If you live in Switzerland and have a vehicle, there are a number of coverages to consider to ensure you are protected against the unexpected.
Third party liability
Third party liability insurance is compulsory vehicle insurance that will cover you up to the amount of 100M CHF.
It is important to note that this is not the same as personal liability insurance, although it performs a similar function in that it will cover any damage you may cause to a third party while driving.
Third party liability cover is the only compulsory vehicle insurance, but it is strongly recommended that you also consider additional insurance to ensure you are fully covered against any eventuality.
As a general rule, the majority of insurance providers will offer you a zero CHF deductible for third party insurance. However, for young and/or new drivers, a special condition may apply in which an additional deductible is required. For example, drivers under the age of 25 may have to pay a deductible of 1000 or 2000CHF in the case of a claim.
Cover against a whole range of additional events is called partial casco (Vollkasko in German). This can include:
- Theft of a vehicle
- Damage caused by natural elements (snow, storm, hail, landslide, avalanche)
- Damage caused by animals
- Glass breakage
- Theft of items in the vehicle
- Parking damage
- Malicious acts/vandalism
- Cyber attack
Comprehensive (or full casco) insurance will cover you for everything under partial casco as well as collision damage.
Additional accident insurance
It is possible to take out additional accident insurance cover for the driver of a vehicle and also for anyone travelling in a vehicle as a passenger. This includes death and disability benefits, and, in the case of hospitalisation and medical expenses, a daily cash allowance.
A range of extra insurances are also possible, including:
- Breakdown coverage
- Legal insurance
- Tyre damage
- Bonus protection
- Gross negligence
Purchasing a vehicle in Switzerland
You need to set up the insurance first to be able to register the vehicle at your cantonal driver and vehicle licensing agency (SAN – Service des automobiles et de la navigation / Strassenverkehrsamt / Sezione della circolazione).
Contact your insurance broker and provide the necessary information. If it is a second-hand vehicle, you can ask for a copy of the registration card, aka ‘grey card’, which you can send to your insurance broker with the rest of the information.
Importing a vehicle to Switzerland
Declare your vehicle at the border crossing. You will have to provide:
- Invoice or sales contract
- Registration document
- Import customs declaration
- Proof of origin, if available.
Once cleared, you will receive the 13.20A form that will allow you to register your vehicle with the driver and vehicle licensing agency of your canton of residence (SAN – Service des automobiles et de la navigation / Strassenverkehrsamt / Sezione della circolazione).
You will then have 12 months to contract Swiss vehicle and switch to Swiss plates. Please ensure that your existing policy is covering you in Switzerland in the meantime.
Registering your vehicle
Once you are happy with your quote, inform your insurance they are green for go. Then, it is only a matter of minutes. The insurance company will send the attestation to your cantonal driver and vehicle licensing agency where you can pick up your Swiss plates and the registration card of the vehicle (aka ‘grey card’).
NB: The attestation is transmitted instantly via a dedicated extranet, which means that you will not receive a copy of it.
Selling / Exporting your vehicle
The Swiss vehicle insurance cannot be terminated until the registration plates are handed back to the cantonal driver and vehicle licensing office. Inform your insurer of your intention of sale / departure and they will inform you of specific procedures, if any.