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Which is the right type of comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive insurance is not compulsory, but it is worth having even for older cars. In this interview, Helvetia expert Peter Plachel explains when what type of comprehensive cover is needed and what the benefits are.

29 January 2018, Interview:  Jan Söntgerath, Foto: iStock

Beschädigtes Auto
Is comprehensive insurance necessary and, if so, what type? In this interview, Helvetia expert Peter Plachel provides some useful advice.

Mr Plachel, a comprehensive policy provides additional protection over and above compulsory motor vehicle liability cover. What considerations need to be borne in mind when taking out comprehensive insurance?

Much depends on the personal financial circumstances of car owners. The question is always whether they could afford to foot the bill for possible repairs running to several thousand francs, or even a total loss of the vehicle, out of their own pocket at all times.

In which cases is it worth having fully comprehensive insurance?

Fully comprehensive insurance is generally required for vehicles pre-financed via leasing or other forms of credit. Fully comprehensive cover is certainly also worth having for nearly new vehicles. However, from a risk point of view it can also make sense to take out fully comprehensive cover even for older vehicles, depending on the vehicle's residual value.

Does this mean that beyond a certain age of vehicle or for second-hand cars it is better to do without comprehensive insurance altogether?

It's definitely always advisable to take out partially comprehensive cover as this covers risks such as fire, high water, floods, hail, theft, glass breakage or damage arising from collisions with animals, which would otherwise not be insured. The premium for a partially comprehensive policy is very reasonable when compared to the potential cost of damage caused by such incidents.

And what about collision insurance?

Whether it's still worth taking out collision insurance even for a second-hand car depends on the vehicle's current value and also on whether you could afford to pay for any possible damage out of your own pocket. Even a second-hand vehicle could well still be worth several thousand francs and provide several more years of service.

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