Terminate car insurance: deadlines and the correct form

Cancel car insurance – there is still time until November 30th to then switch providers. But if possible you shouldn’t wait until the last day. Because The insurance must have received the notice by the deadline of November 30th. The postmark is not critical here. The contract can also be terminated by e-mail, but there are a few special features to consider (see here) and in the event of a dispute it is difficult to prove that the e-mail has actually been received. Therefore, it is best to send the letter of termination a few days in advance as a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt! If you miss the deadline completely, you often also have the option of terminating the contract with the right to special termination – if the insurance increases the premiums. Here is the most important information about the form and deadlines.

Deadlines for terminating motor insurance

How to properly cancel your insurance

November 30th is usually the deadline for termination.

Car insurance can always at the end of the insurance year with one month’s notice be terminated. If not canceled, the contract is automatically extended for another year. In the case of car insurance, the insurance year for most contracts runs until December 31st – the new insurance year begins on January 1st. Even if the contract was concluded around August 1, it initially only runs until December 31 of the same year and is then extended by a full year. The deadline for terminating the contract is November 30th.
Note: Some insurance companies offer contracts with a term of less than one year. In the case of such contracts, the insurance year is not linked to the calendar year. Pay attention to the main due date in your annual invoice. The main due date shows when the new insurance year begins. For example, if the premium is due on August 1st, the old insurance year ends on July 31st. The cancellation must then be received by the insurance company at least one month in advance (June 30). Even if you have agreed to a quarterly payment, for example, there is usually only one main due date. Contracts with a term of less than one year have a major disadvantage: Since the insured cannot terminate at the end of the year, they cannot benefit from the price war between the insurance companies. Because during the main changing season in November, the insurance companies often advertise new customers with particularly low-cost tariff offers.

Contracts that can be terminated on a monthly basis: This is a recent trend with which insurers are particularly targeting younger drivers who are used to concluding and terminating contracts via smartphone apps. Such customers often also want greater flexibility in terms of termination. However, one should ask oneself whether so much flexibility is needed in a car insurance.

Canceling car insurance by e-mail: this must be taken into account

In the past, insurance contracts usually had to be terminated by signing a letter. For contracts that since October 1, 2016 was completed, this no longer applies – In principle, they can too canceled by email. When canceling by e-mail, there are a few things to consider: Above all, the sender must be identifiable to the company – this is the case, for example, if the e-mail address has already been saved. The email address, telephone number, customer number or insurance policy number should also be stated in the email. A disadvantage of canceling by e-mail is still, that in the event of a dispute, access to the e-mail can only be proven with difficulty. Save the e-mail in your outbox and print it out. You should also have the cancellation confirmed (“Please confirm receipt of the cancellation and the cancellation date within 14 days.”)

Contract termination via customer portals

Anyone who is registered with their insurance company on a customer portal can also terminate the contract there. However, some portals are not particularly user-friendly: The way to the cancellation option is sometimes hidden behind countless clicks, so that customers give up in exasperation. The same applies as for cancellation by email: In case of doubt, the customer cannot prove that the cancellation was sent. Ideally, a confirmation email will be generated automatically. Otherwise, make sure that a confirmation of the cancellation process is displayed in some form in the portal and take a screenshot of it that you save.

Termination in writing (letter)

If you want to be on the safe side or have an older contract (concluded before October 1, 2016), you can send the cancellation as a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. If there are any discrepancies, it is easy to prove that the letter has reached the insurance company. The postmark does not matter for the termination. It is important that the letter is available to the insurer by the deadline at the latest. So you should take care of the termination in good time. Our recommendation: Send the letter no later than four working days before the deadline. It is also best to ask for confirmation of the termination by letter when terminating. So in case of doubt you have something in hand.

Letter of termination: It must be in there

• The sender’s address
• Address of the insurance company
• Date
• Insurance policy number
• Registration number of the vehicle concerned
• Specify the reason for termination – for example “termination in due time at the end of the insurance year”, “special right of termination due to premium increase” or “special right of termination due to damage”
• In the case of cancellation in writing: signature
• If you cancel by email (if possible): The subject line should read “Cancellation of motor vehicle insurance”

Template for the letter of termination

Special right of termination for motor vehicle insurance

In addition to the regular termination at the end of the insurance year, there are various occasions that are associated with a special right of termination:

Contribution increase: If the premiums for the motor vehicle insurance increase, you have the right to cancel – even if the regular notice period has already expired. The contributions often rise, for example, because the vehicle type has slipped into a different type class due to the damage statistics or the risk classification of your registration area has changed (keyword regional class). In any case, the insurance company must inform you in writing of an increase in the premiums. This is done with the annual contribution invoice. Make sure to take a closer look here, because sometimes there can also be a hidden premium increase: The premiums have been increased, but the bottom line is that you are paying less than in the previous year because your no-claims bonus has also increased. In this case you still have the right to extraordinary termination of the contract. The notice period for termination is four weeks upon receipt of the notification. Further information: Special cancellation
After a claim: After each claim that you report to the insurance company, you have the right to cancel and change insurance. Regardless of whether the insurance pays the damage or not. However, you can only cancel when the insurance company has recognized or rejected the liability to provide benefits, or when the negotiations on the benefits have been concluded. From then on you have one month to cancel the contract.

Termination when changing vehicles

If a car is deregistered or sold, there is no need to cancel at all. When deregistering, the motor insurance goes into a non-contributory rest phase, after 18 months the contract is automatically terminated. If the car is sold, the insurance is transferred to the buyer when it is sold. As soon as the latter presents the insurance certificate from another insurer to the registration office, the old contract is deemed to have been terminated. You still have to notify your previous insurance company of the sale. The other way around: If you buy another car, you do not have to insure it with your previous insurance, but can look for a new provider.

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