Motor Insurance

German Net, BFG-, NATO-, Canadian- & SHAPE personnel

Welcome to your specialist on motor insurance in Germany.

Motor insurance, whether for BFG / military personnel or any other customer, is a constantly changing insurance product (benefit and premium wise) and should be reviewed on a yearly basis! Whilst other agents like to advertise their car insurance products with the words experience, cheap and at all times comprehensive we at ERICON broker let actions speak louder than words.

Experience... is very important but how much experience should your broker really need for a simpler insurance product like car insurance? 10, 20 or even 50 years... Well to answer this question one just needs to look at the constantly changing Terms & Conditions for car insurance, with providers always out on the prowl for new customers. Insurers are frequently improving their tariffs by introducing even higher insured sums or extra (often pointless) benefits. Reading just these few examples you will have already worked out where we are heading... ... an up-to-date broker will unquestionably be able to give more precise and professional advice on benefits and exclusions than, let us call a spade a spade, the broker with bags of experience but its staff lacking compulsory qualifications or real knowledge on the product they are selling.

Cheap... is also good and we all like the best deal. However cheap has its pitfalls, especially with insurance!
There are only 3 real reasons why an insurance company will offer motor insurance cheaper than the competition:

  1. They can afford to attract customers for a short period, hoping to cross-sell other, more lucrative products.
    These offers never last very long and are normally followed by a premium increase on renewal.
  2. The costs are cut by keeping administration and staff to a bare minimum, hence the low premiums are reflected in poor service and customer-unfriendly claim regulation. If you never need assistance then you will cut yourself a very good deal but should you not be familiar with the way German insurance works or you need to provide foreign certificates for accident-free driving (No Claims Discount) then hands off!!!
    Direct insurance companies are the best example and apart from a few exceptions are all running at a loss.
  3. The insurance company is well established with a big car insurance customer base. In addition it must know the market with its customers and be able to perform a very precise risk management. Experience and flexibility are the keywords here and only a handful of companies have these qualities for the constantly shrinking BFG / NATO market - Axa Versicherung with their special and long-established NATO department must be mentioned at this point.

Comprehensive... this wording of "overall coverage" has various interpretations amongst the numerous companies but should include the following benefits to meet the requirements of real comprehensive car insurance:

The 3 pillars of motor insurance & optional add-ons

Liability (mandatory)

  • Minimum insured sums by German law:
    • 1.22 million Euros for property damages
    • 7.50 million Euros for personal injury
    • 50,000 Euros for financial loss
  • Standard insured sums across the German insurance industry:
    • 50 million Euros lump-sum, incl.:
      • 12 million Euros for personal injury, per person
  • Recommended insured sum
    • 100 million Euros lump-sum, incl.:
      • 15 million Euros for personal injury, per person
      •   5 million Euros for environmental damages per claim, max. 10 million Euros per insurance year
  • Additional risks that should be, yet are not included in every policy:
    • Gross negligence
    • Environmental damages
    • "Mallorca-Police"
         increases insured-sums on rented vehicles abroad to German minimum standard
    • Own property damages
         at least damage caused to other owned vehicles, better even with own-property damages (e.g., garage, house)

Partial Casco

  • Animal-bite with consequential damage
  • Animal-collision
  • Fire, Explosion or Short-Circuit caused by faulty or brittle wiring
  • Theft or Misappropriation, including lock-replacement
  • Glass & Glazing
  • Gross negligence
  • Natural Hazards
    • Avalanche
    • Earthquake
    • Explosion
    • Flooding
    • Hail
    • Lightning
    • Storm
    • Volcanic eruption
  • "New for Old" up to 12 months

Full Casco

  • Self-induced Collision Damages
  • Vandalism
  • Cyber- / Hacker-attack
  • Includes risks of Partial Casco!

Optional Benefits

  • Liability Add-ons
    • Abroad-Claim-Protection
    • Own property damages (insured sums vary, depending on insurer)
    • Protected No Claims Discount
  • Partial & Full Casco Add-ons
    • Depreciation in the event of a damage exceeding 1,000 Euros
    • Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) (advisable on lease/ finance)
      In the event of a total-loss on a financed or leased vehicle, the so-called GAP-Coverage bridges the difference between the vehicle's value on the day of its loss, and the contractual due amount owed to the creditor or leasing company.
    • "New for Old" extendable to 24 / 36 or even 60 months
    • Protected No Claims Discount
  • Driver Accident Cover
    in the event of an accident in which the driver suffers severe injury and due to one's own fault or should the culprit be unknown or penniless, the insurer will pay up to 15 million Euros for
    • Loss of earnings
    • Pain & Injury compensation
    • Survivor's Pension (for dependents)
    • Rehabilitation measures
    • Housekeeping
    • Reconstruction of housing to make it handicapped accessible
  • Emergency Call App
  • Legal Insurance
    The vehicle, regardless of the operator, is covered against accusations, offences or even criminal acts

Premium Safeguard
the premium will not increase on renewal should the regional- or type-classes increase or because of general claim- and cost-development inflation.

