Insurance

We assure you a clear overview of insurance needed, consult you as an independent broker and stand right at your side for whatever concern - from policy closure, across support and damage claim, up to cancellation or modification - you might have.

Some forms of insurance are compulsory for everyone living in Switzerland. All insurance companies are obliged to insure customers, and all offer exactly the same basic benefits. Other insurances are not compulsory, but very recommendable.

The compulsory forms of insurances in Switzerland are the following:

… for everyone

  • Basic health insurance (incl. accident for non-employed)

  • Motor vehicle insurance for vehicle owners

  • Building insurance for proprietaries

… for employees

* are deducted from the salary in employment

  • Accident insurance*

  • State and disability pension (AHV/IV; 1st pillar)*

  • Occupational pension (BVG; 2nd pillar)* (obligatory in employment only)

  • Unemployment insurance (ALV)*

Not obligatory, but very recommandable insurances are:

  • Householder's insurance

  • Personal liability insurance

  • Sickness day allowance insurance* (in case of self-employment, covered in employment by employer)

Persons and employees in Switzerland are obliged to cover themselves and their families with insurances in certain areas. In addition to private health insurance, which is compulsory for all (young and old), other personal allowances and contributions to collective insurance, so-called social security contributions, are also to be carried out through employment. The latter comprises state pension insurance, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance, each known as AHV, IV and ALV. In the employment relationship, such social contributions are made directly through payroll deductions. Self-employed persons are subject to other regulations and have to take care of themselves.

Compulsory insurances

Basic health insurance

The basic health insurance covers the costs of cure in case of illness and accident, as well as maternity services. These include approved drugs, laboratory testing, transportation and prevention. New residents must conclude such a basic health insurance at the latest 3 months after moving into Switzerland. Anyone who intends to stay in Switzerland for less than 3 months must still conclude such a basic health insurance against illness or provide appropriate cover for a foreign insurance system.

The basic health insurance offers different options regarding the design of the personal contribution and the various insurance models. The following points should be noted:

  • The standard (minimum) is CHF 300 per year. This means that the cost of medical services and drugs must be absorbed by yourself. The basic insurance will cover only for costs above this amount.

  • The chosen amount is based on the premium to be paid. With a choice of the highest of CHF 2'500.-, a reduction of up to 50% on the premium can be achieved.

  • As soon as this annual amount is exceeded, the policyholder must continue to bear a limited amount of the costs for all additional costs (deductible). This deductible currently amounts to 10% of the total costs (20% for some drugs) and is capped at CHF 700.- per year for adults and CHF 350.- per year for children.

  • Alternative insurance models, such as the HMO model, further reduce the premium contribution at the expense of a limited choice of doctors.

  • You should request and compare various offers for a selection of combinations of franchises and insurance models to find the ideal insurance policy for your needs and budget.

  • You can change your policy at the end of each year or cancel and modify your health insurance model. In such a case, the current insurer must be informed by the end of November.

Motor vehicle insurance

In order to be able to get a license plate from the Road Traffic Licencing Department of Switzerland for a vehicle, the vehicle owner must provide a motor vehicle liability insurance. This compulsory part covers damage to persons and property caused with the operation of the vehicle.
Insurance coverage against damage to your own vehicle is optional (see below)

Accident insurance

Employees are compulsory partially or fully insured through their employer for costs resulting from occupational or non-occupational accidents, and occupational diseases - mostly through the Swiss Accident Insurance Institution (Suva). The employee owes the entire amount of the premium and does at least cover the costs for the occupational part. The non-occupational accident (NBU) premium costs are deducted directly from the employee's salary.
Persons who are not employed, such as life partners or children, are generally not covered by such an accident insurance of an employer. Therefore, persons who are not subject to an employment relationship are obliged to insure their accident insurance via their basic health insurance.

Social Security Contributions

Switzerland has a social security system that ensures the most important social security institutions for its residents. This is mainly - but not exclusively - based on the "three-pillar principle" according to Article 111 of the Federal Constitution.

  1. The first (state) pillar (Art. 112) includes old-age and legacy insurance (AHV), disability insurance (IV) and supplementary benefits (EL), which are intended to ensure adequate safeguarding of the livelihood requirement.

  2. The second pillar (Art. 113) includes Occupational Benefit Plans (BVG), which, in addition to covering the basic needs of the first pillar, should enable the usual standard of living in a pleasant way.

  3. These first two pillars are government-provided and mandatory. The third pillar is based on a private voluntary part of the pension plan.

The two compulsory pillars will be complemented with other compulsory social benefits. On the one hand, contributions to the unemployment insurance (ALV) and the insurance for loss of earnings compensation (EO) must be paid. Thus, on the one hand, you are protected against unemployment and can claim compensation for gainful employment in the case of military or civil service, as well as motherhood.
All these social security contributions are deducted at legally defined rates directly from your salary.

Building insurance

An insurance covering damage to the building is obligatory for property owners. The building is protected for a modest amount from fire, explosion and natural disasters.
The personal belongings (furnishing, etc.) can optionally be further covered by a house insurance on a voluntary basis (see below).

  

Personal liability insurance

Personal liability insurance protects against damage to third parties. Most insurance companies each offer an individual policy or a household or family package. In tenancies, a cover is often required through a private liability. This is common in the French part of Switzerland.

Household contents policies cover theft, loss or damage to furniture or other furnishings, as well as the loss of personal belongings. The amount of the premiums will depend on the cover provided and the value of the household contents. Household contents insurance is often taken out in combination with third-party liability or building insurance.

Householders may also wish to take out valuables insurance to cover expensive items such as works of art or jewellery.

 

Legal expenses insurance covers the financial risks associated with legal disputes.

Sometimes legal expenses cover is already provided under health insurance or another insurance policy. In the event of a legal dispute, it is generally advisable to consult a lawyer.

Life insurance policies offer a wide range of options and will have either a savings or an investment component. However, they can also be designed to provide risk insurance or a retirement pension.

In addition to mandatory third-party liability motor insurance, semi-comprehensive and fully comprehensive cover is also available. Semi-comprehensive insurance typically covers theft and damage caused by vandalism, fire, hail, storms and collisions with animals. Comprehensive insurance covers all other damage sustained by your own vehicle.

Passenger insurance covers injuries to passengers. It makes particular sense where passengers are not covered by accident insurance, for example visitors from abroad.

Security deposit insurance is an advantageous alternative to the classical security deposit account (rental deposit account) offered by banks. You pay affordable annual premiums instead of a large amount into a tenant's deposit account, thus enjoying greater security and flexibility.

* are deducted from the salary in an employment