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Almost one year ago, I bought my first car. It's the first and thus far only motor vehicle registered/insured to my name. The insurance company just sent me this invoice:

invoice

They told me that for the next duration of one year, my actual no-claims class will stay 0 ("tatsächliche SF-Klasse"). However, I will receive a special classification of 1 at that insurance company ("Sondereinstufung bei AdmiralDirekt").

I have never been involved in an officially registered accident, except when an SUV ran over my parked motorbike (registered&insured to my father) and I called the police hoping they'd do something about it. However, a few months ago I scratched my car on private property (no other vehicles involved; nothing reported anywhere) and got it painted. The company that painted it asked for my vehicle registration certificate. I thought they'd asked for it because of the color code, but could they have told my insurance company that something happened to my car?

The fact that my actual no-claims class stayed at 0 at first made sense to me after having read that it's always calculated to the 1st of January because by the 1st of January I only had my car for about 5 months.

However, I have learned today that I actually should have received the no-claims class 1/2 because I've had my driver's license for more than 3 years when I insured my car. After half a year of no-claims class 1/2, I should've received no-claims class 1. I received my motorcycle license when I was 16, my driver's license for cars when I was 17, and was allowed to drive alone when I was 18. Now I'm 27. So no matter what day of the year you calculate that to and now matter how you round it, it's been more than 3 years.

Are insurance companies allowed to keep the no-claims class down like that? I'd imagine them to be obligated to improve it because otherwise they could just always keep it at 0 so I will never switch to a different insurance company.

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  • When you asked the insurance company if this was correct, what did they say? Jun 23 at 7:31
  • @RobertLongson I didn't ask. A assumed that one of my assumptions was wrong. However, having received a re-affirming answer here, I will now ask them.
    – UTF-8
    Jun 23 at 8:20
  • @RobertLongson I now received an email back from the insure company, telling me I should call them. I called them and they said that no-claims class 1/2 is not an official class and that only some insurance companies offer it. They don't.
    – UTF-8
    8 hours ago
  • You could always write that in as an answer. 7 hours ago

2 Answers 2

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The SF-Klasse only changes on 1st of January. It only improves if you had been insured without accident for at least 6 month and 1 day in the previous year.

You started in August 2021, so in January 2022, the SF-Klasse correctly didn't change because it was only 5 month in 2021. You will get a better SF-Klasse in January 2023.

New prices will only be applied with the next invoice, so in August 2023. Some insurances will adjust the Hauptfälligkeit (date at which the contracts ends/gets renewed) to end of December even if you start in August; then your rate gets lower directly in January and you don't have to wait till August to participate on the better SF-Klasse - although the same applies if you had an accident and your SF-Klasse gets worse.

So in general, the unchanged SF-Klasse in this invoice is correct. For the Sondereinstufung you may have to check their conditions, e.g. why it didn't apply directly from the start in August 2021.

There is one issue though:

Since you are 27 and had your drivers licence for more than 3 years, the correct SF-Klasse should have been SF-1/2. However, this is something you declare yourself in your application, and if you told them SF-0, they may have just "believed" you (even if it would have been nice of them to look at your drivers licence and age and maybe warn you about it).

It's usually fixable, so you should probably tell your insurance that there might have been a mistake.

For the future it might not make a difference though: you will be in SF-1 on January 2023 no matter what (and if you have an accident, you get SF-M no matter what), and the Sondereinstufung will probably improve both SF-0 and SF-1/2 to SF-1 (although that's something you should check).

For the last year, the correct rate would have probably been somewhere in the middle of 250€ to 290€, so (if they would actually pay back the difference over a year later), you could expect maybe 20€. (Actually, since the change from SF-0 to SF-1 usually has a bigger impact than a change from 290€ to 250€, your actual rate may have been close to or equal to what SF-1/2 would have been anyway, but it doesn't hurt to ask).

