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Comprehensive coverage for your home. Five tips

A home of your own may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. If you fulfil this dream, you should also protect yourself against the financial risks posed by damage to your home. Helvetia explains what to watch out for.

5 October 2021, text: Simon Gantner, photo: Deposit

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.

These five tips on home insurance will help to protect you against the biggest risks.

1. Construction insurance: insuring damage in connection with a building project

Construction insurance covers damage caused by accidents while building is still in progress. It can also cover the theft of building materials. Construction insurance is generally taken out in combination with builder’s liability insurance. This means that you are also covered if scaffolding suddenly falls onto a neighbour’s property, causing property damage or bodily injury.

2. Buildings insurance: where is it mandatory and what supplementary insurance do you need on top of it?

Once construction is complete, construction insurance is replaced by buildings insurance. The four cantons of Geneva, Ticino, Appenzell Innerrhoden and Valais are the only ones in which buildings insurance is not mandatory. While buildings insurance is mandatory in the cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Obwalden, it cannot be taken out with a cantonal insurance office, only with a private insurance company.

Good to know: cantonal buildings insurance covers only damage caused by fire or natural forces. What’s more, it does not cover all building components. That’s why Helvetia offers supplementary insurance for “Building components not covered by cantonal buildings insurance” and further supplementary insurance modules such as “All risks”. These are an ideal complement to cantonal buildings insurance.

3. Earthquake insurance supplement: insure your home against earthquake damage

It’s a little known fact that Switzerland not only suffers from storms, but also from earthquakes – with an average of 500 to 800 occurring every year. Fortunately, most of them are hardly noticeable. What many people don’t know is that, in Switzerland, earthquakes are not classed as natural forces, which is why this kind of damage is not covered by buildings insurance. But you can protect yourself against the earthquake risk with a corresponding supplement to your buildings insurance.

4. Property owner’s liability insurance: protection against third-party liability claims

Property owner’s liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage suffered by third parties. If the person delivering the mail slips on a sheet of ice on your property, or if a burst water pipe not only floods your own cellar but that of your neighbour, property owner’s liability insurance covers any third-party claims for damages.

Good to know: if you are living in your own single-family home, your personal liability insurance will cover claims of this kind.

5. Photovoltaic and geothermal probe insurance: check the scope of cover

These days, many homeowners are choosing to generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way by using photovoltaic installations. Geothermal heating is another way to protect the environment and save money at the same time. Supplementary insurance for “Building components not covered by cantonal buildings insurance” provides coverage for photovoltaic installations and geothermal probes against damage caused by fire, water or natural forces. The “all risks” and “earthquake insurance” supplements also provide more extensive protection. If you don’t wish to include your photovoltaic installation or geothermal probe in your buildings insurance policy, you have the option of taking our dedicated photovoltaic or geothermal probe insurance for these risks.

Good to know: In some cases you have to insure your photovoltaic installation against fire and natural forces via the cantonal buildings insurance. So you need to clarify in advance whether your particular cantonal buildings insurance provides coverage for these risks.

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