Mr and Mrs Swiss like to insure what is dear to them. In our overview, we present all the important insurances for homeowners. Some you have to take out, others are voluntary. Which voluntary insurances you take out depends on your personal need for security and your risk capacity. Not everyone needs the same amount of insurance cover. Just as important as insurance for your home is financial security for your family in case something should happen to you or your partner.
Construction sites can be dangerous. If the crane operator drops his load on a neighbour's car or a playing child falls into a construction pit, you as the builder are liable. Therefore, take care of the insurance cover before the construction or conversion work begins:
One insurance is compulsory in all cantons except Geneva, Ticino and Valais, the buildings insurance, all others are voluntary. In the cantons of Obwalden, Schwyz and Uri as well as in the Principality of Liechtenstein, you can take out buildings insurance with any insurance company, in all other cantons only with the cantonal buildings insurance. It covers fire, fire or smoke damage and natural hazards such as landslides, rock falls, hail, floods, avalanches, rain, snow and melt water, snow pressure, snow slides, falling rocks or gale-force winds. It also covers damage caused by burst water pipes or water backing up from the sewage system. As with health insurance, buildings insurance can be extended with supplementary insurance.
How many and which supplementary insurances you need depends on your personal need for security and your risk capacity. These are five important supplementary insurances for your house or flat, from E for earthquake insurance to W for water insurance:
Condominium owners need the same insurance cover as homeowners. However, some insurance policies that you take out as a condominium owner only apply to your units. This is why condominium owners' associations must take out joint building insurance and building water insurance. It also makes sense to take out building liability insurance and insurance against burglary, because the insurance policies of the individual co-owners would not cover the damage to the broken door.
Because it's urgent when it happens: Report any damage to your insurance company immediately. Do not remove any broken components or objects until an expert has assessed the damage or you have received permission from the insurance company. You must report criminal offences such as graffiti on the wall of your house. Document damage in detail with photos, sketches or videos, which you can submit with purchase receipts or workmen's invoices to the insurance company for claims settlement. This is especially important for damage to household effects. If you need to have damage repaired, wait until the insurance company gives you the green light. Otherwise, without a written agreement, you risk being liable for the costs as the client.
You can not only insure your home ownership, but also your affordability in the event that something should happen to you or your partner. Without financial protection, affordability is at risk after a stroke of fate. This is especially true if the main breadwinner becomes unavailable. Often an income and a disability pension or a widow's and orphan's pension(s) are not enough to cover all housing costs (mortgage interest, ancillary costs and amortisation). With the capital from the life insurance, which is paid out after a stroke of fate, the family can repay part of their mortgage debt and reduce the financial burden. In this way, they can ensure affordability again and keep their home. This is especially important for the children, who should not be torn from their familiar surroundings in such a difficult situation.
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