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Michael Eckert

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"Unsafe Territories" in Insurance Terms and Conditions

Query to the lawyer:

I read in a classic car magazine that you don't have insurance cover against vandalism if you park your car in an "unsafe area". This news surprised me. Until now I had assumed that Germany was a safe country and not a crisis area. If there are insecure places in Germany, then a map of crisis regions in Germany must exist? Insurance companies always make it very easy for themselves to escape liability by publishing such feeble-minded statements in order to refer to them in cases of damage.

And that is what the oldtimer lawyer means:

You are right. Insurance conditions are often anything but easy to read and even more difficult to interpret. Therefore there is also already for some time (also with us) the specialist lawyer for insurance right.

Vintage car insurances have very different regulations in the hull sector. Each insurance has its own "specialties", so that it is also very difficult to compare price and performance reasonably. With the regulation described by you it depends very much on the formulation whether the insurance must prove afterwards that the area was unsafe or whether you must explain that the area was "not unsafe". Of course there is no map and no traffic signs. Such a regulation only leads to a dispute in the event of damage and therefore makes no sense, even if the aim of the insurance is of course recognizable.

My advice:

Talk to the insurance company and get confirmation that this clause will be deleted. Otherwise, you can change your insurance at the next termination date, although you will of course have to study other insurance conditions (before signing!). However, insurance companies often let you talk to them about such individual case regulations.

Your Vintage Car Lawyer

Michael Eckert

rote Nummer

Red 07 number plate permissible for H number plates with season?

Many vintage car owners who have only been on the road with 07-number plates so far are currently playing with the idea of allowing their vintage cars to be used seasonally. So that they are still mobile, also outside the registered season, it would be the simplest, if one leaves the vehicles parallel on the existing red number registered. The red number is not a registration number, or do we see it wrong?

During the H-approval period from April to October you can use your car without restrictions. This does not apply to operation with a red 07 number. Paragraph 17 FZV regulates that the classic car may then only be used for the following journeys:

  • Participation in events which serve the preDsentation of vintage vehicles and the care of the motor vehicle technical cultural goods
  • Arrivals and departures to and from such events 
  • Test drives (see Paragraph 2 No. 25 FZV: Driving vehicle to another location to check the vehicle, also to carry out conversions or superstructures)
  • Trips for the purpose of repair or maintenance of the vehicles

A 07 number plate therefore only allows you a significantly more restricted use than H approval. A simultaneous approval on 07 number and H label is not permitted and would not make any sense. If an H-plate is assigned to a vehicle according to paragraph 9 FZV, it is not possible to use the 07-plate at the same time according to paragraph 17 FZV. (However, there is no case law from which this would result.) 

Therefore, journeys with your 07 number are only possible for the winter period, which the seasonal license plate excludes. In practice, however, I think that it would be much more economical for everyone to simply register your vehicle all year round. Otherwise you would have to periodically arrange for its entry in your 07er vehicle registration booklet at the end of October each year and for it to be cancelled again at the end of March. As the registration offices usually charge for both fees, the planned combination will not save you any administrative costs. Rather, the combination is more likely to result in additional expenditure in terms of time and money. In both cases there are costs for insurance and tax. The limited use is added. Thus the iurisdiction regards already a journey only to the gas station as inadmissible, as a judgement of the higher regional court Dresden resulted - which can lead even to the withdrawal of the 07er number.

Your Vintage Car Lawyer
Michael Eckert

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