Even if you consider yourself a careful driver, sometimes it happens: you're driving, you overlook something – z. B., the right-of-way sign when turning, the bollard when parking – and then it rumbles. Thank goodness, mostly without personal injury, but the property damage quickly reaches 4 figures even in small accidents. Third party motor insurance kicks in if you damage others with your motor vehicle. Damage to your own car is covered by comprehensive insurance (if you have taken out insurance in this respect).
So all half bad? Unfortunately, the matter is a bit more complicated. Because with every accident claim that the car insurance company settles for you, you lose something from your no-claims bonus. Always. No matter how big or small the damage was. After all, car insurers reward accident-free driving with a discount. Grades insured persons into different no-claims classes (SF classes) accordingly. The amount of the annual insurance premium depends, among other things, on these SF classes. Thus, a small fender bender can ensure that you are placed in a worse SF class and the premiums for the insurance thereby increase in subsequent years so much that it would have been smarter to pay the damage itself.
A small side note: There are no SF classes for partial coverage insurance, as these cover damage over which the driver has no control, such as. B. Marten bites or storm damage. A cracked windshield does not lead to a higher premium. However, if an excess has been agreed, this must of course be paid, and the remainder is covered by the partial cover insurance. And in general: Every claim settlement offers the insurer (but also the policyholder) the possibility of cancellation. This aspect should also be taken into account when considering whether to pay the claim oneself. Is more meaningful, do not forget.
How do I proceed with regard to the favorability test??
What to do if you have to settle a claim and are unsure what is better from a financial point of view (have the claim settled by the insurance company and pay higher premiums from now on or settle the claim yourself and keep the good SF class with low premiums)??
Basically, any damage except for minor damage (e.G., damage to the car) must be paid for by the customer. B. Small scratches in the paintwork) must be reported to the insurer. In the motor liability insurance it is advisable to let the insurer settle the claim first, because only after the repair you know exactly how much the damage will be. Depending on the insurance conditions, you have six to twelve months after settlement to "buy back" the damage from the insurance company and thus also get back your old SF class.
To find out which approach is more favorable, you should ask your insurer. The insurer can tell the insured which of the two options is more favorable in the specific case. For this purpose, the insurers have calculation tools that show a time series of the premium development. For illustration we have also constructed three different cases, which differ only by the age of the driver and the SF class.
In addition to the insurer's statement, the personal situation must also be taken into account when deciding whether to pay or have the claim settled. For example, your own driving behavior may change – bspw. The daily commute in the future by home office eliminated and thus the probability of future accidents significantly reduced, or you plan to get rid of the car in the medium term completely, o.Ä. If you take all these points into account, nothing stands in the way of a well-informed decision.
If you still have general questions in this regard, feel free to contact our consumer phone. It is also important to know: Not all insurers downgrade in the same way, so it can be worthwhile to pay attention to the downgrading practice when choosing a tariff. If you are looking for a new car insurer, we recommend our car comparison calculator. And for a general round information concerning car insurances our info sheet on the subject of.