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What to do if there’s a flood?

Floods can have serious consequences. Here are the key tips and a summary of the types of damage that are covered.

30 May 2018, author: David Jenny, photo: Helvetia

A man is sitting on a staircase sinking in the water
Precautionary measures help to minimise damage in the event of flooding.

A flood can occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Weather-Apps provide information about possible risks, including at the local level. When a storm is threatening, close and seal your doors and windows. Disconnect electrical appliances so that there are no short circuits. If you have gas, turn the gas tap off. Then you should move all the items that are important to you to somewhere safe. Raise them off the floor or take them upstairs. Personal items such as heirlooms or mementos are irreplaceable.

Immediate measures in the event of flooding

Even when the water is coming in, you can still do something. But the first priority is not to take any risks.

  • Pump the water out of the affected rooms or soak it up
  • If necessary, call the fire brigade (tel. 118)
  • Save the affected items
  • Take comprehensive photographs and list the damaged items.
  • Report the damage immediately at or call us on 058 280 3000

Cantonal differences in the coverage of household contents and buildings

Insurance for damage caused by natural forces to buildings and household contents varies from canton to canton. Here is a brief summary:

Damage to buildings

  • In most cantons, damage caused by natural forces is covered by the mandatory cantonal buildings insurance.
  • In the cantons of Geneva, Uri, Schwyz, Ticino, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Valais, Obwalden and in the Principality of Liechtenstein, buildings are to be insured through private insurance companies (e.g. Helvetia). There is no cantonal buildings insurance.

Damage to household contents

  • In the cantons of Nidwalden and Vaud, damage caused by natural forces is covered through the mandatory cantonal fire insurance.
  • In the remaining cantons, damage caused by natural forces is to be insured though private insurance companies (e.g. Helvetia).

Not insured yet? Find out about our offers here.

Household contents insurance

Your household contents are not just things, but they include your favourite sofa, favourite suit or favourite bike. With Helvetia household contents insurance, these are ideally insured.


Buildings insurance

Buildings represent a high-value item for their owners, which can be jeopardised by numerous unforeseeable outside influences. The buildings insurance protects your building for the long term.

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