Last year I've decided to get a bike insurance. Since then it has been a year and now I have received this letter and I am not sure if there is something I still need to pay or if they are reminding me that I need to pay in order to keep the insurance.

I am very confused by the meaning of the letter because of its formulation and word-choice.

  • "Praemie" and unbeglichen" (is it an unsettled compulsory payment?)
  • these expressions "wir erlauben uns daher..." ""ersuchen um eheste Überweisung des offenen Betrages"makes me think that they are just reminding me to pay if I want to keep the insurance but that I don't have to.

Is my assumption correct?


  • 1
    Apart from the punctuation situation xD ... What do you say about the actual meaning of the letter? – E.V. Apr 26 '19 at 9:05
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    Die Prämie is payment and this insurance company has sent you a friendly reminder you have to pay the money ASAP. If you don't, they will sent you a demand note with a surplus to pay. You can't just ignore it. Usually, insurance contracts are automatically renewed each year if you don't terminate them three month before the automatic renewal. – Janka Apr 26 '19 at 9:15
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    It is highly unlikely that you can leave the contract by just not paying. – Carsten S Apr 26 '19 at 9:15
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    Oh, it's Austria. I think it's the same over there. Austria isn't Bizarro Germany or vice-versa. Most customs are ridiculously identical. – Janka Apr 26 '19 at 9:17
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    Polizzennummer finde ich ungewöhnlich - kenne nur Policennummern. :) Sicher ein Austrozismus. – user unknown Apr 26 '19 at 9:18

You are right: your insurance reminds you politely to pay for your insurance.

To your questions:

"Prämie" is insurance premium or insurance fee
"wir erlauben uns daher" is a very polite and formal form for a request.
"unbeglichen" means indeed unsettled

But the problem could be, that you have to pay the premium in any case. If you don't want to continue the insurance, you have had to cancel the insurance. It could be, that your insurance prolong automatically, if you did not cancel it punctual. But here we leave German SE and change to Law SE - so have to check your contract!

So: Yes, probably you have to pay it.

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    In the UK at least, very polite and formal register is usually indicative of you being in serious trouble, whereas less polite usually means bluster. (For example if a police officer nods and says "hi" they maybe just recognise you, if they say "Hello, Sir" then you are in trouble. How would you interpret the politeness and formality of this request in a German cultural context? – Dannie Apr 26 '19 at 11:12
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    @Dannie: No trouble. This is just a polite reminder. When you get a letter "Betreff: Erste Mahnung... Trotz vorangegangener Aufforderung haben Sie immer noch nicht... blah blah", you may assume that trouble is on its way. But "serious trouble" only comes after "Letzte Mahnung". I've once had "Es ist sicher Ihrer Aufmerksamkeit entgangen" which is pretty much middle-finger-up-polite. As it happened, I had really just (genuinely) misplaced and forgotten the bill. Just pay, and there be no bad feelings, no SCHUFA or anything. – Damon Apr 26 '19 at 11:48
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    It's just the usual first letter the send automatically for unpaid insurances. If it's not paid, they'll send a "Einschreiben" (registered letter) and then "Mahnungen" (with additional costs). The only way to not pay is to cancel the insurance before the next automatic extension (so best right now for next year). That even works online – Josef says Reinstate Monica Apr 26 '19 at 13:23
  • I'd write my own answer but this one's close enough I guess.... > "wir erlauben uns daher" is not polite nor formal. the polite part is giving you another "deposit slip" for you to pay them. "offener betrag" is unpaid amount. As the other people have said if you got this insurance there's very little chance of you not paying. Legally you owe the amount they're requesting and they may very well send someone to collect it. – xyious Apr 26 '19 at 17:08
  • I suggest to remove the initial "You are right." The OP's basic assumption is "that they are just reminding me to pay if I want to keep the insurance but that I don't have to", and that assumption is incorrect (and going by that assumption could have undesirable consequences for the OP, such as at least a minor administrative fee upon the next "reminder"). – O. R. Mapper Apr 27 '19 at 7:54

ersuchen um eheste Überweisung des offenen Betrages

is a polite but firm way of saying: please transfer the money you owe us as soon as possible.

according to them, you definitely owe them, and paying is absolutely not optional.

there may be consequences for not paying and there may still be a way to cancel, but this is not the right place to find out about those.

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