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Will the insurance be upgraded after an accident?


From, last updated on: April 6, 2021

What effects does an accident have on your no-claims class?

According to the German compulsory insurance law (PflVG) the owner of a motor vehicle take out liability insurance. This is used to cover personal injury, property damage or other financial losses that may arise. If you want to insure not only possible damage to someone else, but also to your own car, this is one Comprehensive insurance the right choice. This is - in contrast to liability - however not mandatory.

Vehicle owners are rewarded for exemplary behavior as part of the insurance. If there is no damage to the car to be reported, you benefit from lower insurance premiums. However, if there is an accidentthat needs to be regulated, this has a negative effect on the no-claims class (SF class). In this case, the motor insurance is upgraded after the accident. You can find information about this here.

FAQ: Upgrading after an accident

What do you mean when you talk about an upgrade in the event of an accident?

Colloquially, an upgrade after an accident describes a downgrade to a lower no-claims class. The term “upgrade” probably comes from the fact that insurance premiums increase in such a case. In the event of damage, however, drivers are not upgraded but downgraded.

When will there be an upgrade?

As soon as you report accidental damage to your car insurance company and it begins settling the claim, the upgrade is usually initiated as well.

In which no claims class will I be assigned after an upgrade?

The insurance companies usually decide for themselves which SF class you end up in after a regulated accident. You can find an exemplary table of the classification into the corresponding no-claims classes in the event of an upgrade here.

Is there an upgrade after an accident in the case of partial or fully comprehensive insurance?

Upgrading in the event of an accident can only be made if you have taken out fully comprehensive or liability insurance. Since there are no no-claims classes with partial coverage, you cannot be upgraded accordingly. In addition, this insurance only covers damage to your own vehicle through no fault of your own, for example due to theft, but not due to a traffic accident.

Car Insurance Upgrading - An Explanation of Terms

With regard to the damage-free class (SF class), the longer a driver is on the road without an accident and he does not report any damage to the car, the higher the level of damage. In the German insurance system, SF class 35 is the best, while novice drivers start in class 0. If there is an accident, the driver is assigned to a worse, i.e. lower class, which is why one speaks of a downgrade.

In everyday language use, however, the concept of upgrading after an accident has become common, as these are associated with higher premiums to be paid for the services of the insurance company - even if the name is actually wrong in this form. Nevertheless, in the following we want to use the colloquial language and speak of an upgrade of the motor vehicle insurance after an accident in the sense of an increase in the costs due.

Basically, it can be said that the number of the no-claims class stands for how many years a vehicle owner has been driving a car without an accident. In the case of SF class 35, this is 35 years.

Motor Insurance - What is the upgrade after an accident?

The form in which the upgrade will be canceled by the insurance company after an accident cannot be said in general, as this issue is not uniformly regulated. All insurance companies can determine themselves which conditions apply. In principle, however, it can be stated that the damage to be regulated does not depend on the amount of the costs.

So cause several small reported damages within a calendar year with a car insurance for a more serious upgrade after an accidentas if there had been one big crash. In addition, in the case of a motor vehicle liability claim, the upgrade after an accident is usually lower than if it is a case for fully comprehensive insurance. It should also be noted that Upgrade cheaper motor insurance often faster.

If you want to know exactly how your insurance company will upgrade after an accident, you have to take a look at your contract documents. There you will find the corresponding tables.

Example table of an insurance for upgrading after an accident

Below is a exemplary table of an insurance for upgrading after an accident. This shows you which no-claims class you are classified in after you have reported damage to the car or several accidents within a calendar year.

from SF class Downgrading according to the number of claims:
LiabilityFully comprehensive
SF 35SF 25 SF 8SF 2SF 25 SF 10SF 5
SF 34SF 19 SF 7SF 1SF 21SF 10SF 5
SF 33SF 16SF 6SF ½SF 20SF 10SF 4
SF 32SF 14SF 5SF ½SF 19SF 9SF 4
SF 31SF 13SF 4S.SF 17SF 8SF 3
SF 30SF 12SF 3S.SF 15SF 7SF 3
SF 29SF 11SF 3S.SF 14SF 7SF 2
SF 28SF 10SF 20SF 13SF 6SF 2
SF 27SF 10SF 20SF 12SF 6SF 1
SF 26SF 9 SF 20SF 11SF 5SF 1
SF 25SF 9 SF 20SF 11SF 5SF 1
SF 24SF 8 SF 20SF 10SF 5SF 1
SF 23SF 8 SF 20SF 10SF 5SF 1
SF 22SF 8 SF 20SF 10SF 5SF 1
SF 21SF 8 SF 20SF 10SF 4 SF 1
SF 20SF 7SF 10SF 10SF 4 SF 1
SF 19SF 7SF 10SF 9SF 4 SF 1
SF 18SF 7SF 10SF 9SF 4 SF ½
SF 17SF 6SF 10SF 8SF 3SF ½
SF 16SF 6SF ½M.SF 8SF 3SF ½
SF 15SF 5SF ½M.SF 7SF 20
SF 14SF 4S.M.SF 7SF 20
SF 13SF 4S.M.SF 6SF 20
SF 12SF 3 S.M.SF 6SF 10
SF 11SF 3 S.M.SF 5SF 10
SF 10SF 20M.SF 5SF 10
SF 9SF 20M.SF 4SF 10
SF 8SF 20M.SF 3SF ½M.
SF 7SF 10M.SF 2SF ½M.
SF 6SF ½M.M.SF 20M.
SF 5SF ½M.M.SF 10M.
SF 4S.M.M.SF 10M.
SF 3S.M.M.SF ½M.M.
SF 20M.M.0M.M.
SF 10M.M.0M.M.
SF ½M.M.M.M.M.M.
Source: AKB of Allianz-Kfz-Versicherung Could we help you? Then please rate us:
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  1. hello please .. One day on October 20th, 2017 I ran my car and only touched a little 4 cm in front of the left side. I informed the police of everything on the line. I've paid insurance 598 in years, can you tell me how much my insurance can be so far

    • Hi Michael,

      Since - as mentioned in the above text - there is no uniform regulation on upgrading, you would have to contact your insurance company directly for information.

