To be allowed to drive in Germany, you must purchase motor vehicle liability insurance. It is also advisable to have comprehensive insurance or roadside assistance.
• Motor vehicle liability insurance: This insurance is required. Without motor vehicle liability insurance you cannot even register your car. This insurance covers third-party personal and property damage if you cause a car accident or an injury.
• Comprehensive insurance: This is an optional insurance. Partial and full comprehensive insurance are available. Partial comprehensive insurance generally covers the following damage to your vehicle:
o Theft or robbery
o Fire and explosion
o Storm, hail, lightning strike, flooding
o Collisions with certain animals (such as stags or deer)
o Broken glass
o Damage to wiring from a short-circuit
The full comprehensive insurance applies in addition for any collision damage – i.e. also for collisions in which you are at fault – as well as damage caused by vandalism. It is primarily of interest for new vehicles where such losses could be particularly high. The cost of comprehensive insurance depends among other things on the deductible (Selbstbehalt). This is the amount that you must pay yourself in case of a claim. It is generally around €150 for partial comprehensive and €300 to €500 for full comprehensive insurance.
• Roadside assistance (Schutzbrief): With roadside assistance, the provider covers the costs if you have a breakdown or accident, for example, and need towing or a rental car. Often roadside assistance also includes medical transport. You can contract for roadside assistance with vehicle insurance companies and automotive clubs.