Overview Insurance: New in Switzerland

Here is an overview of the insurances you need as a private person in Switzerland.

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Health insurance

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Standard model:

You have free choice of doctor among all Swiss FMH doctors. If you have a health problem, simply go to any FMH doctor in Switzerland. It is the simplest and freest model, but therefore also the most expensive.

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Family physician model:

In this model, you must designate a primary care physician to see for each initial consultation. This doctor will refer you to specialists as needed. The chosen doctor either comes from a list provided by the health insurance company, or can be freely chosen depending on the à clarify this with your consultant for the time being.
This restriction gives you a variable discount between 10-17% as opposed to the premium in the standard model.

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HMO model:

You choose a physician network, a physician center, or a physician from an HMO list provided by the insurance company and contact the specified center/physician in each case. Through this restriction you also have a variable discount between 10-17%.

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Telmed model:

Here you must contact a medical call center before any medical consultation (except for emergencies, gynecologists, ophthalmologists and dentists). In some models the discussed procedure is binding, in others you only have the call duty and can accept the procedure as a “recommendation” and follow it or not. Again, the discount is from 10% to 17%.

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Mixed model pharmacy/primary care physician/HMO/telemedicine:

is a combination model such as Assura‘s “PharMed” model, where you specify a primary care physician (primary care physician model) and at the same time agree to purchase the medications from an Assura partner pharmacy (pharmacy model). Or with Swica ‘s “Favorite Sante” you choose a doctor from the HMO list (HMO model), and are free to choose whether you now go to the chosen doctor, or consult the medical hotline directly (Telmed model), and so on. The discount varies from 10% to 17%.

When choosing an annual deductible, consider financial, health and personal circumstances. The premium savings are compared with the possible or probable costs and the ideal variant is calculated strategically.
We will be happy to show you a calculation personally tailored to you.

Tip: Set aside the premium you save each month and if you need to pay a medical bill or need medication you already have the money to do so. After a certain period of time, you will accumulate a considerable capital with this system, which you can use for health care costs in case of emergency, or ideally have at your free disposal.

The basic insurance only covers a maximum of twice the amount that would be paid in the canton of residence. In countries such as America, Canada, and other transoceanic states, this would not be enough, as they cost far more than “just” double. For example, in America, one day of hospitalization can very quickly cost up to CHF 10,000. The customer would therefore have to pay the difference himself if he has not taken out a corresponding supplementary insurance policy for this purpose.

From the basic insurance you receive for transport costs 50% up to max. CHF 500. However, if you are transported by ambulance this can cost several thousand francs depending on the distance to the nearest hospital. Return transport to Switzerland is also not usually covered by basic insurance. Again, it pays to have additional coverage to cover this gap.

In Switzerland, basic coverage only pays the rate at the place of residence and work. If you now go to a more expensive hospital outside of these cantons, for example to see a specialist who does not work in your canton of residence or work, the difference in costs would not be covered by basic insurance – and rates vary extremely from canton to canton.

Since 2012, some services from complementary medicine have also been covered by basic insurance, but only if they are performed by physicians with certain additional training. Moreover, not all alternative therapies are recognized.

For visual aids, children up to 18 receive one contribution per year. Young adults receive CHF 0.-Glass wearers know that an eye test is due almost every year and that vision can change very quickly, mostly in the young years, possibly still during studies or through today’s so widespread use of digital means such as PCs, cell phones, tablets. Very quickly, a new pair of glasses may be needed. For spectacle wearers, it is worthwhile to receive a little support for this from the health insurance.


Supplementary insurances do not necessarily have to be insured with the same insurer as the basic insurance. These can also be freely selected. The advantage of having a single insurer for basic and supplemental insurance is that you can submit your medical bills directly to the insurer, or via an app. If you have multiple insurers, we recommend that you always send your invoice copies to all insurers. The health insurance company, which is obligated, will then cover the service.

Some supplementary insurances are only available as a multi-year contract. This makes sense insofar as the insurance companies can thus offer more favorable premiums. Supplementary insurances can be terminated at the end of the contract (check the relevant notice periods), or if you leave Switzerland definitively, or if the premium is increased (change in premium due to entry into a different age category does not count as a premium increase).

