Czech car insurance FAQ: A complete guide to vehicle coverage in the Czech Republic

From buying the right policies to what to do when you get in an accident and how to pause coverage while you're out of the country. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 18.08.2021 16:29:00 (updated on 19.08.2021) Reading time: 7 minutes

Having your vehicle insured in the Czech Republic is becoming easier and more convenient. The vast majority of car insurance issues can be done online (although you can, of course, go to the branch office as well) from arranging insurance to managing your contracts in the client application or reporting damage.

We've put together answers to a few basic questions about how to insure your car in the Czech Republic including what types of coverage you need and important Czech terms to know. Here's our handy guide to Czech car insurance and important things to know before you purchase your first policy.

What type of car insurance is every car owner required to have?

In the Czech Republic, there are two terms that need to be distinguished: compulsory liability (povinné ručení) vs. comprehensive insurance (havarijní pojištění). Compulsory liability insurance is a requirement for every registered vehicle (e.g. a vehicle with a license plate). It covers damage to health and property that you could cause to other people when operating your vehicle. However, it doesn't apply to damage caused to your car.

The situation is different in the Czech Republic compared to, for example, the UK or the United States. Here it isn't necessary for the policy to state all of the people to whom the insurance coverage will apply. Anyone, who is older than 18 years, who has a valid driving license for CZ, and has your permission can drive your car. If you are coming out of the EU you need to ask for an EU driving license.

Is comprehensive accident insurance necessary?

Even though comprehensive insurance (kasko) is not required by law it is something a vehicle owner should seriously consider. If you cause an accident, compulsory liability insurance will pay for the damage caused to the third party (car, health, property, or other damage) but it will no longer cover the cost of repairing your car.

The probability of an insured event requiring accident insurance is higher than for an accident requiring compulsory liability. Depending on the type of accident insurance, it can cover not only accident damage but also theft of the car, theft of property in the car, vandalism, and damage from the elements. It can cover, for example, damage caused by an accident involving an animal, a situation that is not covered by compulsory insurance.

Are there other types of insurance worth considering?

To protect the value of your car, you can get GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection). This additional insurance is usually offered for new cars and protects against loss of value. In case of total damage, the policy guarantees coverage up to the original price of the vehicle for two or three years. Without it, you get the market value of the car at the time of total damage, which can be considerably lower than the purchase price.

What affects the price of insurance?

The price of the insurance is influenced by several factors. For a policyholder, this is usually the age, place of residence, or the client’s accident history. However, some insurance companies have abandoned the above-mentioned factors, and it is more important to them how many kilometers the vehicle is driven annually.

On the Czech market, this is relatively a recent development, having been introduced by Allianz in 2016. In terms of billing, this system is similar to electricity or natural gas consumption. The insurance company will look at your last year's totals and, according to it, determine the advances for the next year, which take into account overpayment or arrears from the previous period.

The "no claim bonus confirmation" is a pdf document confirming your driving history. You can ask for this document from your current or previous insurance company and you can send it to the insurance company where you are applying for new insurance. Some insurance companies accept your driving history from abroad and will offer you a lower insurance fee based on this confirmation. When you leave the Czech Republic, you can also ask for this confirmation and use it abroad.

Allianz organizes a weekly, English-friendly "English Wednesdays" in their Customer Care office of Allianz HQ at Ke Štvanici 3, Prague 8 (walking distance from the Florenc metro and tram station). Non-Czech-speaking clients can come for non-binding advice and consultation about insuring their vehicles, reporting a claim, etc. in the Czech Republic. You can come any Wednesday 9 am-6 pm, or reserve a spot here.

Technical aspects that can affect the price of insurance include the type and age of the vehicle or engine power. Some insurance companies also offer a discount when arranging car insurance for another product. People should regularly update their policies to reflect the decline in the value of their vehicles. Added security devices can also help to lower the price of insurance.

Can I buy different types of auto insurance from different companies?

Yes, you can. There can be an advantage to keeping it all under one roof. You can transfer any bonuses from one policy to the other, and often get a discount for having multiple policies.

What other services does an insurance company offer?

Assistance services are usually available around the clock, and more and more people use an option called "direct settlement," meaning they make a claim with their own insurance company even though the damage was the fault of another participant in the event. The insurance company then pays for this damage from the client's third-party liability coverage and then seeks reimbursement from the party at fault.

It's necessary to have either filled and signed an accident report or the police report. This direct settlement can be useful anytime, especially when the accident is caused by the driver who is insured abroad, or when he doesn't have insurance. Also when you don't speak Czech and aren't familiar with the claims process in the Czech Republic, the direct settlement option can be convenient for you.

How should I document an accident?

Since 2009 Czech law requires you to make an account of the accident, even in cases where you don’t have to notify the police. There is a standard EU accident form that can be used which has an e-version. You can store it on your mobile phone, fill it in, sign it, and send it directly from the site of the accident.

Is my insurance valid in other countries?

The so-called green card, officially known as the International Motor Insurance Card, proves that the driver has insurance valid in the European Economic Area and some other territories that have agreements on honoring insurance. The card no longer has to be printed on green paper as of July 1, 2020. It can be on white paper instead, though some countries will continue to use green paper. This makes it easier to print at home if needed. Check with your insurer about the validity of the card in European countries which you plan to visit. For example, Turkey is on two continents. European insurance is usually valid only in the European part of Turkey. If you would like to drive to the Asian part you need to buy an extension of the insurance. It's possible to buy it at the Turkish border.

Can I track the owner of a vehicle from a license plate number?

Due to privacy laws, a member of the general public cannot find out the name of a vehicle’s owner based on the license plate. But they can find out the name of the insurance company that insures the car through an online search on the website of the Czech Office of Insurers. The insurance company, though, cannot pass on the name of the insured without consent.  

When do you not need to call the police due to an accident?

Under the following conditions, you do not need to call the police when a minor accident takes place:

  • The estimated damage on each car is a maximum of up to 100,000 CZK
  • There is no injury
  • There is an agreement by all participants
  • There is an accident form signed by both parties.

How can you suspend insurance on a car you aren’t using?

Decommissioning a vehicle or depositing the plates relieves you of the obligation to pay for the legally required insurance. You can use this option if you know that you will not be using the vehicle for several months for any reason, such as personal illness, long-term repairs, or seasonal use (for example a convertible). While the vehicle is not insured, you cannot drive on it. However, you can transfer it to a new owner or change the owner's permanent residence. To decommission a vehicle, you can visit any municipal office with extended powers, complete the required paperwork, and deposit your plates. When you want to use your car again, visit the same office where you applied for the decommissioning and retrieve the plates. If the decommissioning lasts for more than 12 consecutive months, the owner of the vehicle must document where the vehicle is located and the purpose of its use.

Do you need to buy car insurance? Allianz pojišťovna sells insurance at its individual branches as well as online. It also organizes weekly "English Wednesdays" at its Allianz HQ (Ke Štvanici 3, Praha 8) from 9 am-6 pm where clients can come for non-binding advice and consultation in English. You can also book an appointment here. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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