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Living & property

Five tips for around the house

Your own home or apartment must be properly insured. Many types of damage are not included in mandatory buildings insurance, such as during house construction, burst water pipes, earthquakes and damage to solar installations. Homeowners should know about these five tips.

25 September 2018, text: Hansjörg Ryser/Natascha Fabian, photo: Helvetia

In the picture is a woman in a flat between packing boxes
With the right insurance, your home is protected even when the unexpected happens.

Homeowners need to protect themselves against a number of situations. Here’s an example: On average, there are around 500 to 800 earthquakes in Switzerland every year. Fortunately, most of them are hardly noticeable. However, sometimes there may be strong earthquakes that cause huge amounts of damage.

1. You should also think about damage which is not directly related to the building.

Builder’s risk insurance covers damage if the unfinished house is damaged by accident during construction. The theft of building materials can also be covered by builder’s risk insurance, which is generally taken out together with builder’s liability insurance. This means that you are also covered by your insurance if damage is caused by scaffolding suddenly falling on to a neighbour’s property.

2. When you purchase a house, you must take out buildings insurance.

Once construction is complete, builder’s risk insurance is replaced by buildings insurance. Buildings insurance for fire and natural hazards is mandatory in most cantons, and is subject to a cantonal monopoly. You can check whether it is mandatory to take out the insurance through your canton of residence, or whether you can take it out with a private insurer. All other hazards must be insured through private insurance.

3. Be aware that earthquakes are not insured.

Alongside storms, Switzerland regularly experiences small earthquakes. However, many people do not know that in Switzerland, earthquakes are not classed as natural hazards, which is why this kind of damage is not covered by buildings insurance. You can protect yourself against the financial consequences by taking out supplementary insurance with Helvetia.

4. Supplement your buildings insurance so that damage inside the home is also covered.

There are many other kinds of damage, such as burst water pipes and glass breakage. These can be insured with Helvetia – and you can take advantage of a combined discount of up to 20%. There is also owner's liability insurance, which covers damage to third parties and their property, such as injury and damage. However, homeowners are already insured for such instances through their personal liability insurance.

5. If you generate electricity with solar installations, you should consider adequate cover.

These days, many homeowners are choosing to generate electricity in an environmentally-friendly way by using photovoltaic installations. Most customers insure such installations through a supplement to their buildings insurance. If you rent out space or are a condominium owner and cannot take out insurance via the owner's association, you will not be able to supplement your buildings insurance. Our solution: Photovoltaic power system insurance. This covers the greatest risks to your solar installations, such as fire risks and operating risks, thus protecting you from high costs.

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