Car accidents and insurance in Switzerland: the guide


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For Swiss motorists, there are some reflexes to have in the event of a car accident. Filling out a report, taking photos and declaring your claim, our team offers you a complete guide, to the steps that await you. You'll also discover a complete rundown, in terms of auto insurance in the event of an accident. This may enable you to choose your coverages, to be compensated in the face of all situations.

What to do when you have a car accident in Switzerland?

Here are the steps to follow, if you've just had an accident on Swiss roads.

Accident in Switzerland: when to call the police?

First and foremost, you may be wondering whether you should systematically call the police in the event of an accident. There is no obligation to do so. You should know, however, that the presence of the police can provide an official record of the damage. A police report will be issued, and can serve as the basis for insurers' work, to compensate victims.

Filling in an accident report

Next comes the time to fill in a Swiss accident report. This is the sameEuropean accident report found in all neighboring countries.
Take the time to fill in all the information requested on the accident report, as accurately as possible. You need to focus on the facts as they happened. If you have a disagreement with the third party involved in the accident, mention it on the constat.
If the recto is filled out together, the verso must be filled out independently by each of the drivers involved in the accident. You must then sign the accident report. Be careful, without this signature, the constat is invalid.

Gathering evidence

At the scene of the accident, it's absolutely crucial to keep a cool head. Think about taking photos, which could be very useful in the event of a dispute with the insurer, or even with the other people involved in the accident.
Generally speaking, any evidence you can gather on the spot is useful. Don't hesitate, after the accident, to check with the local council, to find out whether any surveillance cameras may have captured the events.

Declaring the claim to the insurance company

Next, you'll need to declare the claim to your insurer, to trigger any compensation payments. Most insurance companies now offer online car accident reporting, from a customer area or even an app.
You can check with your insurer, to find out what steps to take. It can be useful to know them, before such an event occurs.

Car accident in Switzerland: what happens in the event of a dispute?

Whether there is a dispute or not, insurers generally dispatch experts, to confirm the versions defended in the reports. It is possible that an expert appraisal will be carried out on the vehicle. In the event of disagreement, this will be followed by a counter-assessment, commissioned by the competing insurer.
When no solution is found, it's possible that the dispute will go to court. In this case, it's important to have taken out legal protection. It may be included in your auto insurance, or taken out as an option.

Which car insurance in Switzerland to be covered in the event of an accident?

It's up to you to anticipate the case of a car accident in Switzerland by choosing the right insurance. Here's our breakdown, to give you a concrete idea of whether you'll be compensated in the event of an accident.

I'm responsible for the accident

The first case is where the insured is responsible for the accident. The cheapest policies do not always provide compensation, for property damage or bodily injury suffered.

Who compensates the victims?

Let's say driver A collides with driver B in his car. In our situation, he is responsible for the accident.
To drive on Swiss roads, it is imperative that he has taken out what is known as car third-party liability. This contract provides compensation for victims, whether they have suffered property damage or bodily injury. The insured may have to pay a deductible. However, the insurer will cover the cost of any repairs to the vehicle.
Beware, if driver A has committed what is known as a gross fault, it is possible that his insurer will not consider compensation for the victim. For example, if he ran a stop sign, and didn't take out a gross negligence coverage option, he may have to finance the compensation himself. When you take out simple third-party auto liability, think about this option, which makes all the difference in the event of an at-fault accident.

How do I get compensated?

When the insured is responsible for the collision, he or she will generally only be compensated if he or she has taken out casco collision. This is a higher level of insurance than simple civil liability, which allows the driver to be compensated, even when he causes a collision.

Another driver is responsible for the accident

If another driver is responsible for the accident, it's his civil liability that will compensate the victim. Using our case again, if driver B causes a collision, driver A will be compensated, no matter what.

No one is responsible for the accident

There are cases of accident, where there is no responsible driver. This is the case, for example, when you collide with an animal. Here, to be compensated, the driver will need to have taken out what's called a partial casco. This is an absolutely essential level of insurance to be covered, against external elements that could damage the vehicle or cause bodily injury to the driver.
Antoine Léger
Updated on: 30.01.2024Written by Antoine LégerHead of non-life insurance department at Comparea.
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