Would you like to drive your car safely and self-determinedly into the future? Swiss Life answers the most important questions on motor insurance in Switzerland and explains how you can fully protect yourself against risk.

Is motor insurance compulsory in Switzerland?

Yes. You are required by law to take out motor liability insurance for the vehicle you intend to drive on public roads. If you don't have liability insurance, the driver and vehicle licensing office won’t register your car. You need proof of insurance, which your chosen insurance company will send electronically to the driver and vehicle licensing office.

What does motor liability insurance cover?

Motor liability insurance covers third-party claims for damage or loss caused by the vehicle being driven. These include the following:

  • damage to another person’s property
  • personal injury
  • injury to animals

Damage to your own vehicle is covered by part or fully comprehensive insurance. Unlike liability insurance, this is not compulsory, but highly recommended.

A woman takes her dog for a ride in her convertible.

Part or fully comprehensive cover?

One important question you should ask yourself before taking out insurance: is part or fully comprehensive insurance best for my vehicle?

If you buy a new car, fully comprehensive insurance makes sense. This is because if you write it off shortly after buying it, the consequences are likely to be severe if you have no cover. In fact, fully comprehensive insurance is compulsory if you lease a vehicle. If you drive a second-hand car, part comprehensive cover is probably sufficient, especially if the vehicle is older.

However, you should always consider your particular situation. How much did you pay for the car? What is your financial situation? How high should the premium be? How high or how low is the bonus level for fully comprehensive insurance? Will your children be driving the car?

Part comprehensive cover: what is insured?

Part comprehensive cover insures vehicle damage for which you are not responsible. This includes, for example:

  • Glass breakage (usually excluding headlights; may also be added to cover)
  • Theft
  • Damage caused by natural hazards, e.g. hail damage, avalanches, rockfalls, flooding, snowslides, storms
  • Damage caused by fire, e.g. by a short circuit
  • Collision with animals
  • Deliberate/malicious acts by third parties, e.g. breaking off exterior mirrors, antennas or windscreen wipers, puncturing tyres, pouring harmful substances into the fuel tank (damage such as scratches to paintwork or the car body by third parties is not covered)

Remember that part comprehensive cover does not insure damage caused by you to your own car.

Fully comprehensive cover: what is insured?

Fully comprehensive insurance covers collision damage to your car – even if you are responsible.

When should I choose part comprehensive rather than fully comprehensive insurance?

We recommend that you review your cover to check whether it’s worth switching to part comprehensive when your vehicle is around six to eight years old. Nevertheless, you should always bear your personal situation in mind: if you drive an expensive car or are on a low bonus level, it may be worth keeping your fully comprehensive insurance for longer.

Remember that a new car quickly loses value – 40% to 50% in the first two years. For this reason, insurance companies offer additional fair value solutions that you should definitely include for your car until it is eight years old.

How much does motor insurance cost in Switzerland?

The cost of motor insurance in Switzerland depends on a number of factors:

  • Vehicle model (list price; don’t forget accessories)
  • Annual mileage
  • Whether the vehicle is parked in a covered garage or outside
  • Number of accident-free years for the driver
  • Scope of cover including add-ons to suit personal requirements
  • Individual premium level and excess

How and when should I cancel my insurance?

Cancel it in writing and preferably by registered post. Please note, however, that a notice period may apply and that you cannot terminate your contract any time you like.

You can take advantage of the following opportunities to cancel your motor insurance in Switzerland:

  • Expiry of contract (as defined in the contract)
  • Annual right of termination
  • Premium increase
  • Claim
  • When changing or selling a vehicle
  • After three years of the contract term
A woman sits in her car looking at her dog in the backseat.

Arrange a consultation

Would you like to get the right insurance cover for your car? Request a consultation now and find out more.

Image sources: iStock, mixetto; Unsplash

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