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Old 03.02.2015, 23:11
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Car Insurance - newby question

I'm planning to buy a second hand car in the near future. Therefore, I'm checking the insurance options.
Knowing that Switzerland has a loving fixation on insurances, it's hard for me to tell what's useful and what's not
Where I come from, the "normal" thing to do (mandatory) is an insurance against third parties. That means, if you get into some trouble and it's somehow decided that it was the other guy's fault, then the other guys insurance pays for your repairs.

Then, the other concept I know apart from that, is the full insurance, which basically covers everything, not only when somebody else screws up, but also if I screw up, or if something happens to the car, like vandalism or a broken glass because a brick fell or whatever.

I started taking a look on comparis but I see a million things and bits about the insurances (like partial/full casco, "damage while parked" - which sounds to me as exactly the same as the partial casco but it's misteriously charged separately, etc)

I'd like to know what's worth it and what's not, trying to save on insurance cost and considering I'll take general good care of the car, drive safely, etc.
i.e.: where would I be if I just get the mandatory liability

Thanks!
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Old 03.02.2015, 23:36
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

You have to get third party cover -- that's the mandatory cover you referred to.

For a second-hand car that is probably all you need, especially if the car has depreciated a fair bit. The issue is that insurance premiums for partial and full "casco" (comprehensive) cover are calculated on the new car value (as recorded by the insurance company) every year, but the amount paid out in the event of a claim is limited to the current market value (again, according to the insurance company).

For example, a 2005 Mercedes-Benz ML500 cost CHF 120,000 new and the insurance premium for full casco in 2005 was CHF 900. In 2015, the car is now worth CHF 12,000 and the insurance premium is ... CHF 1,000! If the car is stolen or written off, the payout today would be CHF 12,000. Not a good bet. You'd be better off saving all those premiums and paying for any claims out of those savings.
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Old 04.02.2015, 00:24
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

Damage while parked isn't really the big "hit and run" or "a tree branch fell on my car" type accident, that's usually covered by your full Casco insurance, although the damage while parked policy will usually supplement that. The biggest value is in covering the kinds of dents and paint damage you get in a parking lot. If your car is old enough that you stopped caring about these, this kind of policy is probably not worthwhile.

I found the services of an insurance advisor useful. She helped me understand the differences between the Swiss coverages and could relate them to what I had previously. I recommend her highly, but she's in Vaud. Perhaps you could find someone closer to home to do the same for you.
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Old 04.02.2015, 08:49
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

Premium protection costs around 10% of your premium - but will prevent a premium rise if you claim. Depending on your policy that might be worth while.

EG
1,500chf base premium @ 30% = 450chf (+10% protection) = 495chf

So 45 chf per year to protect your premium rising to 1,500chf if you have to claim. If you are risk averse it might be a good buy

EG
2,100chf base premium @ 30% = 700chf (3rd Party)
6,900chf voll-kasko @ 30% = 2,300chf (full comprehensive covering all risks)

TOTAL 3,000chf (+10% protection) = 3,300chf

300chf is a lot of money - but it does cover a 6,000chf price rise!
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Old 04.02.2015, 09:26
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

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Premium protection costs around 10% of your premium - but will prevent a premium rise if you claim. Depending on your policy that might be worth while.

EG
1,500chf base premium @ 30% = 450chf (+10% protection) = 495chf

So 45 chf per year to protect your premium rising to 1,500chf if you have to claim. If you are risk averse it might be a good buy

EG
2,100chf base premium @ 30% = 700chf (3rd Party)
6,900chf voll-kasko @ 30% = 2,300chf (full comprehensive covering all risks)

TOTAL 3,000chf (+10% protection) = 3,300chf

300chf is a lot of money - but it does cover a 6,000chf price rise!
Once an at fault claim has been paid you can also cancel the insurance (you have a very short window - 7 days from memory - but don't depend on that number without checking). You are NOT required to remain with the insurance company.

