Third-party liability insurance: mandatory coverage in Switzerland


670+ Google customer reviews

Avis Home Highlight
0 min
All Swiss motorists must have car insurance. There is a minimum cover required, to protect third parties in the event of at-fault damage. Our team invites you to discover our car liability insurance policies. They represent an economical solution for those who want to insure their vehicle at a low cost. They can also be combined with other coverages, notably to obtain reimbursement in the event of an at-fault accident or one caused by external factors.

What is third-party liability?

Third-party liability is an essential coverage when it comes to car insurance. It is often mistakenly confused with private civil liability.

What is civil liability used for?

Civil liability is used to cover the owner of a car in the event of accident for which he is responsible. If he causes damage to a person, the insurer will cover any bodily injury or property damage to be paid.
Civil liability is a good investment, since the amounts to be paid in terms of repairs can be substantial.
Furthermore, it's important to stress that this civil liability only applies to the car. Damage caused without the vehicle being involved will therefore not be covered.

The minimum cover to insure a car

In Switzerland, third-party liability insurance is the minimum cover that a vehicle owner must have. This ensures that in the event of damage caused to a third party, the latter will be compensated, regardless of the means of the person responsible.
Riding without insurance is a criminal offence. Those who choose to drive without motor liability insurance expose themselves to 3 years' imprisonment. Often offered at just a few dozen francs a month, there is therefore every incentive to take out this type of policy.

The difference between car civil liability and private civil liability

Car civil liability can be confused with private civil liability. This second contract is used to cover private individuals, when they cause damage to a third party, on a daily basis. It is not a substitute for automobile civil liability, in the event of an accident.
In other words, even if you already have private civil liability, you'll need to take out insurance specific to driving a vehicle.

Which civil liability pays out in the event of damage?

To help you understand how motor liability works, here are a few cases you might come across.

The insured is liable for the damage

Let's say driver A, who fails to respect a right of way on the road, rear-ends the car of driver B. Driver A is considered responsible for the damage. His civil liability will therefore be used to cover driver B, if there are repairs to his car or bodily injuries to be compensated.
If driver A has no other cover on his policy, he will receive no compensation.
Let's also stress the fact that as this is an at-fault claim, driver a may have a malus applied by his insurer. It is therefore possible that his insurance premium will be more expensive, for years to come.

Another driver is responsible for the damage

Let's admit that, conversely, it's driver B who is responsible for the accident. Here, it's driver B's car liability that will have to compensate driver A.
No malus will be appliedfor driver A.

Another person is responsible for the damage

It's also possible for a motorist to have suffered damage, from someone not in a car. For example, a pedestrian could unintentionally scratch a car. Here, our pedestrian cannot rely on a civil liability policy to compensate the driver of the vehicle.
On the other hand, if the latter has taken out a private civil liability policy, he or she may be able to rely on this contract to compensate the damage suffered by the driver.

No one is responsible for the damage

In some cases, no one is responsible for the damage suffered by a car. For example, in the event of bad weather, no one will be able to invoke any civil liability to compensate for the damage suffered by the car.
This is where taking out additional cover comes into its own. It's really a question of not being insured only to be able to reimburse damage caused to third parties.

What other coverages are there in Swiss car insurance?

Here, then, are the other coverages that can be taken out by a motorist in Switzerland.

Partial casco for external elements

Partial casco is a level of cover that allows vehicle owners to be insured against damage from external causes. Thus, if the vehicle is damaged by bad weather, a collision with an animal, or is stolen or set on fire, the insurance company will be able to offer compensation.

Collision casco in the event of an at-fault accident

Collision casco, meanwhile, enables the driver to be compensated when he himself is responsible for a collision. In addition to the fact that civil liability reimburses the victim of the accident, the at-fault driver will also be able to count on compensation, particularly if repairs are required on his car.

How much does civil liability insurance cost?

Civil liability insurance is the only compulsory coverage. It is therefore possible to take out only this part of car insurance. This is a good solution for having a car insurance cheap.

Calculating the premium for minimum insurance

Calculating the insurance premium depends on several factors. First of all, the insurer will take into account the policyholder's profile, inquiring about his or her age, driving record and driving history.
The car will also be taken into account. Even if with a simple civil liability policy, no compensation will be offered for the vehicle in the event of an at-fault accident, this data is important. For example, we'll be able to assess the power of the car, to calculate therisk to which the insurer is exposed by choosing to insure its owner.

Starting prices for car insurance

The price generally depends on the type of vehicle and the profile of the insured. As a general rule, it's possible to insure with simple third-party motor liability, with rates starting at between 30 and 40 francs a month.
This is therefore an economical solution, for those who cannot afford to take out a higher level of cover.
Furthermore, it's always advisable to get quotes from several insurance companies. This allows you to compare prices, but also the cover you can get within your budget. The possibility of assistance, for example, is a real asset in the event of breakdown or accident. You must also be aware of the franchise to be paid in the event of an at-fault accident.

Our selection of the best insurers for third-party liability

If you're looking for third-party liability car insurance, here are a few insurers who might be able to help.

Low prices signed Smile

Smile is an online car insurance solution that allows you to find cheap solutions. It will be possible to be insured for less than 40 francs a month.
The insured will have the choice between third-party liability with no deductible, or with 500 francs deductible. This second option further reduces the price of the premium.
Furthermore, we emphasize the simplicity of the administrative steps involved in taking out a policy with this insurance company.

Helvetica insurance solutions

Helvetica also offers economical solutions, with third-party liability available from just 33 francs per month. This rate takes into account the possibility of benefiting from a discount of 10%, for online subscription.
Grave fault protection is included, as well as bonus protection lasting one year, and liability with no deductible. This is therefore a very good alternative for someone looking for inexpensive insurance.

Axa and its tailor-made contracts

AXA offers an entry-level car third-party liability policy at just 32 francs a month. However, the insured must pay a systematic franchise of 500 francs in the event of an accident for which he or she is responsible.
It should be emphasized, however, that protection for gross negligence and bonus protection are included in the contract.
Contracts with higher guarantees are presented with an interesting value for money. This means that you can take out partial or comprehensive cover without exceeding your budget.

Allianz also offers third-party liability

Allianz offers motor third-party liability at a higher rate. You'll need to pay a minimum of 51 francs, to qualify for car insurance with this company. On the other hand, the driver can count on assistance in the event of an accident, included in the rate.

Generali: an insurer with impeccable customer service

Finally, Generali has an offer for 30 francs a month, for motor third-party liability insurance. However, the deductible in the event of an at-fault accident is 1,000 francs.
We still had to mention this insurance company, for its attractive rates. Its responsive customer service is also a real asset, managing to convince new customers every year.
Antoine Léger
Updated on: 30.01.2024Written by Antoine LégerHead of non-life insurance department at Comparea.
To learn more about our team click here.