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Insurance in Switzerland 101

14th September 2012, Comments1 comment

Insurance in Switzerland 101
An introduction to compulsory and optional forms of insurance in Switzerland, from health insurance to home insurance in Switzerland.

The Swiss are among the world’s highest spenders on insurance: the average Swiss family spends one-fifth of their household budget on insurance.

Compulsory insurance

Health insurance
Health insurance is governed by the Federal Law on Health Insurance. Every Swiss resident is required to have basic health insurance (Soziale Krankenversicherung / Assurance maladie / Assicurazione-Mallatie) within three months of arriving in the country. There are approximately 90 health insurance companies that are authorized to provide compulsory medical insurance. Premiums vary, so it’s worth comparing insurers. Some employers offer discounted premiums through a group policy with a health insurer. Most individuals, however, must seek out their own insurance. Basic insurance provides the essential cover. In addition, each insurer offers supplementary cover that can be taken out on an individual basis and can be private, semi-private, and so on. Again, the benefits and premiums of health insurers can vary.

Accident insurance
In Switzerland, accident insurance is included in the services offered by health insurers. Employees are automatically insured by their employer. This enables you to reduce your private premiums accordingly.

Vehicle insurance
The Federal Law on Road Transport requires anyone driving a car or riding a bicycle on the roads to take out third-party liability insurance. Motor vehicle liability insurance covers all damage caused by you, as the driver of a vehicle, to other road traffic users. Personal injury is covered, as is damage to property. You must present an insurance certificate to the road traffic authorities in order to receive Swiss licence plates.

Optional insurance

Personal liability insurance
This covers any claims against you as a private individual, regardless of whether injury or damage is concerned. It also protects you against unjustified claims.

Household insurance
Household contents are defined as all items in your possession in your house or apartment, on your balcony and in your garden. This form of insurance covers fire and water damage, as well as loss through theft.


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1 comment on this article Add a comment

  • 19th June 2014, 12:54:09 CL posted:
    Ok, this is interesting. I am trying to find the actual law that makes it "mandatory" for me to have this insurance. It says "all persons domiciled in Switzerland must be insured for sickness and accidents within three months". But where is the law on this? This is a Federal law, but lacks a pre-amble so it is actually not lawful, it is legal and there is a big difference. Secondly, where is the definition of "person" because usually person refers to the "legal fiction" and not the human being, ie. I have a person, but I am not my person. The person is there to allow me to conduct commerce and create and take part in contracts, but not something they can use to act on my body. Can you tell me where the law is that says what a person is, and where the pre-amble of this health insurance law is?

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