Everyone who owns a car in Switzerland must be covered by car insurance. This type of private insurance will cover you if you are found liable for an accident. You also need to have purchased an insurance policy to register a car in Switzerland. The amount of coverage you receive is dependent on the type of policy you take out.
Who needs to take out car insurance?
All drivers in Switzerland must have at least a basic form of car insurance, in Switzerland, the car is insured with a number of registered drivers, which could be coworkers if you are looking for a job that requires travel, or other members of your family. If you are learning to drive, you must learn in a car that has third-party insurance.
Insurance covers you in case your vehicle is damaged or stolen, or if you are deemed liable to pay for damage done to another vehicle or person in a road accident.
Swiss car insurance providers
There are many registered car insurance providers in Switzerland. These companies offer a diverse range of policies to cater to your specific needs. Some of the largest car insurance companies in Switzerland are:
- Zurich Insurance
Types of car insurance in Switzerland
Broadly speaking, there are three different types of car insurance in Switzerland, which each provide a different level of cover. Simple (third-party) insurance is the minimum level of insurance that all drivers must have.
More comprehensive policies like partial comprehensive and fully comprehensive insurance give you greater security in more situations. They typically have higher monthly premiums, but if you were to be involved in an accident, you would benefit from having better coverage. Additional cover can include more punctual roadside assistance or replacement cars while your car is being repaired.
Basic cover car insurance
Basic car insurance is the minimum level of cover required for each car in Switzerland. This type of insurance covers material and personal damage inflicted on third parties during accidents. It does not cover other potential costs. For greater benefits such as theft and glass cover, it is recommended to take out partial or comprehensive insurance.
Partial comprehensive insurance for cars
Generally, partial comprehensive cover expands the situations where you are covered for damage to your vehicle. With partial insurance, you are covered for theft, glass breakages, vandalism and fire. Partial cover is recommended for drivers who do not have secure parking at home and work, or for those with more expensive vehicles.
Comprehensive car insurance in Switzerland
Comprehensive cover is highly recommended in Switzerland as it covers all damages caused to both you and third parties in the event of an accident. Comprehensive insurance goes above partial and basic cover to provide total cover for any damage inflicted on your vehicle. This cover is especially recommended for cars that are more than four years old and that are expensive to repair. This additional cover is usually marked as “Kollision” in your insurance bill.
Services included in Swiss car insurance
As well as different levels of cover, each car insurance policy can be tailored with a selection of additional services. These services are used to assist you in the event of an accident. They can also grant you perks such as replacement vehicles.
Replacement of vehicle
Replacement cars, often called “loss of use” in insurance policies, is the ability to take out a substitute car while yours is being repaired. If your car is found to be a write-off and is irreparable, this type of cover also funds a full-time replacement. To some extent, all basic car insurance policies will contain this type of cover.
Roadside assistance will come to your aid should you break down while driving. The service includes roadside maintenance and rescue. Although it is not always included in the basic cover, it is advisable to take out this cover as it avoids the complicated business of exiting a motorway in Switzerland in a broken-down car.
Part of all basic car insurance policies, negligence cover is the protection against your actions potentially reducing the amount of coverage available to you if you suffer an accident. Although universal, some insurance providers may determine whether they abide by this policy by judging how negligent you were in response to an accident. Cases where this might be done range from deliberate endangerment leading to an accident and criminal offenses such as speeding or driving under the influence.
Headlight and glass cover
This insurance element covers the cost of any glass items that were damaged by an accident or by theft. The policy is designed to assist with cars that have high repair or replacement costs for headlights and other glass fittings. The policy is typically included in partial comprehensive cover.
Parking damage insurance provides cover to damage caused while the vehicle is parked. This is useful if you have to park on the street regularly and do not have a garage at home or at work. This cover is only available in comprehensive policies. Be aware that the cost of this may increase or decrease depending on your type of housing and whether you park your car on the street or in a garage.
Passenger accident insurance
Passenger accident insurance covers the full injuries of you and any passengers in the event of an accident. This cover can be chosen as an add-on to all policies. Please be aware that most passenger and personal injuries while driving can be covered by accident and occupational disease insurance. This cover is recommended if you regularly have passengers in your car that are not currently working in Switzerland.
Does Swiss car insurance have a no claims bonus?
Although Switzerland does not have a no-claims bonus system for car insurance, some providers have what is called a “bonus protection”. A bonus protection is a calculation that some insurers make to determine how likely you are to suffer an accident. They then take this calculation and offer a discount in the form of a bonus level. A bonus level is a percentage of the total premium that you offer to pay instead.
In many cases, this can mean that you pay 30 percent of a total annual premium instead of full price. Then, if you do have to claim on your insurance, your bonus level, and therefore the amount you must pay for premiums will increase.
Criteria used to apply for car insurance in Switzerland
When applying for car insurance, your insurance provider will ask for the following information:
- Details of the car you are insuring. This can be make, engine size, transmission, age, horsepower and the number of doors.
- Cost of any accessories or modifications made to the car.
- How often you use a car, calculated as kilometres per year.
- Whether your car is private or for a business in Switzerland.
- County (canton) of residence as well as home address.
- Whether you or your employer has a garage.
- Basic personal information, age, gender, date of issue for your driver’s licence, citizenship.
- Type of residence permit for Switzerland.
- What extra coverage you would like and the date you want cover to start.
How much does car insurance cost in Switzerland?
Once you have filled in the relevant information, your insurer or price comparison website will produce the best deal for you. This is typically based on the cost of the vehicle and the experience / age of the driver. Costs do vary depending on your criteria, but an annual premium in Switzerland can usually range from 1.000 to 5.000 Swiss francs.