Car tuning is not only the change of the design, but especially the "pimping" of the chassis – z. B. The well-known lowering of the car -. The increase of engine power. Lowering the car -. The increase in engine power. Often, all it takes is the push of a button and a "lame snail" becomes a real race car. Passes thereupon z. B. An accident, the liability often refuses any performance or. Declares the withdrawal from the insurance contract. Rightly?
Driver conceals car tuning
A company purchased a passenger car which, according to the vehicle registration document and the purchase contract, was supposed to have an engine output of 485 hp. In fact, the engine power at the time of the conclusion of the purchase contract was 720 hp after a vehicle tuning. However, this had not been explicitly pointed out in the purchase contract. Rather, there was only the entry: "Tuning measures are not registered."
A representative of the managing director also concluded a contract with a motor vehicle liability insurance company for the car. She was presented next to the vehicle registration, which showed an engine power of 485 hp, also the purchase contract – about the car tuning, however, she was not informed. Subsequently, it had to settle two claims: a theft of the four car tires and a glass breakage.
It was only afterwards that she learned from a sales ad on the Internet that the car had been tuned and now even had an engine output of up to 860 hp. The third-party liability now declared its withdrawal from the insurance contract and demanded back the compensation payments already made for the stolen tires and the glass breakage damage. Had it known about the tuning, it would not have insured the car. When the payments failed to materialize, the liability company went to court.
Rescission of contract was legal
The Regional Court (LG) of Bielefeld ruled that the insurer effectively rescinded the contract and was also entitled to reclaim the compensation payments.
False statements of the policyholder
The policyholder had violated §§ 19 II, I, 20 Insurance Contract Act (VVG) by concealing the car tuning when signing the contract. Instead, the insurer gave the impression that the car only had an engine output of 485 hp by forwarding the vehicle registration certificate. He should therefore have imperatively pointed out the tuning and the possibility that the engine power is variable and can be increased at times up to 860 hp. The increase of the engine power represents a risk circumstance, which significantly influences the decision of the liability to conclude the contract. Because the higher the engine power, the higher the achievable top speeds or. Acceleration values. Of course also the accident risks.
The policyholder was aware of the tuning measures on the vehicle. After all, he had deliberately bought the car in this condition, even though he was aware that increased engine power immensely increases the risk of an accident.
No exclusion of the right of withdrawal
A right of rescission could be excluded, among other things, if the insurer had been aware of the tuning measures and had nevertheless concluded the contract with the car owner, cf. § 19 V 2 VVG. In the present case, however, the liability was not aware of the car tuning. The insurer did not have to suspect an increase in engine power simply because the purchase contract stated that tuning measures had not been registered. Because a vehicle can be damaged in many different ways. Tuned in a certain way – this does not always affect the engine performance.
Repayment of the compensation?
Due to the resignation of the contract the insurer is not obligated in accordance with § 21 II VVG in principle also any longer to the achievement. However, this does not apply to insured events that have already occurred before the declaration of withdrawal. According to this, the insurer should actually not demand the two compensation payments back.
However, there are exceptions to this. According to § 21 II 2 VVG, an insurer can demand the return of benefits if it was fraudulently deceived by the policyholder, i.E. If the policyholder "deceived" himself into obtaining insurance coverage. This was the case in the present case: The policyholder deliberately concealed the higher engine power – it was clear to him that the liability would not have concluded the contract if he had known the truth, or would only have done so under different conditions. Thus he had to refund all compensation payments.
Conclusion: Anyone who wants to take out an insurance policy should always provide truthful information. Otherwise, the insurance company can refuse to pay compensation.