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All about car insurance

Swiss car insurance has a few special features. Some coverages, for example, are compulsory. Our team takes you on a tour of the country's vehicle insurance features. We also reveal some invaluable tips, to find the best possible contract. While for some comparing prices is absolutely essential, for others, the quality of customer service or guarantees takes precedence.

Levels of car insurance in Switzerland

In Switzerland, it's compulsory to have car insurance, whenever you plan to travel with a vehicle. Whether it's your own vehicle or a leased one, certain coverages are a must.

Third party liability

Third party liability is the only compulsory insurance when owning a personal vehicle in Switzerland. This covers property damage and personal injury caused by the vehicle to third parties.
In other words, if the insured's vehicle collides with that of another road user, it is thanks to the latter that the victim will receive compensation up to the amount of the damage suffered. This may include reimbursement for repairs to the car, or the payment of damages.
Beware, most contracts mention a maximum sum guaranteed. It's important to consult it, to assess whether it's sufficient, in the event of an accident. Most insurance companies offer coverage up to 100 million Swiss francs.

Partial cover

Partial cover is not compulsory. It enables the vehicle owner to insure himself, against damage that may be caused by external causes. These are situations that cannot be covered by the civil liability of other road users. Among the situations covered are:
  • Collisions with animals,
  • Damage caused by nature, particularly bad weather,
  • Fires,
  • Vehicle theft,
  • Damage to car windows,
  • Acts of vandalism.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage, meanwhile, covers the car owner, in the event of collision for which he or she is responsible.
When an insured combines partial coverage and collision coverage, this is known as full coverage. The latter is generally required, when it comes to a leased vehicle. It allows the vehicle owner to be covered against a maximum number of situations, when the car is made available.
Moreover, many people choose this type of cover when the vehicle is purchased with a loan. Credit and car insurance actually go well together, to avoid having to pay a credit on a damaged vehicle.

Accident and breakdown assistance

It's also important to check whether the Swiss car insurance contract includes certain options such as accident and breakdown assistance. Indeed, some low-cost contracts do not provide for this type of service. The vehicle owner may thus have to pay for towing the car, the cost of which can be significant.
A deductible may also be required to take advantage of this service. Careful reading of the contract therefore seems unavoidable, to anticipate all situations.

Occupants' insurance

Finally, the car insurance contract can come with what's known as occupants' insurance. This guarantees the vehicle owner against damage that may be suffered by the car's occupants.
This coverage is superfluous, when the car only transports Swiss nationals. In fact, the latter are already insured, for this type of damage. On the other hand, if the car is required to carry foreigners, this coverage is relevant.
With regard to company vehicle insurance, for cab companies or public transport, underwriting is generally systematic.

Swiss car insurance: what you need to know

If you're looking for information on Swiss car insurance, here are a few things to know, before you take out. This may help you save money or choose the right cover.

Bonus and malus in Swiss car insurance

The price of insurance in Switzerland is partly calculated according to the degree of bonus of the insured. Each year of accident-free ownership of an insured vehicle effectively earns a bonus, which lowers the price of the basic premium.
There is also a malus system, if a claim is made. It's estimated that each time a claim is made, an insured will have to pay an average of 10% more for his or her insurance premium than before.
As you can see, there's every reason to be careful on the roads in Switzerland, to pay as little as possible for your car insurance.

The deductible system

Depending on the damage caused or suffered, the insured may have to pay a share of the vehicle repairs or damages. This is known as the franchise.
When choosing car insurance, it's useful to consult, for each type of claim, what the deductible to be paid by the insured might be. In general, the higher the deductible, the cheaper the insurance contract is for the insured.
There will therefore be a choice to make, between small monthly payments, and the possibility of having as little deductible as possible to pay in the event of a claim.

How is the cost of car insurance calculated?

The price of car insurance is calculated by the insurer according to:
  • The insured and his/her driver profile,
  • The type of vehicle, and the costs that may be incurred in the event of breakage,
  • The level of cover chosen by the insured,
  • An overall assessment of the chances of the risks covered occurring.
It is on the basis of a multifactorial analysis, therefore, that insurers are able to provide a quote for car insurance. Depending on the cover requested, some insurers may be cheaper than others, or offer more comprehensive cover.
It's also possible, for policyholders with a high malus, that insurance companies may refuse to offer a policy.

How to find cheap car insurance in Switzerland

The car insurance budget can be substantial for individuals. It is therefore legitimate to look for the cheapest car insurance in Switzerland. To do this, it's important to understand in detail, the elements taken into account by the insurer. There are also some tips to finding the most attractive contract.

The insured's profile

The study of the insured's profile often boils down to an analysis of the latter's bonus or malus. In particular, it involves assessing whether the insured's behavior presents an additional risk, which could increase the chances of a claim. To find cheap car insurance in Switzerland, good behavior on the road is therefore a must.
Furthermore, depending on the company, certain profiles may be offered more attractive contracts. Companies like AXA, for example, decide to support young drivers with affordable solutions.
The ideal solution is still to get several quotes to find out which insurer offers the most attractive package for your own profile.

The car insured

The vehicle insured will also strongly impact the price of the insurance premium. First of all, the more expensive the vehicle, the higher the premium. There's a direct link between the cost of a vehicle and the potential cost of repairs in the event of an accident. So it's only natural that this should be reflected in the contract.
Beyond the monetary value of the car, the insurer will also look at the cost of parts. As a general rule, European vehicles for which parts are easy to find thus cost less than vehicles from outside the European Union. Finally, the car's power and reliability are scrutinized by the insurer, who must once again measure the risk of a claim occurring.
So you can simply choose a vehicle that will potentially be insured for cheap by the companies. What's more, it's important to point out that more and more insurance players are choosing to value eco-friendly cars, running on electric power for example, through promotions on their rates.

