It is important to have them. But there may also be good reasons to cancel insurance policies. For example, because circumstances have changed. Or because another provider offers the same insurance services at a lower price. But giving up is not the same as giving up. There is an extraordinary ending and an ordinary one.
Policyholders can only give an “extraordinary notice,” also known as a “special notice,” under certain conditions. “Usually after a premium increase without increasing insurance coverage or after a claim,” says Sandra Klug of the Hamburg consumer advice center.
There are exceptions: “With certain policies, the policyholder does not have a special right of withdrawal in the event of a premium increase,” says Jörg Asmussen of the German Insurance Association (GDV). These include pension or endowment insurance, Riester insurance, risk insurance, and accident and disability insurance.
Special right of termination for insurers
Important to know: In the event of a loss, the insurance company also has the option of issuing an extraordinary notice of termination. The supplier has the right to terminate the contract within one month from the resolution of the claim.
And what is “ordinary termination”? This is the case when the ordinary right of withdrawal is exercised. This is possible without cause in compliance with the notice periods. Timing and information can be found in the contract terms and product information sheet.
“Usually contracts must be terminated at the end of one year of insurance,” says consumer advocate Klug. A period of three months often applies. For motor vehicle insurance, the term is one month.
Non-cancelable life insurance
Different rules apply to endowment insurance. “Anyone who pays monthly can cancel monthly and anyone who pays annually can cancel annually,” says Sandra Klug. Attention: Rürup contracts cannot be canceled at all, but you can set them up free of charge. Riester’s contracts can be terminated, but then allowances and tax benefits must be repaid.
By the way: an insurer cannot cancel a policyholder’s life insurance. “This is prohibited by law to protect customers,” says Asmussen. In the case of private pension insurance, termination by the provider is also not allowed.
Avoid form errors
Consumers must send termination notices by certified mail or by fax with a transmission report. It is also possible to give notice of cancellation by email. In addition to your own address, insurance number and time of termination, alternatively “as soon as possible”, must be indicated in the respective letter.
Don’t forget: revoke the direct debit authorization. It is also important to always have confirmed receipt. “The notice period is met if the notice of termination reaches the supplier within the term,” emphasizes Klug. In the case of termination by letter, the deciding factor is not the postmark, but the date of receipt of the termination letter by the insurance company.
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