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Unfortunately, there is no getting around the topic of insurance in Switzerland either. Especially since the Swiss are considered the best insured people in the world. But it is a chance to take a fresh look at everything and is not unimportant for the future cost structure.

Contents insurance

Contents insuranceThe contents insurance usually includes fire, natural hazard, water damage and theft insurance (at home). Even if the contents insurance is not obligatory, it is highly recommended to take out one. Some insurers also offer combined contents and personal liability insurance. It is worth checking whether damage against earthquakes, plane crashes and implosions of televisions are covered. These risks are not covered by every insurance company and can be expensive, even if the risk is small.

Depending on the insurance company, the deductible is between 200 and 500 Swiss francs per claim, thus protecting the insurance company against minor damage. Follow-up costs for evacuation, waste disposal, hotel accommodation, changing locks, issuing new identity cards, emergency glazing and rescue costs are also covered. There is the possibility of individual insurance or family insurance. In this case, family insurance is also possible and recommended for unmarried couples or shared flats.

Household contents include all movable property for private use, with the exception of motor vehicles, motor boats, larger sailing ships and aircraft, for which separate insurance policies should be taken out. Pets are regarded by the insurance company as movable property and are included in the value of the household insurance. Also insured are borrowed, leased and rented items. During a move the insurance cover continues to apply. After the move, you must notify the insurance company of your new place of residence within one month.

The decisive factor for the insurance premium is the fixed value of the household contents at replacement value. So what it would cost to buy the entire household contents including clothes at the present time. The sum insured should be chosen carefully, otherwise you run the risk of being over- or under-insured. If you are over-insured, you pay too much premium, because only the actual damage value is paid. But much worse is an underinsurance, in case of which one gets back the damage sum only proportionally in case of damage. In the concrete example it says that if you are underinsured by 30%, you have to pay 30% of the costs in case of damage. The optimal sum insured can be calculated by the insurance company. The number of persons, square meters of the apartment and the standard of equipment are included in the calculation. In order to avoid a creeping under- or overinsurance, it is advisable to keep an eye on the sum insured and to check it regularly.

Additional options that are usually offered are broken glass, simple theft away from home and valuables. As a tenant, you can usually save yourself the expense of breaking glass, unless you have expensive glass tables or aquariums. Damage to the washbasin and window glass is covered by the landlord, as this is part of the apartment. Whether the option "simple theft away from home" is worthwhile is controversial. I am of the opinion that this option is relatively expensive and hardly ever used due to the deductible. However, some advisors recommend it. Larger valuables and expensive jewellery should either be insured separately or listed separately in the contents insurance.

An important note; pay attention to the contract period.  With pleasure the household insurances with long contract terms are offered, that are then fast times 5 or 10 years. Better are contracts which run one year or one insists on a written, annual right of termination.

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 Living well insured in Switzerland

Personal liability insurance

This insurance covers damages caused to third parties. Those who do not have insurance are liable with all their assets and future assets. Therefore it is highly recommended to take out such an insurance. There is no obligation to take out liability insurance, but when applying for a flat alone, one is often asked whether a personal liability insurance has been taken out.

The sum insured is often 3, 5 or 10 million Swiss francs. It should be noted that personal injuries can often be very high. An additional option is driving other people's motorcycles or vehicles. If you do not do this anyway, you can easily do without this additional option.

A separate liability insurance must be taken out for your own car, the normal liability insurance does not cover these damages.

Animal owners' liability insurance

If your own animal breaks something or hurts someone, it can be expensive for the pet owner. Owners are generally liable for damages caused by their animals. For smaller pets, damage is often covered by personal liability insurance. For larger animals, such as dogs or horses, it is advisable to take out pet owner's liability insurance. In many cantons this is compulsory anyway.

Car insurance

Third party insurance for the car is compulsory and is included in the comprehensive insurance. This covers damage that you cause to other people or property with your vehicle. Damage to your own car is not covered by this insurance, but you need a partial or fully comprehensive insurance. The minimum insurance sum is 5 million, usually the sum is 100 million Swiss francs. This sum is also recommended, as high costs can quickly arise in the event of personal injury.

There are three ways to insure your car. Only liability only, partially comprehensive with third party liability or fully comprehensive (partially comprehensive and collision insurance). Without the conclusion of a liability insurance it is not possible to register the car.

Deductibles are usually available for new drivers (new drivers) and for collision insurance. It is also recommended to insure a bonus protection. So that you are not immediately upgraded at the first damage. Some insurance companies offer additional benefits in the form of discounts for WAB courses and driver safety training.

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Road user gets advice from his insurance company on the phone after the accident

Automobile Club

There are two automobile clubs in Switzerland where you can get optimal insurance coverage in case of a breakdown. The best known is the TCS - Touring Club Schweiz and the alternative is the ACS – Automobilclub Schweiz.

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