Valuables are a common feature in Swiss homes. Watches, pieces of jewelry, fine art, hand crafted musical instruments and precious metals are found in many households. Not surprisingly, break-ins are also fairly common in Switzerland. On average, 127 reported break-ins occurred every day in 2016 according to the Federal Statistical Office.
Are your valuables already covered by household insurance?
Swiss household insurance (personal property insurance) covers personal property held in your home against fire, natural hazards, water damage and theft. But even if the sum insured by your insurance policy adequately covers the full value of your personal property, coverage for valuables like cash equivalents and jewelry is often limited to a fraction of the total sum insured.
Coverage for jewelry is typically limited to just 20% of your policy’s sum insured – normally up to a maximum benefit of between 20,000 and 30,000 Swiss francs. Insurers significantly increase coverage when you store your valuables in an eligible safe. For example, the household insurance from Allianz provides up to 20,000 francs of coverage for jewelry kept at home outside of a safe but increases coverage to 70,000 francs for jewelry kept in an eligible safe. Built-in safes and freestanding safes with a weight of 100 kilograms or more are the standard at most insurance providers.
If you own a safe or are willing to have one installed, review the terms and conditions of your household insurance policy or inquire at your insurance provider to find out how much coverage you have. It may be that your household insurance already provides all the coverage you need.
What is valuables insurance?
Valuables insurance provides more extensive coverage for valuable personal property than regular household insurance. In addition to the hazards covered by household insurance, you can also add coverage for damage and loss.
While household insurance provides general coverage for all your personal property, valuables insurance only covers the specific property which is listed in your policy. Items which are not specifically included in your insurance policy are not covered.
Each item must be documented with purchase receipts or professional appraisals (in the case of property for which you do not have receipts). Providing the insurer with photographs detailing the condition of the property in question may also be required, and is recommended in any case as this will help you prove damages.
When hazards occur, the insurance covers the new value of your property as per the receipts or appraisals provided. Special limitations apply to jewelry: Jewelry which is not either worn on your person or kept in a safe is not fully covered. Typically, coverage is limited to 100,000 francs in this case, rather than the full sum insured. When you are not wearing jewelry, make sure to keep it in an eligible safe to ensure full coverage if a hazard occurs.
Typically, valuables insurance covers watches, jewelry and fine art, but you can also insure costly sports equipment, gemstones, antiques, musical instruments, furs, electronics, and many other high-value items.
Some insurers offer value-added services to policyholders. Services may include security consultation and assistance in tracing stolen property.
What does valuables insurance cost?
You pay premiums based on the insured value of the listed personal property. You choose if you want a deductible. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower the insurance premiums you pay.
As a general rule, annual premiums typically come to around 1% of the sum insured. If you insure property worth 200,000 francs, you can expect to pay around 2000 francs per year in premiums. However, premiums vary between insurance providers and the personal property in question, so requesting quotes from multiple insurers and comparing premiums is recommended.
Some insurance providers offer multiple-policy discounts when you take out valuables insurance in addition to household insurance.
Certain items – such as pieces of jewelry composed of precious metals – are subject to value fluctuations (when precious metal prices rise or fall, for example). Getting your property appraised regularly can help you avoid becoming underinsured (which could reduce or even endanger benefits) or overinsured (in which case you would pay more premiums than necessary).
Where can I get valuables insurance?
Swiss insurance providers which offer valuables insurance include Mobiliar, Helvetia, Zurich, Baloise, Allianz and AXA Winterthur.
Is valuables insurance worth it?
Valuables insurance is approximately 10 times more expensive than household insurance, but it provides much more solid coverage for specific items of high-value personal property.
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