car insurance tips

Car Insurance in Switzerland: Key Points to Consider

July 11, 2024 - Daniel Dreier

Find the key things to consider when getting car insurance in Switzerland in this guide.

Choosing the right car insurance is key to getting the most value for your money. Here, independent Swiss online comparison service lists the most important questions to ask when insuring your car in Switzerland.

Which third-party liability car insurance is the best?

Third-party liability car insurance is mandatory in Switzerland. You cannot drive your car on public roads unless you have it. Swiss laws set out the minimum required coverage, so there are very few differences in coverage. But insurance premiums and deductible models vary between offers, so comparing is important.

Other points to consider are:

  • The bonus-malus models used and the cost of adding claims forgiveness.
  • Whether roadside assistance is included.
  • How much it costs to add coverage for gross negligence.

Do you need partial-casco and/or full-casco car insurance?

Partial-casco car insurance is relatively affordable, and can be worth having even if your car is relatively old because it covers repairs caused by hail and other natural hazards. Just note that if your car is 8 years old or older, you will receive little or no compensation if your car is totaled (by a fire or severe hailstorm, for example).

Full-casco car insurance is relatively expensive. As a general rule, it is only worth having this insurance until your car is 8 years old (cars that have sentimental or investment value are possible exceptions to this rule). For cars older than that, the cost of insurance is high in relation to the cost of replacing the car with a different car of the same age. From the eighth year, you also receive very little compensation if your car is totaled.

If you need partial-casco insurance or possibly full-casco insurance, then you should compare the total cost of all the insurance coverages you need.

What hazards are covered?

There are notable differences in the coverage provided by different insurance providers. Some insurers cover the costs of towing and salvage, storage, and customs duties, while others do not. Some cover damage to personal property carried inside an insured vehicle or let you add this coverage, while others do not.

Coverage for vandalism, damage by wild animals and natural hazards varies between partial-casco insurance offers. Some insurers cover damage caused by drawing or spraying (graffiti) or cutting of convertible roofs, others do not. A handful of offers cover damage by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, but most do not.

Some insurers let you add parked car coverage to partial-casco car insurance, but most only let you get it in combination with expensive full-casco car insurance.

Take the time to consider which risks your car is exposed to and pick insurance offers that cover those risks.

How much can you claim if your car is totaled?

The compensation which you receive if your car is totaled varies enormously between insurers and offers. Which insurance provider and optional riders you use can mean the difference between getting back what you paid for your car and getting next to nothing.

How do claims affect your premiums?

Most Swiss car insurance providers use bonus-malus systems for their liability and collision car insurance. A handful of insurers use bonus-malus systems for partial-casco car insurance and parked car insurance as well.

Where do you plan to drive your car?

Geographical coverage varies between insurance offers. Most Swiss car insurance providers cover Europe, but exclude certain countries (Kosovo, Moldova, or Ukraine, for example). Some cover Middle Eastern and North African countries. Some policies cover countries that others do not. Make sure to review the geographical coverage of an offer to ensure that countries that you plan to visit are covered before you sign up.

Another point to consider is that some countries have very low coverage requirements for compulsory third-party liability insurance. If you frequently drive to covered countries that are outside of EFTA or the EU, using a car insurance provider that offers an underinsured motorist insurance rider for third-party liability car insurance is worth considering.

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Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at
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