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Old 21.09.2015, 20:18
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Insurance for apartment rental

Dear All,

I recently moved into a new apartment in Nussbaumen, it is a 3.5 room apartment.

I wasn't asked by the landlord to take a home insurance. Does someone know if a home insurance is mandatory in Switzerland for renting apartments?

Is a house insurance in German called "Hapflichtversicherung"? and what do they cover exactly?

Thanks for answering.

Kind regards
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Old 21.09.2015, 20:22
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

Yes, the "Hapflichtversicherung" is mandatory to rent an apartment/house. This should cover any damage to the property.
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Old 21.09.2015, 20:27
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Yes, the "Hapflichtversicherung" is mandatory to rent an apartment/house. This should cover any damage to the property.
Wrong.

Liability (Haftpflicht) and household (Hausrat) insurance (the former covers costs if you do damages to others and their property, the latter covers damage to your possessions) are not mandatory by law, but they can be made mandatory in your lease. So read it carefully and, if you sign a lease in which these insurances are mandatory, make sure you take them out since that's what you agreed to.

They might not be mandatory, but they are very very useful - just looking through the forum for "mold damage", "broken oven door", "water damage" can give you an idea of just how needed these coverages can be if the unexpected happens.

If you don't have insurance and something happens, insurance taken out after the incident won't cover you for the incident.
If you have insurance but fail to notify them of damages immediately, you won't be covered either.

Better safe than sorry - but not mandatory unless stipulated in your signed rental contract.
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Old 21.09.2015, 20:54
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

Swiss Authorities Online (ch.ch) has a page on Personal Liability Insurance at this link:

https://www.ch.ch/en/personal-liability-insurance/

It is relatively inexpensive and would seem worthwhile but, unlike health insurance, it is not obligatory.
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Old 21.09.2015, 23:31
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

Thank you for your answer. Now it's clear.

I will I think take a private liability insurance even if it was not asked by my landlord. It seems that it's not mandatory in my rental contract.

At least if damages happen in the apartment I am protected.
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Old 22.09.2015, 10:09
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Thank you for your answer. Now it's clear.

I will I think take a private liability insurance even if it was not asked by my landlord. It seems that it's not mandatory in my rental contract.

At least if damages happen in the apartment I am protected.

Payment of any damage you cause to the property is mandatory !

You do however have a choice how it is paid, directly by you or by insurance

Insurance is cheap, and it makes life so muchg easier, read a post a bout fire in the kitchen and no insurance if you want more convincing.
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Old 22.09.2015, 10:13
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Payment of any damage you cause to the property is mandatory !
Whilst you have a liability, collection of a debt is not always so easy & payment may not be possible in practice.
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Old 22.09.2015, 10:54
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Whilst you have a liability, collection of a debt is not always so easy & payment may not be possible in practice.
That's why "rental guarantees" were invented
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Old 22.09.2015, 14:50
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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That's why "rental guarantees" were invented
I think it's quite possible for your damage to exceed 3 months rental by a huge margin, which is the reason you are usually asked to take out insurance, whether you keep it up or even pay the rent is another matter.
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Old 22.09.2015, 15:11
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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I think it's quite possible for your damage to exceed 3 months rental by a huge margin, which is the reason you are usually asked to take out insurance, whether you keep it up or even pay the rent is another matter.
Absolutely. If you have a deposit of say 9000 and ramp up damages worth 18k by e.g. spilling paint on the floor, moldy walls, etc., you have to pay the 18k no matter what. For the landlord to be able to use your deposit as part of those 18k you have to agree to his usage of the money (which you probably will, because that's better than ending up in court over it.) As for the rest (9k), they don't just disappear into thin air because your deposit is less than 18k - if you have insurance, they might cover these 9k (or even the 18k depending on what the damage is and when it was reported to insurance). If you don't have insurance though - OUCH.
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Old 22.09.2015, 17:45
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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I think it's quite possible for your damage to exceed 3 months rental by a huge margin, which is the reason you are usually asked to take out insurance, whether you keep it up or even pay the rent is another matter.
Fully agree, but there is no legal obligation to have insurance. In same repsect a landlord can only ask for upto 3 months' rent as a guantee.

I always insist on my tenants having insurance, it's in the contract and that is legal to do.
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Old 02.10.2015, 15:56
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Fully agree, but there is no legal obligation to have insurance. In same repsect a landlord can only ask for upto 3 months' rent as a guantee.

I always insist on my tenants having insurance, it's in the contract and that is legal to do.
Is there not? Just received a letter from ECA that if I don't take out an obligatory insurance "Menage contre l'incendie et les elements naturels" I can face a fine from 50 to 5000 chf. How about that? And it was not mentioned in my rental contract.

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[...] moldy walls, etc., you have to pay the 18k no matter what[...]
Say what?? In Switzerland it's the lessee who is responsible for screw-ups during the construction of the apartment???
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Old 02.10.2015, 16:24
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Is there not? Just received a letter from ECA that if I don't take out a obligatory insurance "Menage contre l'incendie et les elements naturels" I can face a fine from 50 to 5000 chf. How about that? And it was not mentioned in my rental contract.
Are you the owner of the building or do you rent?

