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Old 13.12.2008, 11:48
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House insurance : personal effects & private liability

Hello,

I am moving in next week and I have yet to subscribe for some house insurance (not asked by agency, but I guess that it is better to be insured against fire, etc.). Is private liability insurance also recommended ?

Do you know if I can subscribe by phone to have the contract start and then sign the paper documents later ?

I have run some price simulations on comparis, but would you have any advice on such insurances - options, companies, things to watch out for (e.g. contract period for 1 or multiple years), etc. ?

Thx in advance !
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Old 13.12.2008, 19:55
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Re: House insurance : personal effects & private liability

When we first moved here - not speaking a word of German - a relocation company 'took care' of many such things for us before we arrived in Switzerland... a seriously bad move, we came to find out.

The insurance agent gave us an English summary of the policy - but his summary certainly didn't match the official version.

Once I'd had a few German lessons under my belt I realized that we were locked into a 10 year household contents and liability insurance contract that covered all sorts of things we did not need, and didn't cover that which we did. We ended up having to purchase a second policy to cover the things lacking in the first.

Stupid of me, I know - but coming from a system where pretty much everything runs on 1 year contracts, it just didn't occur to me that a contract could run for so long. Live and learn.

(Apparently the relo company automatically signed all expat clients up for a standard 10 year policy because "Well, you'll be transfered to another country soon anyway, and you can break the contract then." I don't think the firm is still in business. )

10 years on, once we were free of the old insurer, we switched to Zürich Insurance who not only were substantially cheaper, but also provide a contract in English.

The moral of the story is: Don't sign (or allow a proxy to sign) anything you don't fully understand.

O - and yes, you should definitely have private liability insurance. And if you are renting, make sure you are covered for any damage to your flat - Swiss landlords are very strict, and a few little scratches can turn out to be very expensive. If you have pets, make sure you are also covered for damage they might do.
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Old 13.12.2008, 20:03
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Re: House insurance : personal effects & private liability

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(Apparently the relo company automatically signed all expat clients up for a standard 10 year policy because "Well, you'll be transfered to another country soon anyway, and you can break the contract then." I don't think the firm is still in business. )
The relocator probably got a fat commission from the insurer.
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Old 14.12.2008, 13:03
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Re: House insurance : personal effects & private liability

We are preparing to move. I found an offer which looked quite reasonable from AXA Winterthur. 370CHF/year for liability plus house contents insurance.
On Comparis Zurich Connect came out both cheaper and higher on consumer satisfaction.
Anybody have any positive or negative experience with these companies?
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Old 14.12.2008, 20:56
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Re: House insurance : personal effects & private liability

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On Comparis Zurich Connect came out both cheaper and higher on consumer satisfaction.
Anybody have any positive or negative experience with these companies?
We have been with Zurich insurance for contents for 5 years now. When we had no claims after 3 years they gave us money back without us asking. It was something like half a years premium they gave us back as a non claim bonus.
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Old 15.12.2008, 10:44
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Re: House insurance : personal effects & private liability

Hi Potom - my answers below. I also use Winterthur/AXA and they have English speaking advisors. Always been a good service. Have no idea about price comparison as it has always been fairly reasonable - in the region of CHF 300 for the year.


I am moving in next week and I have yet to subscribe for some house insurance (not asked by agency, but I guess that it is better to be insured against fire, etc.). Is private liability insurance also recommended ?

You have to have private liability insurance by law in Switzerland.

Do you know if I can subscribe by phone to have the contract start and then sign the paper documents later ?

Yes
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Old 16.12.2008, 11:59
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Re: House insurance : personal effects & private liability

I just wanted to ask a quick question for those in the know about household contents insurance etc.

I am also with Zurich Connect and was looking through the policy to see what coverage there was for accidental damage. I couldn't find anything in the policy so I rang them to see what was covered. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Could you tell me what you cover in terms of accidental damage?
Them: You mean if you damage something yourself?
Me: Yes, by accident.
Them: Oh, this is not covered! It is not possible to insure against this in Switzerland.

Is this true? Do Zurich Connect really not cover accidents at all? Does anyone know of an insurer who would?

I checked my private liability cover and that specifically exempts damage caused to yourself or your family as being a "liability" that they would cover.
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