You will then have to find another company who will take you. In most cases it will be cheaper to find another company if you do not have the "bonus protection" coverage as mentioned above.
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Old 04.02.2015, 09:30
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

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Once an at fault claim has been paid you can also cancel the insurance (you have a very short window - 7 days from memory - but don't depend on that number without checking). You are NOT required to remain with the insurance company.

You will then have to find another company who will take you. In most cases it will be cheaper to find another company if you do not have the "bonus protection" coverage as mentioned above.
But you'll have to declare your claim - and the date! With the obvious consequence!
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Old 04.02.2015, 09:54
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

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But you'll have to declare your claim - and the date! With the obvious consequence!
Of course. But my point is you will be better off to go with a new company (I doubt that you will be at 35% to start) than stay with the old one.

In any event, if you have an accident and you do not have bonus protection it is worthwhile to get other offers (quickly) rather than just staying and "repaying" the money the insurance company has paid out on the claim over the next 3+ years.
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Old 04.02.2015, 13:54
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

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Premium protection costs around 10% of your premium - but will prevent a premium rise if you claim. Depending on your policy that might be worth while.

EG
1,500chf base premium @ 30% = 450chf (+10% protection) = 495chf

So 45 chf per year to protect your premium rising to 1,500chf if you have to claim. If you are risk averse it might be a good buy

EG
2,100chf base premium @ 30% = 700chf (3rd Party)
6,900chf voll-kasko @ 30% = 2,300chf (full comprehensive covering all risks)

TOTAL 3,000chf (+10% protection) = 3,300chf

300chf is a lot of money - but it does cover a 6,000chf price rise!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you lose all of your no-claims discount in the event of an at-fault claim. I think you lose 20%, typically -- e.g. going from 70% discount to 50%.
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Old 04.02.2015, 14:19
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

Depending on where the car's overnighted, you may need to add a marder premium.

A high excess can reduce premiums, but can be a false economy, and, depending on your circumstances, you may not have too much flexibility over it, anyway.
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Old 15.10.2015, 15:41
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

Hi

I am having difficulty making the decision about partial or full casco...

We are buying a used 2007 mazda cx-7 for 9,500 CHF. Based on comparis it looks like partial will cost 700 CHF/year and full will cost 1182 CHF/year. Not sure which is the smartest option. Any advice?
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Old 15.10.2015, 16:11
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

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Hi

I am having difficulty making the decision about partial or full casco...

We are buying a used 2007 mazda cx-7 for 9,500 CHF. Based on comparis it looks like partial will cost 700 CHF/year and full will cost 1182 CHF/year. Not sure which is the smartest option. Any advice?
A lot depends on how critical the car is and how much you could afford to replace it yourself - as with any insurance it's a calculated risk.

So if it's not critical for you to have a car, or you could afford to pay another 10k to replace it (or less and make do with something older/worse), or you're happy with not fixing minor bangs or having them fixed cheaply, then partial probably makes sense.

If you need it, would need a replacement quickly, can't afford to replace it etc then the premiums for full probably make sense.

Also bear in mind the excess - you won't get the full 9'500 paid out, so you're paying 500 per year to insure say 9'000.
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Old 15.10.2015, 16:22
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Re: Car Insurance - newby question

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Of course. But my point is you will be better off to go with a new company (I doubt that you will be at 35% to start) than stay with the old one.

In any event, if you have an accident and you do not have bonus protection it is worthwhile to get other offers (quickly) rather than just staying and "repaying" the money the insurance company has paid out on the claim over the next 3+ years.
A friend was at one insurance company and she was at a 40% level. Got two claims in 2014 less than 10k in total, and got bumped to 80% for 2015. Got offers from different insurer that took her to 30% or 35% with the claims obviously stated to the insurer!

The new insurer picked her up and put her at a lower risk after having two accidents than the first one did when she had a clean record.

It's definitely worth it to shop around and take other offers.
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