In other cantons than GE, UR, SZ, TI, AI, VS and OW, building owners are required by cantonal law to take out building insurance.
In SZ, UR, AI and OW there is a legal basis for the mandatory building insurance, while in GE, TI and VS there is no such thing (see here and here). Building insurance (which the landlord takes out) normally covers damage caused by fire, water or glass, flood, storms, avalanches etc.
Meaning that only in GE, TI and VS you're not required to take out building insurance as a building owner.

So as your location says Lausanne I'll assume you're based there (VD) and according to your phrasing I'll assume you own the building, in which case you have to pay for building insurance. Here is the vaudoise website which explains all about compulsory insurances in your canton.

Note: Building, household and liability insurance are three completely different things.
Liability: Covers damages caused by you to others' property or person. Not mandatory unless so stipulated and agreed upon in the lease.
Household: Covers damages caused by a tenant to his possessions (including those which he (not the landlord) had built into a flat - and which he possibly has to remove, depending on what the landlord says, when he moves out). Not mandatory unless so stipulated and agreed upon in the lease.
Building: Explained above. Mandatory in most cantons (bases for that requirement can be cantonal or not).

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Say what?? In Switzerland it's the lessee who is responsible for screw-ups during the construction of the apartment???
Moldy walls aren't always caused by construction screwups - search the forum for "stained wall" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 02.10.2015 at 16:40.
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Old 02.10.2015, 17:16
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Say what?? In Switzerland it's the lessee who is responsible for screw-ups during the construction of the apartment???
No - if you declare the issue to the landlord as soon as you spot it, and it is a construction issue, then they have to fix it.

But if you continuously fail to air the property and let mold collect, or leave it dirty enough to cause issues, then yes of course you pay. A tennancy here has much more implications of also being a custodian of the property, which given the high quality and long term nature of rentals is a good thing.
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Old 02.10.2015, 20:28
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Is there not? Just received a letter from ECA that if I don't take out an obligatory insurance "Menage contre l'incendie et les elements naturels" I can face a fine from 50 to 5000 chf. How about that? And it was not mentioned in my rental contract.
Yes but as you are not comparing to household insurance you comment is rather worthless.

ECA is for fire insurance and damage from natural causes, nothing to do with household insurance which is completely different

Why should it be mentioned in a contract when it is cantonal law ?

Last edited by Today only; 02.10.2015 at 20:42.
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Old 03.10.2015, 01:30
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

So wait, I'm not insuring the apartment? This is also a kind of apartment insurance and the op asked in general. By the way: why the hell it is me who is responsible for NATURAL disasters? That should be covered by the landlord who makes shitload of money on the rent :/
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So as your location says Lausanne I'll assume you're based there (VD) and according to your phrasing I'll assume you own the building, in which case you have to pay for building insurance. Here is the vaudoise website which explains all about compulsory insurances in your canton.
I wish I owned a building in Switzerland
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Old 03.10.2015, 09:02
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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So wait, I'm not insuring the apartment? This is also a kind of apartment insurance and the op asked in general. By the way: why the hell it is me who is responsible for NATURAL disasters? That should be covered by the landlord who makes shitload of money on the rent :/


I wish I owned a building in Switzerland
No, you'll be insuring YOUR possessions against fire and natural disasters. It is a solidarity thing in Vaud, we all have to have it, it was democratically voted in a while back. By having everybody contribute, it keeps the costs down for everybody.
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Old 03.10.2015, 10:57
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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No, you'll be insuring YOUR possessions against fire and natural disasters. It is a solidarity thing in Vaud, we all have to have it, it was democratically voted in a while back. By having everybody contribute, it keeps the costs down for everybody.
I'm sorry but cost of what? Sofa, two ikea table basse and a table all bought for 300 franks?? Oh, did I mentioned two wardrobes and few chairs value of another 100 franks?? I want to to bear the risk, isn't this a free democratic country??
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Old 03.10.2015, 20:11
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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I'm sorry but cost of what? Sofa, two ikea table basse and a table all bought for 300 franks?? Oh, did I mentioned two wardrobes and few chairs value of another 100 franks?? I want to to bear the risk, isn't this a free democratic country??
This is a free democratic country

Your insurance premium is, as always, based on the amount that you declare.

Obviously in your case it's 2 tenths of sod all, plus the part for solidarity, it will end up costing you less than Chf 100.--, probably more like Chf 50.--. if you declare you have Chf 1'000.--- to insure only.

Insurance pays out no more, and often less, than the amount declared at the start of the police and according to premium paid.........

Maybe get a torch instead of some romantic candle business...
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Old 03.10.2015, 20:32
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Re: Insurance for apartment rental

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Is there not? Just received a letter from ECA that if I don't take out an obligatory insurance "Menage contre l'incendie et les elements naturels" I can face a fine from 50 to 5000 chf. How about that? And it was not mentioned in my rental contract. ?
In canton Vaud, it is compulsory to insure your private possessions for fire risk, with a minimum cover of CHF 10'000 if I remember correctly. I think you may insure privately, but they need to approve your policy.
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