      The editors of

  2. Immediately upgraded after a self-inflicted accident. Now (after almost 24 months) the insurance company is also requesting the full amount of the claim settlement back. Is that correct?

    • Hello Ute,

      have a traffic law attorney assess whether the recovery is legitimate in this case. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to give legal advice.

      The editors of

  3. My insurance did not upgrade us after an accident at the beginning of 2018. The contract runs from June 21. until 21.6. the following year. Now the confirmation came for the new period, from June 21st! But only for another quarter and not until the next period. Can it be that the contribution will increase afterwards?

    • Hello Hagen,
      we cannot give any assessment of this. If necessary, contact the insurance company.

      The editors of

  4. I made third party damage with my H license plate, unfortunately the 2nd time in 10 months. the 1st time, I was not promoted, how is it the 2nd time.

    • Hello Johann,

      we cannot predict how your insurance company will react to the second accident - please check with the insurer yourself.

      The editors of

  5. Hello, I caught a parked car driving by. The other party involved in the accident gave his car to the workshop and took a rental car for as long as the repair lasts. I'm SFK 4 and the cost of the repair is around € 2,500.00. Does it matter whether the person rented a car or not in the upgrade? Would my new contribution be lower if the other party involved in the accident hadn't rented a car?

    • Hi Mike,

      please contact your insurance company or a lawyer. Contract law details probably play a role here.

      The editors of

    • Hello GoGreen,

      Since the regulations differ depending on the insurer, you should inquire about this directly with your insurance company.

      The editors of

    • Hello F.E,

      Insurance companies often upgrade after an accident. If necessary, read your documents.

      The editors of

  6. I reported to my insurance company that the accident was caused, the injured party has not yet reported and my insurance has upgraded me anyway. My question: do you have the right to do so?

    • Hello Andreja V.,

      this should be evident from your contract documents. However, it is common for insured persons to have to pay higher premiums after a claim. If necessary, contact an attorney.

      The editors of

  7. In April 2017, while driving backwards in a supermarket parking lot in Croatia, I overlooked the car behind me and ran into it slightly. I immediately called my insurance company and passed on all the data.
    My insurance company told me after 6 months that nobody had contacted me and that the case would be closed.
    Great for me !! I was also set from SF 29 to 30.
    Today I get a letter that I should pay 121 euros in compensation, otherwise I will be downgraded to SF26. Today is January 11th, 2019 !!!
    Can give me an answer to that ???


  8. If I am traveling in a rental car and have an accident (self-inflicted), which is then also handled by the liability insurance of the rental company, does my SF increase in my private car insurance? So is this not owner-related but person-related?

  9. If I am traveling with a rental car (in Germany) and have an accident (self-inflicted), which is then also handled by the rental company's liability insurance, does my SF increase in my private car insurance? So does the SF refer not to the owner, but to the driver or the person?

  10. If I am traveling with a rental car (in Germany) and have an accident (self-inflicted), which is then also handled through the liability insurance of the rental company, does my SF increase in my private car insurance? So does the SF refer not to the owner, but to the driver or the person?

  11. I opened my door in the parking lot and a small 0.5cm scratch in the clear lacquer (not through color). I have been sentenced to avoid accidents and paid € 100 for the SCRATCH. The HDI insurance has changed my SF class from SF28 to SF12. Is that LEGAL ??? Kind regards

    • Hello WBB,

      a breach of duty and damage may justify the change of the no-claims class under certain circumstances.

      The editors of

  12. I drive quickly on the autobahn, everything was free, fast to 130 km / h, you mustn't merge, it was dark you would see light if someone came from downstairs, nothing happened, then suddenly someone drives up, he must have been very fast, as well should have seen my light and was able to cross over to the left, but I am the first in the police accident department, now my insurance has to pay the damage to the person who caused the accident and I am upgraded by 37%. How can that be ??? I didn't drive anyone with a handicap, let alone, I drove my prescribed kmh. knows someone advice ???????????????? thanks

  13. Hello,

    a road user says that he was pushed away by me in September and that he damaged his rims as a result. I didn't notice anything myself. He went to the police and they came to me. I reported the potential damage to liability insurance. The police stopped the case in November. With the bill for the new year, the insurance company increased the liability premium due to the changed SF classification due to the reported potential damage. However, the potentially injured party did not claim the damage with my insurance company after going to the police. According to the insurance company, however, he has a total of three years for this. So the insurance company has not yet had to pay any damage. Even if he still gets in touch, it is questionable whether the insurance will pay for him. However, as I said, it still changed my no-claims class and increased the premium. If the damage does not have to be paid in three years, I will get the excess premium back according to the insurance.
    Against this background, I ask myself whether the procedure is legal, because the insurance has not yet had to pay and my guilt has not been proven. Can I get the insurance company to suspend the premium increase pending clarification?
    I would be very happy to hear from you.


  14. I had an accident with a truck months ago I was training a damage of 5000 € on my car and on the truck also 6000 € now my insurance has written me and upgraded me from 32% to 46% and fully comprehensive insurance from 27% 34% I understand that you don't have an accident free in your life I've heard or is it just spoken about it With best regards, Ursula wiedemann

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