Bonus Health Insurance

In Switzerland, the term “bonus health insurance” is used in reference to a bonus-malus system of claim-free discounts.

How it works: New policyholders pay premiums which are 10% higher than those paid by regular policyholders and shown in an official premium comparison. Assuming the policyholder does not make any claims over the years, they may see their premiums sink dramatically – up to a maximum of 45% - thanks to claim-free discounts.

Policyholders which remain claim free over a premium year benefit from a claim-free discount in the following year. When a policyholder makes a claim, however, they are bumped backwards to a higher bonus-malus premium tier, meaning they forfeit the last claim-free discount.

The following bonus-malus tier system is used:
First claim-free year: 10% discount.
Second claim-free year: 15% discount.
Third claim-free year: 25% discount.
Fourth claim-free year: 35% discount.
From the fifth claim-free year: 45% discount.

Important: The claim-free discount option is usually only offered with the standard model of compulsory health insurance. Affordable insurance models like the HMO, family doctor, telemedicine or pharmacy models do not let you choose the bonus insurance option. To benefit from claim-free discounts, you will have to stick with the same deductible from day one. Other disadvantages: Policies generally come with terms of more than one year, and in order to terminate your policy you have to give notice three months ahead of the end of the calendar year (rather than the regular one month notice period).

Because of this, the claim-free option is only worth it for healthy policyholders who do not expect to spend a lot on health care over the coming years.

Even for healthy policyholders, the claim-free option is not the most affordable option in many cases. You can often save more money by opting for a cost-cutting insurance model, choosing the highest deductible and getting insured by the most affordable health insurance provider.

Only a limited number of Swiss insurance providers make the claim-free discount option available in all cantons: Concordia, Easy Sana (part of Groupe Mutuel), Groupe Mutuel, Helsana and Visana.

The insurer info pages in the health insurance premium comparison clearly show whether or not a policy has a claim-free discount option.

You can also find all relevant health insurance policies which provide a bonus-malus options on the comparison results page by using the “Bonus insurance” filter.

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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of and an independent expert on banking and finance.