle owner also wants to be financially protected in the event of damage that he has caused himself, then he must have comprehensive insurance. This also covers the costs in the event of hit-and-run or vandalism.
Up and down in the no-claims class
The principle of the no-claims class also applies to both the second and the first car. As a result, the premium that has to be paid for liability insurance becomes cheaper the longer the owner remains accident-free. When the vehicle is registered, it is classified in SF0, for each year without an accident it increases in the no-claims class. For example, if he has not had an accident for eight years, then he is in SF8. The highest no-claims class that can be achieved is SF35. However, if there is an accident in which the insurance company has to settle a claim, the vehicle owner will be downgraded and will therefore have to pay a higher premium again from then on. How the respective insurers deal with the evaluation of the no-claims classes varies. The insurance companies divide their discount levels into different types of no-claims categories.
The second car starts at the bottom
If you register and insure a second car, you cannot assume the no-claims class of the first car. It is usual for the second car to be classified in SF1/2, i.e. it is treated as if the owner had only been on the road for six months without an accident – even if he is classified in SF35 with the first car. This is annoying insofar as the premium for the second car after registration is initially comparatively high. However, many insurers classify the second car in a higher no-claims class if the first car is already insured with them. In this way, the vehicle owner can save a lot of money.
Insurance Cost Factors
The cost of insuring the second car also depends on various other factors. The insurance company takes into account the distance driven each year and allows the vehicle owner to pay more the more he is on the road. This can be an advantage for the second car, since in most cases it is used less often than the first car. The type class of the vehicle is also included in the calculation of the insurance premium. Since some car models are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents or damage than others, their owners have to dig deeper into their pockets when it comes to insurance. The parking space also plays a role in the insurance premium. If the second car is left on the street overnight, the insurance company charges a higher premium than for a vehicle that is regularly parked in a garage. Finally, the age and driving experience of the owner also affect the amount of the insurance premium.
Beginners in their parents’ second car
For this reason, it is advisable to register the offspring’s vehicle as the parents’ second car and to insure it with the same insurance company as the first car. Then the contributions are much cheaper than if the novice driver takes out the car insurance in his own name. However, the child should be entered into the insurance policy of the second car as an authorized driver. If damage occurs and the offspring is not registered as an authorized driver, the insurance company can refuse to settle the damage. With most insurance carriers, it is standard that only spouses or life partners of the vehicle owner are allowed to drive the second car without an entry in the policy. In addition, they must not be younger than 25.
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