guest health insurance switzerland

Guest Health Insurance in Switzerland Explained

October 7, 2022 - Daniel Dreier

Find out how to insure guests visiting Switzerland against medical emergencies and get coverage required for visas in this guide.

Guest insurance is health insurance which covers medical emergencies during visits to Switzerland. You can use it to insure guests who have no or little health insurance to protect them financially against medical costs for accidents or medical emergencies.

What does guest insurance cover?

This insurance normally covers unexpected medical emergencies as well as search and rescue operations, emergency medical evacuations (ambulances) and repatriation. Depending on the offer, accident insurance may either be included or available separately. Some guest insurance policies also have emergency dental insurance coverage.

Guest insurance does not cover medical tourism – visiting Switzerland to get medical care for pre-existing conditions.

Medical emergencies are covered up to a specific limit. Most insurers let you select your limit, with options typically ranging between 10,000 and 50,000 francs, though there are offers with higher coverage.

You can normally also choose between different insurance terms, with terms generally ranging between 5 days and 6 months. The options may be different for different coverages (accident insurance may have a shorter maximum term, for example). 

An insurance deductible generally applies to each claim. This is typically 200 francs. Some offers have a higher deductible for people above a certain age (from age 60 or 65, for example).

Can guest insurance be used for Schengen visas?

Switzerland is part of the Schengen area. A visitor or guest who needs a visa to enter Switzerland must prove that they have the equivalent of 30,000 euros of emergency medical insurance coverage as required by the Schengen agreement.

Guest insurance offers which include that amount of coverage provide a way for you to get the required health coverage for yourself as a visitor to Switzerland or, as a resident, for your visiting guests.

What about residents of EU or EFTA countries?

Visitors from EU or EFTA countries carrying a valid European Health Insurance Card are already insured against medical emergencies (including unexpected maternity) and required treatment for long-term health conditions. In these cases you can receive necessary treatment from public healthcare service providers under the same conditions as residents. Medical bills are passed on directly to their health insurance provider back home.

So getting guest insurance for visitors from EU or EFTA countries only makes financial sense if it complements their existing health insurance.

How do I get guest insurance?

Most guest insurance providers let visitors apply directly online and pay by credit card. Some can only be taken out by a resident of Switzerland on behalf of guests.

Guest insurance is offered by travel insurance providers like Allianz Travel, Europäische Reiseversicherung (ERV), and HanseMerkur as well as Swiss international health insurance providers, like Golden Care and Swisscare. Health insurance providers like CSS, Swica, and KPT also offer guest insurance, but the insurance is underwritten by travel insurance companies.

What does guest insurance cost?

Swiss guest insurance is relatively expensive. Getting 50,000 francs of coverage with a one-month term for a single, middle-aged adult can cost between 200 and 400 francs. Family policies cost more than that. Prices vary between insurers and individual offers, so comparing is important.

Are there alternatives to guest insurance?

  • Travel insurance: Many travel insurance offers include coverage for medical emergencies which meets the Schengen visa requirements, and these can offer better value. Take time to check local travel insurance offers in yours or your guest’s country of residence.

  • Health insurance: If the person visiting Switzerland has health insurance, check whether it covers medical emergencies while traveling abroad. The coverage may be sufficient to obtain a Schengen visa, and to cover accidents or medical emergencies which may occur.

  • Schengen insurance: Some foreign companies have special “Schengen insurance” which provides the coverage needed to get a Schengen visa. These can be cheaper than Swiss guest insurance.

Swiss guest insurance is a solution if your visiting guests or you as a tourist do not have adequate health insurance coverage, and cannot get cheaper travel or Schengen insurance.

More information:
Compare Swiss travel insurance offers now
Compare Swiss mandatory health insurance offers now
Compare Swiss supplementary health insurance offers now
Swiss international health insurance explained
Treatment outside of Switzerland: What is covered by compulsory health insurance

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