Mishaps can happen quickly, and not only to the exuberant child who smashes a window with his football. Often it's not just a case of minor property damage, but injury to persons. This can lead to huge costs. The liability insurance protects you against financial losses in these cases.
Basically, private liability insurance is not compulsory, but is certainly recommended. It covers damage to property and bodily injuries that you cause to third parties. Damages for which you are liable, e.g. bodily injuries, can lead to economic or financial ruin for an individual or a family. By concluding a private liability insurance, you are protected from such cases.
Example: A daredevil skier hits you on the piste and you have to go to hospital. As a result of this accident, you are unable to work for an extended period and therefore suffer a loss of earnings. These costs are covered by the private liability insurance of the speeding skier.
If you live alone in a household, then you should conclude individual insurance. The situation is different if you have a family, a partner or spouse and children who live in a joint household with you, in which case you need family insurance.
The sum insured can be either three, five or ten million Swiss francs and can be freely selected by you. People suffering damages are claiming more and more money, so we recommend a policy with a sum insured of five million. Where bodily injury and resulting consequential damages (e.g. loss of earnings) are involved, the costs can become particularly high.
Yes. While your underage children are in the unpaid care of others – grandparents, neighbours or other acquaintances – they have an obligation to supervise them. That means these people are then the temporary «head of the family». Your private liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injury that your children cause to third parties (not the supervising persons/property). However, the policy also provides cover for property damage of up to CHF 5,000.00 that children cause to property belonging to the supervising person.
A deep scratch in the wooden flooring is not considered normal wear and tear that occurs in the process of careful usage. You are therefore liable for the damage. According to the law, the landlord of the holiday apartment has a right to damage compensation if the tenant causes damage to the apartment.
Nevertheless, it is most likely you won't have to pay the damage compensation yourself, because most Swiss private liability insurances cover damage caused by tenants to holiday apartments and homes. Here there is usually a deductible in line with the Standard Terms of Insurance.
The landlord will not get a new parquet floor paid for by the insurance, however. Damage caused by tenants is only insured at its current value. That means if the repair were more expensive than a new parquet floor, the insurance company would pay out the current value of the full parquet. The current value refers to the value as the item stands, i.e. the value as new minus the amortisation.
If, however, a repair to the parquet floor is cheaper than an entirely new parquet floor, which is most likely in this case, the insurance company will pay for the repair. In any case, you should report the damaged floor to the landlord and to your private liability insurance company.
On any Sunday when there are good snow and weather conditions, there is often a swarm of people on the pistes. In such circumstances, skiers may get in each other’s way and an easygoing carver is hit by a speed-demon.
Just as in road traffic, anyone using a piste must be considerate of other users and stick to the rules. A good recommendation is the ten rules of conduct of the international ski association, the FIS.
Basically these state: Anyone who behaves dangerously and causes harm to others can face civil and criminal charges. If a reckless skier hits your children, you can report him or her. For a prosecution to take place, the incident must be reported. If serious injury is involved, however, the authorities will step automatically – provided they are informed of the accident.
The treatment costs for an injury and any loss of earnings are covered by accident and health insurance. The insurance companies may claim back part of the costs from the person who caused the accident or his/her private liability insurance if he or she can be proven guilty of gross negligence.
Anyone who causes an accident on the piste themselves is insured against claims by the person suffering damages under their private liability insurance. If, however, the accident was caused by grossly negligent behaviour, i.e. the person causing it was drunk or in violation of basic obligations to take care, then the private liability insurance can reduce its benefits drastically, meaning the responsible party will ultimately have to cough up the lion's share of the damages themselves.
What's important here is that in the case of an accident on the piste, the details of those involved and any witnesses can be established and the piste service informed, as well as the police in case of bodily injury.
If an accident does happen, then the relevant health or accident insurance will pay the medical costs. If it can be proven that you personally caused the fall of the person behind you, then you will be liable for the damages and/or the treatment costs of the other person. These damages are covered by your private liability insurance, provided that you haven't acted with gross negligence. Gross negligence would include skiing under the influence of alcohol, for example – but not a fall because you, as an inexperienced snowboarder, lost your balance.
