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Old 03.03.2011, 10:34
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Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

And now my wife has had an accident.

I won't go into the gory details of it all. But my wife had an accident while we were visiting back in home in the UK. I delayed her flight for coming back. Since the accident involves burns I would like her bandages to be changed and for her burns to be checked for infections etc. when she comes back to Switzerland.

She works more than 8 hours per week as a nanny with a contract in Switzerland. The contract states the employer will provide accident insurance for her. When emailed about the details for this insurance the employer gave a very sketchy reply with strong suggestions that she should recover in the UK. When prompted further, no reply was received.

The NHS is underfunded enough without non-residents leeching off it IMO.

What would everyone suggest I do to move forward with this? I'm thinking to suggest that if she hasn't taken accident insurance then she can pay for any medical bills my wife has in Switzerland.

If they suddenly decide to be awkward about it then what? She has a legal obligation to insure her employees against accidents.

Thanks in advance for your help.


I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland.
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Old 03.03.2011, 10:48
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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And now my wife has had an accident.

I won't go into the gory details of it all. But my wife had an accident while we were visiting back in home in the UK. I delayed her flight for coming back. Since the accident involves burns I would like her bandages to be changed and for her burns to be checked for infections etc. when she comes back to Switzerland.

She works more than 8 hours per week as a nanny with a contract in Switzerland. The contract states the employer will provide accident insurance for her. When emailed about the details for this insurance the employer gave a very sketchy reply with strong suggestions that she should recover in the UK. When prompted further, no reply was received.

The NHS is underfunded enough without non-residents leeching off it IMO.

What would everyone suggest I do to move forward with this? I'm thinking to suggest that if she hasn't taken accident insurance then she can pay for any medical bills my wife has in Switzerland.

If they suddenly decide to be awkward about it then what? She has a legal obligation to insure her employees against accidents.

Thanks in advance for your help.


I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland.
Accident insurance or medical insurance? AFAIK, accident insurance is insurance for employee accidents sustained at work. Medical insurance is normally the obligation of the individual not the employer and is mandatory in Switzerland.
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Old 03.03.2011, 10:59
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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Accident insurance or medical insurance? AFAIK, accident insurance is insurance for employee accidents sustained at work. Medical insurance is normally the obligation of the individual not the employer and is mandatory in Switzerland.
Thanks for your reply.

http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/832_202/a13.html

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A part-time workers employed by an employer at least eight hours per week are also insured against non-occupational accidents. 1
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Old 03.03.2011, 11:15
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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Accident insurance or medical insurance? AFAIK, accident insurance is insurance for employee accidents sustained at work. Medical insurance is normally the obligation of the individual not the employer and is mandatory in Switzerland.
Hi Economisto, I humbly think this isnt actually the case - accident by the employer is to cover all accidents you have whether in or out of work. in my time here the employers accident cover also covered a skiing accident and a football injury I have had for example.
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Old 03.03.2011, 11:45
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

I would simply contact the employer again and state that you need the details of her accident coverage as these bills need to be paid. If she doesn't respond with details, or if she states that there is no coverage, suggest that she pay for the bills. If that fails, let her know that you'll be going to the authorities to discuss this.

I don't know that you'll get any kind of benefit from the authorities (i.e. I don't know if they'll give you some kind of financial compensation from your employer) but they'll definitely give her some grief.
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Old 03.03.2011, 12:37
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

Well it would be simpler if she recovered in the UK. Otherwise you can continue treatment here but you will have to fight for the return of the doctor's fees.

Many foreigners are entitled to free care on the British NHS, I expect they have already asked to see your wife's passport.

In the meantime you need to ask here where to start accusing the employer of breaking Swiss laws. I would first ask at your Commune, maybe the social services department. Would you like to name and shame the employer here? Maybe your health insurance agent can also help you.
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Old 03.03.2011, 12:47
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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Well it would be simpler if she recovered in the UK. Otherwise you can continue treatment here but you will have to fight for the return of the doctor's fees.

Many foreigners are entitled to free care on the British NHS, I expect they have already asked to see your wife's passport.

In the meantime you need to ask here where to start accusing the employer of breaking Swiss laws. I would first ask at your Commune, maybe the social services department. Would you like to name and shame the employer here? Maybe your health insurance agent can also help you.


Easy Tiger... There is no proof that the Employer does not have insurance. Merely that the Employer has not provided the insurance details.
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Old 03.03.2011, 12:47
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

It's a difficult situation for you, so I hope your wife will recover soon.
I am however a bit confused- if you are resident here, you have to have medical Insurance yourself by law, which would cover her anyway. Are you not covered by holiday insurance either?
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Old 03.03.2011, 12:50
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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It's a difficult situation for you, so I hope your wife will recover soon.
I am however a bit confused- if you are resident here, you have to have medical Insurance yourself by law, which would cover her anyway. Are you not covered by holiday insurance either?
Not so sure about that- in instances where I had an accident the doc was very keen to have the accident insurance and couldn't be bothered with my health insurance.

