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Living & property

Safe as houses within your own four walls

Building or buying your home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make in your life. It’s also important to make sure that risks are analyzed comprehensively and that the right insurance solutions are in place.

20 September 2017, text: Hansjörg Ryser, photo: iStock

House with scaffolding.
With the right insurance, your home is protected even when the unexpected happens.

Builder's risk insurance covers damage to a home that is still under construction were it to catch fire, for example. 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 falling on to a neighbour’s property, for example.

Once construction is complete, builder’s risk insurance is replaced by buildings insurance. Buildings insurance is mandatory in most cantons, and is subject to a cantonal monopoly. However, buildings insurance only covers damage caused by natural forces, such as fire or flooding – and even then only the damage to the building. If the cellar is flooded due to a blocked drainage pipe, for example, the damage would not be covered by buildings insurance. Supplementary water cover is necessary for this, and is available from private insurers such as Helvetia.

Glass cover for protecting modern glazed facades

Large, airy windows are a popular feature of today’s homes. But if such windows get broken, the damage quickly adds up to several thousands francs. This is why glass cover is recommended.

Protected in the event of natural disasters

Alongside storms, Switzerland regularly experiences small earthquakes. Earthquake damage is not included in mandatory building insurance, but can be covered through supplementary insurance from Helvetia. Various supplementary insurance options cover further risks when it comes to your home: Photovoltaics insurance pays for damage to solar installations; freezer-contents insurance covers damage should your freezer unexpectedly break down. Combined discounts keep additional premium costs to a minimum – in the event of a claim, however, it means that substantial costs can be avoided.

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