Roadside Assistance
Offers uncomplicated help in the event of sudden emergencies caused by breakdowns or accidents.

  • Breakdown & Accident Service
  • Towing
  • Rescue
  • Loss of Use
  • Vehicle pick-up service, in the event of driver-disability
  • Medical-Return-Transport
  • Repatriation of children
  • Expenses for hospital visitors

'Workshop Clause'

The insurer dictates the workshop where the car is to be repaired and in return discounts the casco-premium by a fixed percentage. Depending on insurer, discounts can be as much as 30% and the following conditions/ benefits are common in today's market.

  • Certified garages only (usually approved by TÜV and/or DEKRA)
  • Only original spare parts are used with 3-6 years guarantee
  • Pick-up and delivery service
  • Hire car during the time of repair
  • Vehicle cleaning (inside and outside)

Should the person decide to visit a garage of own choice the insurer will reduce reimbursement by a fixed percentage and before deducting a possibly agreed deductible.

Our tip:
When choosing a more-valuable product, glass repairs are usually exempted!
Hence, the customer can still visit well-known workshops such as Carglass, Euromaster, junited-Autoglas or Wintec without preauthorisation from the insurer.



What is not insured

Not even with fully comprehensive cover do German motor insurances insurer all imaginable cases.
Commonly excluded from insurance coverage are:

  • Damages caused intentionally
  • Damages while participating in approved races
  • Damages to the load
  • Wear and tear

Differences between German & e.g. UK insurance

  • German motor insurance is vehicle and not person related
  • The No Claims Discount scale does not finish at 10 but one needs at least 25 years to reach their maximum level of discount
  • No approved license plate - no motor insurance!
  • German car insurance cannot be cancelled without providing a legal documentation

How German motor insurers calculate the premiums

Apart from just assessing the human-risk using the following personal parameters

  • Age of policy holder
  • Number of drivers, their ages and relation to policy holder
  • Year of previous No Claims Discount (NCD) of the policy holder
  • Occupational status
    • Normal
    • Public Service
    • Agriculturist
  • Profession


The actual main risk German insurers are interested in is the actual vehicle. Therefore, the following factors play a more important role.

  • Date of initial registration
  • Age of vehicle at date of purchase
  • Make and model
    Each specific model has its statistically proven risk-ratio, called 'Type-Classes'. Latter are devided into:
    • Liability Type-Classes (10-25)
    • Partial Casco Type-Classes (10-33)
    • Full Casco Type-Classes (10-34)
    The higher the Type-Class, the more expensive the insurance is going to be!
  • Area of registration
    Some destricts are pron to be more dangerous than others, therefore the postcode under which the plates are registered plays an important role (Regional-Classes). Regional-Classis are devided into:
    • Liability Risk-Classes (01-12)
    • Partial Casco Risk-Classes (01-16)
    • Full Casco Risk-Classes (01-09)
    The higher the Regional-Class, the more expensive the insurance is going to be!
  • Annual mileage
  • Overnight parking

Rumours about German car insurance...

  • German car insurance is is more expensive than in other countries. False!
    This might seem the case to some customers because the premiums are fortunately not solely based on driving experience.
  • A German insurer can refuse coverage if the car is not roadworthy. False!
    German insurance law forbids denial of liability coverage, even in the event of intent or cancellation due to non-payment, insurance coverage will be kept sustained.
    This law is to guarantee that a Third Party will never have to worry about his/ her liability demands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Insurance - Motor

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  • Cancellation procedure - of a military registered vehicle

    There are two ways to terminate a German motor insurance policy prior to renewal that cover a vehicle registered via a non-German Registration Office.

    1. The insurer MUST receive a copy of the official de-registration certificate.
      Depending on the Registration Office, the certificate might carry an official title, e.g.:
      • AE Form 190-1S (USAREUR)
      • Attestation SHAPE CPC (SHAPE)
      • BFG Form 272 (British Forces in Germany)
    2. Extraordinary right of termination after a claim
      After an eligible claim both parties (insurer / insured) have the right to cancel the contract within one month after the claim has been closed, which needs to be announced in writing.


    One month's notice
    Prior to renewal send in one months' notice to not renew the contract in writing / text form


    The following means are not accepted!

    • Bill of Sale / Purchase Invoice with both buyer's & seller's signature and preferably not older than one month
    • Proof of New Insurance stating the make & model, preferably also the chassis number (only applicable if leaving Germany!
    • Scrap certificate

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  • Cancellation procedure - What does the USAREUR de-registration certificate look like?

