christmas insurance guide

Insurance in the Christmas Holidays: Questions and Answers

December 12, 2023 - Daniel Dreier

The holidays bring with them a number of special risks. Here, answers the most important insurance questions.

From hosting guests to candlelight, the joy of the season is accompanied by certain risks. This guide tells you which insurances cover these risks.

How am I insured against fire damages?

Statistics from the association of Swiss cantonal buildings insurance schemes (VKG / AECA) show that fires caused by candles spike massively during the Christmas season. There are three different kinds of insurance that cover damages caused by fire:

  • Buildings insurance: Also known as property insurance, this insurance is mandatory in many cantons. If you own your own home, this insurance covers it against the risk of fire.

  • Personal liability insurance: If a fire that you are responsible for damages somebody else’s property - including a rented home - your legal liability is covered by your personal liability insurance, if you have one.

  • Household insurance: Fire damage to your furniture and other personal possessions can be covered by household insurance.

Important: Damages are only fully covered if you exercise due diligence. That includes not leaving fires unsupervised. Household insurance and personal liability insurance providers generally give you the option of adding a due diligence waiver to your policy, and having this rider is recommended.

How am I insured against theft?

The rush of Christmas shopping and celebrating presents many opportunities for pick pockets and petty thieves to steal parcels, mobile phones, and purses. These risks can be covered, at least in part, by the optional simple theft away from home rider for Swiss household insurance. If your credit card includes purchase protection as a cardholder benefit, then you can claim on this insurance if things you pay for with your card are stolen shortly after you buy them.

Are the presents I buy online insured?

Damages during shipping are not normally covered by the merchant, depending on the terms and conditions of the sales agreement. Parcels you order may be stolen during delivery or from your entrance. Many cyber insurance offers include coverage for online shopping that covers some or all of these risks. Some Swiss credit cards include purchase protection and shipping insurance as a complementary benefit. Alternatively, many merchants offer one-off delivery insurance when you make a purchase.

Can presents be insured against accidental damages?

If a joyfully-received present gets broken by accident, then having a comprehensive insurance rider on your household insurance can save the day. If you pay for your gifts with a credit card, check whether your credit card has purchase protection. Purchase protection covers your purchases against accidental damage for a certain amount of time.

Am I insured against paying too much?

Some Swiss credit cards include price protection insurance. If you buy something using a credit card that has this benefit and then find the same item being sold for much less, you can claim on this insurance to have the difference reimbursed.

Can I insure the risk of unwanted gifts?

No matter how good you are at choosing the right gift, there is always a chance that one of your gifts will be given a cold shoulder. Many merchants let you return items in mint condition to the store within a certain amount of time. Some Swiss credit cards have guaranteed returns insurance. If a merchant does not let you return a purchase, you can return it to the insurance provider instead, and get reimbursed.

Are trip delays and cancellations insured?

Many people travel before, during, or after the holidays in order to spend time with friends and family or to take a winter get-away. The trip cancellation coverage included in Swiss travel insurance offers covers your losses if you are forced to cancel a trip because of getting sick, or certain other hazards. A few Swiss credit cards give you this insurance as a complimentary benefit. 

If an airline cancels or delays a flight, then your Swiss airline passenger rights apply.

Are damages caused by fireworks covered by insurance?

New Year’s Eve and fireworks go hand in hand. Legal liability for damage to other people or their property by you is generally covered by your personal liability insurance as long as you observe due diligence requirements (or have a due diligence waiver). However, it is crucial that you follow legal regulations for the use of fireworks in order for possible damages to be fully covered by personal liability insurance.

More on this topic:
Financial checklist: Things to take care of before the year ends
Insurances to have in Switzerland

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