As it's the employer's responsibility to provide accident coverage, if they haven't (still to be seen), then I imagine it would be like if you didn't have health insurance and had to seek care for something covered by that- that is, they will have to pay out of pocket.
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Old 03.03.2011, 12:51
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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It's a difficult situation for you, so I hope your wife will recover soon.
I am however a bit confused- if you are resident here, you have to have medical Insurance yourself by law, which would cover her anyway. Are you not covered by holiday insurance either?
That all depends if the a) the OP and his wife have joint medical coverage (not everone does, me for example) b)the medical insurance includes accident insurance (not all do, mine for example , my employer covers that, even non-work related accidents)
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Old 03.03.2011, 12:52
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

Cosmos, I am so sorry you and your wife have to deal with this stress on top of her injuries! It's frustrating that your wife is working with a contract and following all the rules and then this happens anyway!

I agree with Ittigen. If your wife can stay in the UK for a while it might make things simpler until you can figure out where you stand and who's responsible to pay here. If you're feeling guilty about using the NHS that's understandable, but if you paid in for many years and need it now, you are still citizens and it's still your country.

I wish you lots of luck!
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Old 03.03.2011, 13:04
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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I would simply contact the employer again and state that you need the details of her accident coverage as these bills need to be paid. If she doesn't respond with details, or if she states that there is no coverage, suggest that she pay for the bills. If that fails, let her know that you'll be going to the authorities to discuss this.

I don't know that you'll get any kind of benefit from the authorities (i.e. I don't know if they'll give you some kind of financial compensation from your employer) but they'll definitely give her some grief.
Thanks for this post. I can't thank yet so you have to accept thanks like this.

When you say authorities. Should I just go to the controle des habitants? Which authorities?

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Well it would be simpler if she recovered in the UK. Otherwise you can continue treatment here but you will have to fight for the return of the doctor's fees.

Many foreigners are entitled to free care on the British NHS, I expect they have already asked to see your wife's passport.

In the meantime you need to ask here where to start accusing the employer of breaking Swiss laws. I would first ask at your Commune, maybe the social services department. Would you like to name and shame the employer here? Maybe your health insurance agent can also help you.
I will wait to confirm that she isn't covered. But if she was I'd imagine I'd have a reply by now. This thread is basically trying to get as much information as possible for that eventuality. Hopefully this thread was a waste of time and she is covered and we all live happily ever after



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That all depends if the a) the OP and his wife have joint medical coverage (not everone does, me for example) b)the medical insurance includes accident insurance (not all do, mine for example , my employer covers that, even non-work related accidents)
Well she does have accident insurance which I paid for from before she got her job which I haven't cancelled. But it has a 2500CHF franchise. I understand that employer provided accident insurance has no franchise.

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Cosmos, I am so sorry you and your wife have to deal with this stress on top of her injuries! It's frustrating that your wife is working with a contract and following all the rules and then this happens anyway!

I agree with Ittigen. If your wife can stay in the UK for a while it might make things simpler until you can figure out where you stand and who's responsible to pay here. If you're feeling guilty about using the NHS that's understandable, but if you paid in for many years and need it now, you are still citizens and it's still your country.

I wish you lots of luck!
Thank you. It's not as if she is admitted to hospital. She is at home. But she is all bandaged up and would need them changed once a week I'd imagine...and then checked for infection....and pain killers. The costs add up and should be covered by the employer provided accident insurance!

Thanks to all for your replies.
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Old 03.03.2011, 13:17
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

http://familienforum.liliput.ch/Download/Obligatorische_Unfallversicherung_6.05-D.pdf

Employers must take out accident insurance for their employees, see link. If you have doubts talk to the AHV people. Question is whether the employer has been paying social security? If not they are in even bigger trouble...
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Old 03.03.2011, 13:20
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

If you need help with language issues, will be happy to help.
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Old 03.03.2011, 13:27
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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http://familienforum.liliput.ch/Download/Obligatorische_Unfallversicherung_6.05-D.pdf

Employers must take out accident insurance for their employees, see link. If you have doubts talk to the AHV people. Question is whether the employer has been paying social security? If not they are in even bigger trouble...
My wife was recently given her AVS card (AVS and AHV are the same right?)...so I am confident that she has been paying social security. This is why I'm so surprised about them being so reluctant about the accident insurance.

Her employer is a very above board person with the contract and everything so it may well have been something that slipped her mind....but that's really not good enough. My wife just does this to keep her busy and gets paid terribly. The least her employer could do is her legal obligations.
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Old 03.03.2011, 14:14
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

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My wife was recently given her AVS card (AVS and AHV are the same right?)...so I am confident that she has been paying social security. This is why I'm so surprised about them being so reluctant about the accident.
Particularly as it would only be about 10-15 chf a month...
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Old 03.03.2011, 14:16
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

Is accident insurance pro rated (sp?) for a part time employee?

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Particularly as it would only be about 10-15 chf a month...
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Old 03.03.2011, 14:23
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

Would the employer have to pay the franchise for the accident insurance or is there just none?
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Old 03.03.2011, 14:25
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

There is none for employee insurance.
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Old 03.03.2011, 14:40
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Re: Wife's employer didn't take out accident insurance (I think)

Odile is correct, when my nanny claimed on the accident insurance I provided for her they company paid 100% of the claim.

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Would the employer have to pay the franchise for the accident insurance or is there just none?
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