    Returning your USAREUR plates to the Licencing Office you will be issued the so-called AE FORM 190-1S as proof of de-registration. Following this link shows a sample.

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  • Coverage - 'Abroad Claim Protection'

    Abroad Claim Protection (ACP) enables the possibility to claim on your own insurance in the event of an incident abroad and caused by a Third Party. Making use of this optional benefit you will neither have to deal with the foreign insurer nor their domestic legislation. Instead one will receive reimbursement based on German insurance law that is considerably more sophisticated compared to most other countries. Hence, the primary purpose of ACP is financial safety should the other party's insurance decline payment or start delaying reimbursement, etc. ...

    Important to understand is until one’s own insurer receives reimbursement of costs from the opposing liability insurer, using Abroad Claim Protection is initially treated as a claim against your own (liability) insurance. Therefore, it is crucial that at the time of accident the police are called out, and if not possible, then at least the European Accident Form has been completed and signed by both parties to rule out contradictory statements later on.

    Bottom line:
    If you frequently travel thru different countries, it is definitely worth having and can save a lot of hassle should one ever be involved in an accident.
    ERICON - as your constant companion - will of course always try to help, thus communicate with the other party's insurer on your behalf, yet unfortunately there are companies that make things more complicated than necessary and follow only one objective - avoid paying or at least delay reimbursement for as long as possible.

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  • Coverage - Do I still have insurance if my vehicle has been de-registered, yet ownership not yet transferred?

    For transitional periods, or when fiited with season-plates (German: Saisonkennzeichen) but stored away during the off-season period, German insurers provide so-called ‘dormant insurance’ (German: Ruheversicherung). During this period of max. 18 months, and only if the vehicle remains off public roads, liability and, if purchased, Partial Casco coverage remain insured free of charge.

    Also, a few of those motor insurance providers offering more comprehensive plans continue to cover those risks that fall under Full Casco coverage too.


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  • Coverage - Can you insure my vehicle in SHAPE, Belgium?

    Yes, we insure NATO personnel in Belgium, however are limited to one company - Allianz Deutschland.
    For a quotation, please follow this link.

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  • Claims - Which incidents need to be reported to the police?

    The insurers expect the following incidents related to motor insuance to be reported to the policy without delay.

    • Theft
    • Burglary
    • Vandalism
    • Parking incidents*
    • Damages caused by game**

    * Relates to policies with the extra "parking benefit", covered by the Partial Risk module. Hence not the damage your moving vehicle has caused to another parked vehicle but vice versa - some other vehicle has damaged your car.

    ** These can also be reported to the local forstery office.

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  • Claims - Can I receive reimbursement of a self-infliced damage based on the repair-cost estimate?

    Not all but most service-motor insurers reimburse casco claims based on just a repair-cost estimate. Although presenting an assessor report is the more profitable approach, due to the additional expense commissioning an expert entails, especially for claims related to older vehicles it makes more sense to present the insurer a repair-cost estimate, knowingly that some costs won't be reimbursed until the repair-invoice is presented.

    Expenses that are initially not reimbursed:

    • Higher hourly rates and material costs of a brand-linked dealerships
    • Storage costs
    • Value Added Tax (VAT)

    Expenses that are often not refunded:

    • Depreciation
    • Loss of Use

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    • Finance & Lease - Transfer of Security

      When taking out a loan or lease on a vehicle, the 'object of desire' itself is often enough sufficient security for the creditor (bank).

      Consequently, it is then the loanee's/ lessee's responsibility to make sure the value is secured, hence Fully Comprehensive cover becomes inevitable to cover the financial consequences in the event of a bigger incident or even total-loss (write-off or theft). This hedging measure also entails a requirement set by the creditor, in which the borrower cedes his right of financial reimbursement to the bank.
      This is called 'Transfer of Security'.

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    • General - Do I need a Green Card for travelling in the EU?

      In many countries the police like to see the International Insurance Certificate ('Green Card') after an accident for assurance that the vehicle has liability insurance and simply because it contains all necessary information.

      In all countries of the European Economic Area (i.e. the EU, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), as well as in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Serbia and Switzerland, the International Insurance Certificate is however no longer mandatory upon entry. In these countries the so-called Licence-Plate-Agreement applies, thus authorities have assurance that liability coverage is in place by checking the registration plate.

      In the following countries a Green Card is mandatory:

      • Albania
      • Azerbaijan
      • Belarus
      • Bosnia-Herzegovina
      • Iran
      • Israel
      • Macedonia
      • Morocco
      • Moldova
      • Montenegro
      • Russia
      • Tunisia
      • Turkey
      • Ukraine

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    • General - Should my 'Green Card' not be green?

