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Motor Insurance

Basic information

Third-party motor vehicle insurance is compulsory in Austria and is needed to obtain a vehicle registration number. This kind of insurance protects both the insured party (from being wrongfully blamed for a loss, i.e. from unjustified claims) and the damaged and/or injured party.

Insurance Premium
Sum Insured
Comprehensive Insurance
Obligations of the Person Insured
Green Card

Insurance Premium under Third-Party Liability 

The premium payments for the third-party liability insurance depend on elements such as engine capacity or loading capacity ecc. In addition, most insurers base their premiums on the so called "bonus-malus" system. The definitions of this system vary from one insurance company to another so it's best to ask your insurance agent to provide you with the exact information concerning the premiums for your vehicle.

Sum Insured 

Austrian law dictates that motor vehicles should be insured to a minimum of 7 million euros. Whithin this amount physical injuries are insured to 5.8 million euros, material damages are insured to 1.2 million euros. Such as high figure may seem disproportionately high, but there are compelling reasons for it to be set at this level. Over recent years, as accidents have resulted in ever more serious consequences, the minimum sum insured has been gradually raised. Indeed, the prescribed ceiling is readily reached, especially in instances of multiple crashes or serious accidents involving bodily injuries and permanent disabilities. Beyond this limit, a driver shall be personally liable, directly from any property or other assets he/she may have! By paying a relatively small additional premium, one can increase insurance cover - to ten or fifteen million euros, for example.

Comprehensive Insurance 

While third-party motor vehicle insurance is for the benefit of others, non-mandatory comprehensive insurance safeguards the vehicle owner. The following types are available:

  • Partially Comprehensive Insurance: covers damage caused by theft, fire, accidents involving animals, avalanches, storm, flood, hail, and snow pressure.
  • Fully Comprehensive Insurance: in addition to the damage covered by partially comprehensive insurance, it covers all damages resulting from an accident, irrespective of fault or the malicious intent of other persons.

When buying a new car, it is recommended to take out fully comprehensive insurance; it is slightly more expensive than the partial option because it provides complete protection. In any event, you should obtain detailed information about the insurance cover - and the deductibles involved - before taking out an insurance policy.

Obligations of the Person Insured  

In addition to rights, policyholders also have a number of obligations. These include:

  • never driving without a driving license, and never allowing those who do not have a valid license to drive your vehicle.
  • never driving under the influence of alcohol, or narcotics or pharmaceutical drugs.
  • only taking as many passengers as are permitted in accordance with the vehicle’s registration.
  • having your vehicle checked regularly to ensure its roadworthiness.
  • always paying the insurance premium in due time.

Failure to fulfill any of these obligations may mean that the insurer refuses to cover a claim. In the event of an accident, the insurer will compensate injured parties; however, it may reclaim up to € 22,000 from the person causing the damage.

Green Card 

As a matter of principle, third-party liability insurance must be obtained for every motor vehicle driven on European roads. In the EU, an Austrian license plate serves as proof of insurance; however, when traveling to non-EU countries, your insurer will issue a so-called “Green Card” which proves your insurance cover.

You will find further information in our publication entitled Versicherungsleitfaden (available only in German).