Compulsory motor vehicle insurance
Information about Rights & Duties
Taking out mandatory motor vehicle insurance
For a vehicle with a regular base in Germany, the owner must take out insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles in accordance with the compulsory motor civil liability insurance act (Pflichtversicherungsgesetz).
If a vehicle is to be used in Germany that does not have a regular base here, the following is required:
- subscription to frontier insurance, i.e. insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles in accordance with the Motor Insurance Liability Act for foreign motor vehicles and their trailers
- when entering the EU via the external borders of the EU, subscription to a frontier insurance policy in another Member State
- insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles if claims settlement in Germany is guaranteed via the Green Card System.
In the case of insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles from another Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area, claims settlement in Germany is usually guaranteed via the Green Card system. Please contact your foreign insurer if you have any questions about this.
Insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles covers damage caused by an insured vehicle when:
- people are injured or killed
- property is damaged or destroyed
- there are financial losses.
In the event of an accident, the insurance protects both the policyholder and the victim of the accident: The insurance compensates the accident victims in the case of substantiated claims up to the amount of the agreed insured amount. The policyholder is thereby released from their obligation to pay damages to the accident victim.
The following minimum insurance amounts are required by law in Germany:
- EUR 7.5 million for bodily injury
- EUR 1.22 million for damage to property and
- EUR 50 000 for pure financial losses.
However, most contracts in Germany provide for significantly higher insured amounts.
Insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles does not offer any protection, especially for damage to your own vehicle. Full or partial insurance is required for this.
The consideration of an insured person's claims record is not required by law in Germany. When you move to Germany, you submit the claims certificate from your foreign insurer - preferably in German or English.
Claims for compensation against the insurer of the other party involved in the accident
In the event of an accident, contact the civil liability insurer of the other party involved in the accident. If you do not know who the other party involved in the accident is insured with, but you have their registration number, call the Central Service Centre for
Compensation in the event of damage caused by an uninsured or unidentified vehicle, in the event of an intentional accident and in the event of insolvency of the insurer
If you have experienced damage from an uninsured motor vehicle, contact the Verein Verkehrsopferhilfe e.V., an institution of German motor vehicle civil liability insurers that performs statutory tasks to compensate traffic accident victims.
The Verkehrsopferhilfe helps road accident victims in its function as a guarantee fund in the case of accidents in Germany that are caused by unidentified or uninsured motor vehicles or in which the car is used intentionally and unlawfully as a weapon or where the motor liability insurer becomes insolvent.
Central Service Centre for Motor Vehicle Insurers:
- telephone (from Germany): 0800 - 250 260 0
- telephone from outside Germany: 0049 40 300 330 300
- further information
Motor Vehicle Insurers (Zentralruf).
Compensation in the event of damage caused by an uninsured vehicle and in certain other cases
Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Justice
Last update or date of publication