      For all those unaware, the International Insurance Certificate, commonly known as „Green Card “, is evidence that the vehicle has liability coverage for when travelling abroad.
      Since 1965 these certificates have always been green, yet as of 1st July 2020 they are also acceptable on plain white paper, allowing motorist to receive these digitally and print them themselves.

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    • No Claims Discount - Temporary certificates for when leaving Germany

      On behalf of most insurance companies we are authorised to issue a "Temporary No Claims Discount certificate" and can produce this in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish or even Turkish.

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    • No Claims Discount - Requirements to get a foreign certificate accepted in Germany

      There are several rules & regulations differing from insurer to insurer but in general the certificate must be:

      • Original
      • Issued by the insurer – not the broker!
      • Must state
        • a policy holder
        • claim-free insured years (some exceptions possible)
        • cancellation date
      • Translated, if not in English or German (the majority of insurances accept non-official translations)

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    • No Claims Discount - How does the system work in Germany?

      In Germany the No Claims Discount (NCD), called "Schadenfreiheitsrabatt", has the biggest impact on the premium you pay. The more years claim-free insurance you can show, the cheaper the insurance will cost.
      To prove the amount of years the entitlement will either be electronically transferred from one German insurer to the other, or the client can send in an original certificate from a foreign insurer, which must state an expiry date and the amount of years claim-free insurance accumulated.

      What clients from overseas are often not aware of is that in Germany NCD is linked to a policy number, thus not to a specific person. Consequently, if a person can prove a personal claim-free record of 30+ years, this entitlement will still only be able to be used with just one policy.

      The actual NCD German insurers' grant depends on the amount of years a person has been a policy holder and the entitlement is split into Liability- & Full Casco (Own Damage) related discount. Technically this is described as: SF KH & SF VK.

      On taking out car insurance with more than 3 years driving experience (EU driving licence required as proof), you will be granted SF1/2, which normally equals 70%. In money terms this means that if the annual premium without any discount (100%) was 1,000€, the following year it will reduce to 700€. And depending on whether the contract commences before or after 30th June, if after, the policy will automatically be granted SF1 - one full year NCD - as of the subsequent 1st January. The savings difference between SF1/2 and SF1 is approx. 10%.

      The maximum amount of years you can achieve is endless, however the lowest percentage nowadays is generally at 25% for both Liability and Comprehensive, provided that SF35 has been reached.

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    • Payments - What happens if I fail to pay a subsequent motor insurance premium on time?

      Failing to make a subsequent payment with a German motor insurer does not mean coverage lapses as from the payments due-date.
      Once in arrears, the insurer will send a first reminder, normally within 2-3 weeks, stating the following.

      1. > Please make payment within 2 weeks after receiving this letter
        "After receiving this letter" in legal terms does not mean, when physically opening the envelope but within max. 3 working-days after the print-date of such.
      2. > Should the arrears not be settled within the 2-weeks' granted term of payment, insurance coverage will be terminated thereupon
      3. > Should the arrears be settled after the 2-weeks' granted term of payment, insurance coverage will be reinstated as from the date and time the bank has been instructed to transfer the payment or the insurer has debited the account, both scenarios subject to sufficient funds on account.

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    • Registration procedure - Required documents for the NATO/ BFG vehicle licensing offices

      When taking out an insurance policy we give you the so-called double-white card, which you will have to present at your NATO POV/ BFG registration office (BFGLO).

      In addition you will also need the following documents for NATO:

      • Technical / inspection report
      • US Drivers License (for NATO personnel only)
      • Vehicle's log-book
      • ID

       For the BFGLO you need:

      • Proof of payment from your insurer / agent

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    • Registration procedure - Which are GEO (BFG) approved motor insurers??

      To ensure your motor insurer will be accepted by Vehicle Licensing it is advisable to choose one approved by Global Support Organisation (Germany).

      • Belgium:
        • AGEAS
      • Canadian:
        • TF Insurance Services Ltd (CND)
      • German
        • Ergo
        • Allianz
          provided by ERICON broker (link)
        • Volkswohl Bund
          provided by MIRASCON
      • United Kingdom:
        • Aviva Ageas Service Insurance Co
          provided by Forces Financial
        • Forces Mutual
        • Forces Solutions
        • Markerstudy
        • Liverpool & Victoria Insurance for UKBC/UKBT (CSMA members)
          provided by Frizzell Financial Services
        • Towergate Wilson
        • Zenith

      By addressing your application to OC BFG VLO (MAIN), BFPO 39 it is possible to check whether your non-listed insurer might still be accepted whilst posted to Germany.

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    • Registration procedure - Using the German registration offices (non-POV or BFGLO)

      Yes, it is possible. Should you decide to register your vehicle outside the military environment, you will have to inform us so we can issue the so-called EVB number, as without you cannot register your vehicle. This number is not required for NATO registration!

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