Anyone with several years of driving experience in their home country will almost certainly have accrued a few year no-claims bonus (NCB) of their car insurance company. Should this driver then decide to relocate to Germany, they will be pleased to discover that most German insurers will take their current NCB status into account. After all, any NCB built up on the roads outside of Germany is still a fair reflection of how carefully a driver conducts themselves.
That is not to say that the number of years NCB a driver has accrued can always be smoothly transferred from a foreign NCB system. Unfortunately, insurers have a proven track record of appalling treatment towards their ex-customers. Many are only interested in producing a standard letter, which can be far from adequate. Also, the variations between different insurance certificates, combined with the refusal of some insurers to post anything abroad, can result in a real headache which is almost impossible to resolve once abroad.
Should you find yourself looking to relocate to Germany, it is worthwhile persevering. Once you have transferred your NCB into the German insurance system, it will save you money with any other German car insurers that you subsequently use. Without your current NCB, you may end up paying more than double for your German car insurance. Should you later leave the German insurance system, you will also be able to take your total NCB with you, in the form of a certificate, meaning even greater savings over the longer term.
It is therefore important to talk to your current insurer before relocating to Germany. If necessary forward a copy of the above information, so they understand the serious implications this matter can have for you. Request that they provide written evidence of the following :
The full name and birth date of the insured person
The policy number
The type of vehicle insurance (car, motorcycle, goods vehicle)
The liability of the insurance (third-party, fully comprehensive)
The commencement date of the insurance (must be in the format DD:MM:YYYY)
The date of termination of the insurance (in the same format as above)
Other points to note :
Date of commencement
This can cause problems if your insurer has based your NCB on the records of a previous insurer. You may need to contact these yourself to obtain the written confirmation outlined above. This can be irritating and time-consuming, but will be worthwhile if it also saves you a lot of money.
Date of termination
Your German insurer will need the date you cease using the foreign NCB system. If this is the day you depart for Germany, you will need to get your current insurer to forward this information on to you, once the policy is ended.
Breaks in insurance
The dates of any breaks in the policy will need to be properly documented.
Details of any claims will need to be included, including date and details of the claim, including who was liable, and whether it was due to fire or theft, for example.
The above documentation must be an original copy from the car insurance company. A letter from a broker will not be acceptable, and neither will faxes or emails. If you are making the move as part of a couple, consider acquiring this documentation for both of you in case you later require a second car.