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  • Thank you very much for your answer! For anyone else having the same issue, it might be noteworthy that I still remember my registration for the insurance. At no point did I state what no-claims class I thought I was. I entered the information it requested, including when I got my license, my age, etc. and it told me that they had determined my no-claims class to be 0.
    – UTF-8
    Jun 23 at 17:44
  • About the difference: I can see that it doesn't make much of a difference in terms of one year. However, I already contacted them after receiving the first answer, thinking that the cumulative amount over several years might make a noticeable difference. Furthermore, you are right about the difference seeming small. That's because further down that document they sent me, they're saying that the rates got increased and that I may cancel my otherwise auto-renewing contract because of that increase, despite the fact that I'm now actually paying less. Without that increase, I'd pay less in SF 1.
    – UTF-8
    Jun 23 at 17:47
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They told me that for the next duration of one year, my actual no-claims class will stay 0 ("tatsächliche SF-Klasse"). However, I will receive a special classification of 1 at that insurance company ("Sondereinstufung bei AdmiralDirekt").

Right. Some insurance companies reduce your premium for whatever reason, giving you a better level than you "deserve".

But if you change your insurer, you can only transfer the actual SF class, not the one they reduced for you.

However, a few months ago I scratched my car on private property (no other vehicles involved; nothing reported anywhere) and got it painted. The company that painted it asked for my vehicle registration certificate. I thought they'd asked for it because of the color code, but could they have told my insurance company that something happened to my car?

Normally not. And if so, your insurance company won't care, as you only have liability insurance (Haftpflicht) and no "Kasko". And if you paid them in full, they wouldn't have a need to report it.

The fact that my actual no-claims class stayed at 0 at first made sense to me after having read that it's always calculated to the 1st of January because by the 1st of January I only had my car for about 5 months.

There might be rules in the Versicherungsbestimmungen which defines what level you reach after less than 6 months or so.

However, I have learned today that I actually should have received the no-claims class 1/2 because I've had my driver's license for more than 3 years when I insured my car.

You are right. They should have given you ½ at the first place. Did they have your license and its issue date?

You could complain about that, but that would only mae sense if you are planning to leave them. After a year, your actual SF-Klasse will be 1 in any case.

Are insurance companies allowed to keep the no-claims class down like that? I'd imagine them to be obligated to improve it because otherwise they could just always keep it at 0 so I will never switch to a different insurance company.

Normally they should increase the class every year accordingly, otherwise the customers would run away. And I think they are even obligated to do this (except for trailers where you are always at 100%).


Update: After rereading your post, I came to a different conclusion, which might be speculative as well, but which should make you contact them in all cases.

  • You started with 0 in August 2021. (They should have given you SF ½, but maybe you failed to prove your eligibility with your license, or maybe that's not mandatory.)
  • The "uplevel" (Besserstufung) is supposed to occur after a full calendar year of being damage free, but they do a "Sondereinstufung" (special uplevel) earlier - already in August 2022 instead of January 2023. They would probably do so no matter if you were in SF 0 or SF ½.

So the difference is one full year (from August 2021 to August 2022) where they fave you SF 0 instead of SF ½. Definitely worth complaining, or rather asking.

https://www.financescout24.de/wissen/ratgeber/schadenfreiheitsklasse might be helpful.

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  • "After a year, your actual SF-Klasse will be 1 in any case." If I get it changed to 1, wouldn't it be 2 at the 1st of January 2023? If I don't get it changed, it sounds to me like it will only be incremented to 1 at the 1st of January 2023.
    – UTF-8
    Jun 23 at 8:34
  • @UTF-8 What I meant: No matter if you started with 0 or ½, it will be 1 after a year. And if they gave you voluntarily 1 at the start, they would do so no matter if you started with 0 or ½. After a year, you "deserved" the 1 and they voluntarily give you 2 in both cases. So it makes only a difference if you are planning to move to a different company during the 1st year.
    – glglgl
    Jun 23 at 9:07
  • But be aware that I might be misinterpreting things.
    – glglgl
    Jun 23 at 9:09

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