Home insurance is not compulsory, however we strongly recommend you consider how best to protect your belongings, your home, if you are an owner, and yourself against the unexpected. In Switzerland, there are three types of home insurance to consider.
Household contents insurance
Household contents insurance protects the belongings that you bring into your home from external forces such as fire, water damage, or theft. You can choose the level of cover, which can range from minimal to comprehensive. It is a good idea, however, to insure your items for a sum that is as close as possible to their replacement value.
This insurance covers anything you bring into the home, including clothing, jewellery, electrical appliances, and furniture. For a comprehensive list of what can be covered you should check with insurance providers.
You can also choose to take out additional insurance to cover things such as:
- Theft away from the home
- Accidental damage to personal belongings
- Cover for follow-up costs
- Home assistance services, such as removal of wasps nests, credit card blocking, and locksmiths.
Please note: if you live in the cantons of Vaud or Nidwalden, your household contents insurance does not include coverage against fire or natural elements. Coverage for this must be organised separately through the mandatory cantonal provider.
Personal liability insurance
Personal liability insurance is a relatively inexpensive insurance that covers damage to a house or apartment and the fixed fittings. It is not compulsory but is highly recommended in order to avoid what can be very costly consequences. It is also likely that a prospective landlord/agency will ask for proof that you already have this insurance in place.
Personal liability insurance is sometimes referred to as ‘third party’ insurance because it covers not only damage to a property but also to property belonging to a third party. An example is if you drop a camera that has been lent to you. This insurance can be taken out on an individual or family basis.
Please note: while personal liability insurance can often be found on the same policy as household contents insurance, it is not the same type of cover and it is advisable to have both in place to ensure you are fully covered.
If you own a property, you should consider buildings insurance. This covers the building itself and any fixed fittings, such as kitchen and bathroom units, against fire, water damage, and theft. Just like household contents insurance, it can be tailored to suit your needs, and can include coverage for:
- Graffiti removal
- Locksmith services
- Damage caused by rodents
Please note: when buying a property, you have 30 days to decide whether or not you would like to continue with the current owner’s buildings insurance. If you do not say ‘no’ within this time, the insurance is transferred into your name.