If the ski lift operator can be proven responsible, for example due to the inadequate maintenance or operation of the ski lift, he would be liable for the damages of both parties.
Since it is generally difficult to find somebody responsible for the accident in these cases, it is important to ensure you are personally well protected. Specifically, you should check the benefits of your health, accident and private liability insurance. Accidents on the piste should be reported immediately to the insurance company and the police.
Your own household is probably set up to be «child-proof». If you are visiting other people though, you can't assume that to be the case there – and it's natural that some hosts will be worried about their expensive furnishings. As a general rule, children under seven years old are not capable of «criminal responsibility» according to the law. That means they cannot be held responsible for their own acts. In many liability insurance policies, damages caused by children under seven years old are excluded.
Many parents nevertheless feel morally obliged to pay for the damage their children cause. If your four-year-old son knocks a friend's laptop off the table in his exuberance, parents are well advised to be very familiar with the terms of their liability insurance and to ensure damages caused by children under the age of criminal responsibility are explicitly included.
Your health and accident insurance will pay the treatment costs for your broken wrist. The damage to the third party's car is paid for by your private liability insurance. The insurance companies, for their part, will check whether the car park operator can be proven to be at fault in order to pass on part of their costs if possible (in insurance jargon this is known as seeking recourse). If this proof can be established, which experience has shown is difficult in such cases, you can also claim damage compensation for any loss of earnings, damaged ski equipment, etc. from the car park operator.
As a general rule: Inform your insurance company immediately after an accident or damages of any kind. In Switzerland, private liability insurance is not compulsory, but is highly recommended, because it can protect you against very high claims.
You should conclude this additional insurance as part of the private liability insurance if you occasionally use third-party motor vehicles (with the exception of parents/children, where the child is still covered by the parent's private liability).
Journeys are deemed to be occasional and non-regular if conducted on no more than 30 days per calendar year, regardless of whether the use of the vehicle is on isolated or consecutive days (e.g. holiday trips).
Yes, with Helvetia flying model aircraft is included in the private liability insurance. There is just one exception: the model aircraft must not weigh more than 30 kilograms and may not be entered in the aircraft register or be subject to the provision of a guarantee.
In addition, with Helvetia's «all risks» additional insurance as part of the household contents insurance, sudden and unforeseen damages to model aircraft are also covered up to a maximum amount of CHF 5,000.00.
The lifespan of a wash basin is 35 years. If it breaks after 28 years, then a tenant is only obliged to cover 7/35 of the damage. The level of the damage is calculated based on material and installation costs. The work of the plumber is therefore included.
That means your liability insurance will cover 7/35 of the cost of the new sink and 7/35 of the installation costs. The landlord covers the difference.
You are also insured as a part-time worker with the liability cover under Helvetia's private customers insurance. Liability from a part-time activity – such as your dog-sitting* – is insured, provided that the income from this part-time job does not exceed 40,000 francs a year. If the income exceeds 40,000 francs, separate insurance cover must be taken out.
In case of doubt we recommend that you discuss the specific case with your customer advisor.
*The same conditions apply to part-time income as a hairdresser, cosmetician, pedicurist/manicurist, nail designer, child minder, child carer/babysitter, au pair, tutor, dog-sitter, house-sitter, caretaker, cleaner, musician, actor, baker, pastry chef, confectioner, caterer, entertainer, farmer or photographer. Insurance cover applies to all other activities, provided total annual turnover does not exceed 5,000 francs.
You as the tenant of a holiday apartment are insured via the private liability insurance for damages to the apartment itself, the fittings firmly installed as standard and the furniture included/rented with the property – such as a coffee machine.
These sorts of liability claims are remunerated according to the current value, i.e. the cost of purchase as new minus a reduction in value based on age, usage or wear and tear.
It's important to take into account that with private liability insurance the policyholder will frequently have to cover part of the damage him or herself, either in the form of a percentage or a fixed amount.
If you have agreed such a deductible (e.g. CHF 200.00) in your policy, then depending on the amount of the damages, it may not be worth reporting the damaged coffee machine to your insurance company.