All cars are required to have civil responsibility cover as a minimum which covers injury and damage inflicted on a third party while both the comprehensive coverage – which covers collision, theft, vandalism, etc. to your car – and accident insurance for passengers are optional.
There are three kinds of insurance available to auto users in this country: (1) civil responsibility (2) comprehensive coverage, and (3) accident insurance.
Third-party liability insurance
- Covers third-party bodily injury and damage to property as a result of operating an insured vehicle, regardless of the person that was driving the vehicle at the time that the liability was caused
- Depending of the type of vehicle, the Road Traffic Act prescribes minimum guaranteed coverage. For instance passenger vehicles are guaranteed coverage of up to CHF 3 million
- The injured party has direct right to take course of action against the holder’s insurer as opposed to the policyholder.
- Car insurance generally includes comprehensive and passenger insurance, however this is not mandatory
- If you are an individual who is fully dependent on your vehicle but do not have sufficient financial means to replace it immediately if it needs to be repaired or is damaged or lost obtaining a comprehensive insurance on your vehicle will cover you in such events.
- Coverage may be restricted to damages to the vehicle caused due to theft, natural calamities, acts of God, cracked windshields, fire or animals.
- If you obtain a fully comprehensive insurance in addition to the above risks you will be protected from damages caused to your vehicle due to collision.
- Fully comprehensive insurance is governed by a bonus-malus system or a reward-penalty system which rewards the policyholder if he/she has made no claims for a certain number of years and penalises the claimant with surcharges if he/she is at fault in an accident. This system varies from company to company and is not used in the restricted version of comprehensive coverage.
- This optional level of coverage protects the policyholder from bodily damage to the driver and passengers.
- Coverage includes medical costs, daily compensation for a hospital stay, inability to work etc.
- It can be taken out separately for the driver, front-seat passenger or for all passengers.
- The Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) advises that this policy is particularly beneficial for vehicle owners who frequently transport passengers and are uncertain as to their accident insurance coverage.
- The insured sums can be chosen freely.
Insuring a car in Switzerland is both mandatory and far more expensive in comparison to other countries and varies considerably from one company to the next. For example insuring an Opel Vectra 2.01 16V Sport which has a listed price of CHF 38,000 can cost up to CHF 1,644 per annum for partial insurance and up to CHF 2,528 per annum for comprehensive insurance.