Compare offers

Finding cheap vehicle insurance in Switzerland obviously involves comparing offers. It's useful to regularly challenge your contract, comparing it with what other insurers might offer.
Let's also remember that most of the time, to attract new customers, insurers offer promotions for the first year of insurance. This can lead to valuable savings, by regularly changing company.

The level of cover

Finally, the level of cover can greatly vary the amount of premium to be paid to insure it. As mentioned above, only third-party liability is really compulsory for insuring a personal vehicle. It is therefore possible to make do with it, to pay as little as possible.
If you have other needs, you can usually choose tailor-made insurance, with only the cover you need.
For example, occupants' insurance is often unnecessary, especially for the Swiss. It will therefore be possible to exclude it from the contract to pay less.

How to choose car insurance

There are a few tricks to choosing the right car insurance. It's not always a question of price. The options offered by the company also play an essential role in choosing a contract.

Get Swiss car insurance quotes

Insurance quotes are free. So there's no limit to what you can do, when competing with insurers in Switzerland. As a private individual, you can therefore multiply your requests, to be able to compare the contracts offered to you. Remember that it's important to compare offers by taking into account the quality of cover or even the deductible amounts that may be claimed in the event of a claim.
Calculating car insurance usually takes an insurer just a few minutes. From an individual's point of view, the process is pretty straightforward. The information to be provided is always the same. It concerns the insured's profile and the vehicle.

Getting car insurance quotes online

Previously, it was necessary to visit an agency to request a car insurance quote. Most companies now offer the ability to effect a quote online, on their website.
This simplification of procedures makes it easier for individuals to consider comparison of insurance, but also contract changes.
Most of the time, insurers offering online quotes are also those offering dematerialized underwriting and procedures. This saves precious time, not only when taking out a policy, but also when managing it.

The car insurance comparator

Simulating car insurance has never been easier than with the advent of new technologies. There are in fact numerous car insurance comparators available directly on the Internet.
By entering a few details about the insured's profile and the vehicle to be insured, you can obtain the offers that could potentially be made by insurers. The solutions can be used to simply compare contracts, to understand the differences in coverage offered.
This is generally a preferred solution, to try and find the insurance best suited to one's needs, taking into account a price comparison.

How to cancel your car insurance in Switzerland?

To cancel your car insurance contract in Switzerland, you generally have to wait for one of the following events:
  • The end of the contract,
  • The annual expiry of the contract,
  • The insurer's increase in premiums,
  • The occurrence of a claim,
  • The change or sale of the car,
  • The expiry of the contract after three years.
Cancelling vehicle insurance is fairly straightforward. Simply send a registered letter to the insurer, including the contract number, the insured's contact details and the reason for cancellation. The contract may stipulate a cancellation period.
More and more insurers are also offering dematerialized cancellation of insurance contracts. It may therefore be possible to carry out this procedure online, for even greater convenience.

Top 5 best car insurance companies in Switzerland

Our team offers you a car insurance comparison. We've chosen to highlight the strengths of some of the most iconic companies on the market. Price isn't always the only argument.

Axa: cheap car insurance

AXA is one of the Swiss insurance companies offering car insurance among the cheapest on the market. It was therefore obvious for us to highlight it, to enable those looking for cheap car insurance to be able to turn to this contact.
It will indeed be possible to find third-party liability for less than 40 Swiss francs.
In general, contracts systematically include breakdown cover as well as the loan of a replacement vehicle. AXA is therefore considered to offer comprehensive solutions at very affordable rates.
In addition, it remains possible to take out stronger cover, depending on the policyholder's needs.

Bonus protection by Helvetia

Helvetia is also one of the players offering contracts at affordable rates. This is due in particular to this company's ability to offer attractive deals to new policyholders. For example, online underwriting can give entitlement to a 10% discount on total premiums to be paid in the first year.
Among this insurance company's advantages is the possibility of taking advantage of bonus protection in the event of a claim. Policyholders declaring a claim within the year will therefore not have any malus applied. This option is particularly interesting for young drivers who have not yet accumulated a bonus.

Excellent cover with Allianz

Allianz is a model insurance company when it comes to comprehensive cover. While these rates are generally higher than AXA or Helvetica, there are attractive options.
The insured may, for example, choose additional coverage in the event of an accident for which he or she is at fault.

La Mobilière's customer service regularly compares insurers' customer service ratings. When it comes to car insurance, La Mobilière is one of the top performers in the ranking. Indeed, it has a score of 5.5 out of 6, positioning it at the top of the ranking in 2024.
According to the company's customers, the after-sales service is responsive, whether it's a question of taking out a new contract or dealing with a claim.

Smile: 100% online car insurance

Finally, we couldn't end this ranking without mentioning one of Switzerland's most iconic online insurers. Smile insurance, which seems to be on a mission to put a smile back on the faces of car insurance policyholders, offers 100% online forms.
In addition to simplifying the process, this means you benefit from better responsiveness in the event of administrative procedures. In addition, prices are more attractive, thanks to dematerialization, and the absence of certain costs, notably for the operation of physical branches.
Joffrey Maitre
Updated on: 01/02/2024Written by Joffrey MaitreHead of private provision department at Comparea
To learn more about our team click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Not covered are damages or traffic accidents caused by you as a driver (non-exhaustive list):
  • In a state of intoxication (blood alcohol level above the limit set by law),
  • In a state of driving incapacity,
  • Due to serious speeding
  • In the absence of a driving license
As well as non-accidental damages such as wear and tear on the vehicle.

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