If you're stationed in Germany and plan to drive, you'll need car insurance before you can register your vehicle. That's mandatory under German law, whether you ship your car from the United States or purchase the automobile overseas. If you have automobile insurance at home, don't cancel it before heading to Germany if you intend to drive. Speak with your representative about your options.
While your domestic insurance won't cover your vehicle in Germany, your current auto insurer might offer overseas insurance. That's probably the most convenient and efficient way to insure a vehicle while stationed there. Your insurer's German representatives know the local insurance laws and can help you register your vehicle with the appropriate insurance so you can drive as soon as you arrive. Another obvious benefit -- the policy will be written in English, so you won't need the services of a translator.
If you don't have automobile insurance domestically, or if your insurer doesn't offer coverage for military personnel stationed in Germany, you can work with German insurers specializing in providing insurance for Americans. You can find such specialty insurers at your German military base, or contact them online. These representatives speak fluent English and can tailor the policy for your particular needs.
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Expect to pay more for your auto insurance while overseas. The country requires higher minimums for liability insurance than the United States -- up to four times what you pay back home. If you're under 25, you'll pay additional fees for liability coverage. Under German law, payments for disability and medical costs related to automobile accidents are higher than stateside. You'll also pay premiums in euros rather than dollars, so the euro-dollar exchange rate influences the cost.
Request a Discount
You can save some money if you have a long-term good driving record. To protect yourself to some degree from German insurance sticker shock, ask your American insurance company to provide a letter stating that you have not been involved in any accidents. If you've had a license for less than 10 years, such a letter might not influence German insurance rates, but you could receive a discount if you have a clean driving record for a decade or more.
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