Basic insurance, on the other hand, can be changed annually and independently of supplementary insurance. Every year between the end of September and the beginning of October, the FOPH and FINMA audit the basic insurance premiums of all basic insurers in Switzerland. The health insurance companies then send the new policy with the correspondingly changed premiums to their customers. As a result of this premium adjustment, you can then cancel your basic insurer by November 30 and take out a cheaper one as of January 01 of the following year.

A comparison of premiums is worthwhile, as you can generate great savings with a cheaper basic insurance – in addition, the benefits are the same with all insurers, as the basic insurance and corresponding benefits are required by law according to KVG (Federal Law on Health Insurance).

Motor vehicle



Liability coverage

Mandatory here is only the liability insurance (coverage for damage to third parties by your vehicle). Voluntary are all additional coverages like: Natural hazards, comprehensive, parking damage, time value supplement, bonus protection, gross negligence, etc.



Hull (collision)

For newer vehicles, not older than 5-6 years makes a fully comprehensive insurance (own damage to own vehicle). Cover sense. Collision coverage is even mandatory for leased vehicles. Partial coverage usually makes sense as well. This covers damage to your vehicle that is not caused by you but, for example, by natural events or other external factors(fire damage, glass breakage, water damage, theft).

Voluntary and additional:


Recommended coverages

Bonus protection (your bonus level does not change despite any claims) Gross negligence (in the event of damage caused by you not observing the traffic rules, is still covered

–> Attention: there are some exclusions like drug use/alcohol, etc. / time value add-on (normally a vehicle is insured in case of total loss only for the value at the time of the claim, which gets lower and lower as the vehicle gets older – the time value add-on provides for an additional insured value in case of total loss).

Pension plan Pillar 3a and 3b

I Pillar – State pension


for all residents in the


Age survivors and
Disability provision


Disability insurance


Supplementary benefits

II Pillar – Occupational pension


for (almost) all employees
in Switzerland


Occupational age
Survivors and invalids

III Pillar – Private pension






Bound precaution


Unbound provision

Retirement provision


Private pension plan 3a covers the benefit gaps from the first pillars. In order to be able to devote oneself to hobbies and leisure time after retirement, one needs at least the income one had before: more time for leisure and thus for spending. In order to be able to enjoy old age, a retirement plan in 3a is recommended.


Save taxes


By paying into your voluntary Pillar 3a, you help to secure your old age after retirement, which is why the state grants you a tax gift: the contributions paid in can be deducted annually from taxable income. With a maximum deposit, this can amount to up to CHF 2,000 tax deduction each year.


Finance home


With a 3a policy, you can grant part of the capital used for a mortgage and thus indirectly use the saved capital while enjoying the other benefits of the Third Pillar.

Protect family and risk coverage


With a 3a insurance policy, you can insure additional risks, such as a lump sum death benefit for your family, and you can secure premium waivers in the event of disability, so that you can keep your insurance until the end in any case.

Combined household and building insurance

Imagine your home burns down due to a fire and all of your furniture, accessories, electronics, decorations, etc. are damaged and need to be replaced – if you can’t afford to pay this amount yourself, it is recommended to have a homeowner’s insurance. Very important is the choice of the sum insured: it depends on the number of rooms and, of course, the equipment: is it expensive furniture, do you have many, expensive decorations and valuables? The flat rate per room is about 20’000 with a medium class equipment. The best thing to do here is to make an inventory list with your consultant and evaluate the situation.

As Private person, for example, if you damage another person’s object due to carelessness than Head of the family when your child shatters the neighbor’s window pane with a miss while playing soccer than Pet owner if your dog bites another person out of fear than Tenants, if the perfume bottle slips out of your hand and damages the sink in your rented apartment, than sportsman, owner of a weapon, cyclist or moped rider, in case of damage caused by care (you keep an object of another person or you use for example a bicycle of a colleague and damage it in a fall), etc.

Important: notify us at the time of taking out the insurance if you own an animal, ride horses, hunt, occasionally drive foreign vehicles. These risks must be listed in the policy for coverage to be guaranteed.

Other useful insurances