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Old 22.02.2012, 18:21
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Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

I'll try to make this short.

The apartment we are renting is equiped with Schenker stores. These are outside stores that are used for shade, for privacy and for security. We accidently damaged the stores. (Stupid electric system... there was an object in the way while we were closing the stores... the stores jammed... the electric motor burned and parts of the stores broke). Schenker came by to check things out. It will cost 3000 chf to repair. Well, they do not repair, they replace the whole thing because the broken stores (and electric motor) are too old to be repaired.

The owner is upset (as one would expect). We have personal liability insurance with Visana. It sounds good, right? No so ggod! Visana says they will pay only 20% because the stores were so old (more than 25 years old). I am afraid that the owner will expect us to pay the remaining 80%. Visana told me that the law is on our side and that we do not have to pay the remaining 80%. I know it is a bit early to be nervous but 80% of 3000 chf is 2400 chf. For us that is like a nice 10 day trip across France.

Can the owner withhold the 2400 chf from our rent deposit account when we leave Switzerland in July?
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Old 22.02.2012, 18:28
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

The owner may try, but most likely they won't legally be able to. Usually, if the insurance says that is what it's worth, then that is what it is worth - not the value of replacement.

If in doubt, check with the renters association.
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Old 22.02.2012, 18:37
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

Could you give insurance details to the owner and get them to sort it out between them?
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Old 22.02.2012, 18:43
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

I wouldn't be too worried. The insurance is there to stop you getting sued for the amount.

Natural, age and wear and tear must be taken into account. With items such as these it is the responsibility of the owner to keep them maintained. If the company deem this wasn't the case then that is between them and the landlord, I wouldn't get involved in the argument, simply pass your insurance details onto him.
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Old 22.02.2012, 20:17
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

Update:

My insurance agent just told me that they have discussed with Schenker (the company that will replace the stores) and with the owner of the apartment a week ago. So the owner has known for a week that my insurance will pay only 20% and they (the owner) have not contacted me to say that they expect me to pay the difference. Maybe they are just happy to get nice new stores and pay only 80% of the total cost .
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Old 23.02.2012, 08:34
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

The owner will probably keep the 20% and fit manual blinds.
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Old 23.02.2012, 08:51
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

I would go and check with Association Suisse des locataires http://www.asloca.ch/ They can give you the best advice on what to do and how.
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Old 23.02.2012, 09:37
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

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Visana says they will pay only 20% because the stores were so old (more than 25 years old). I am afraid that the owner will expect us to pay the remaining 80%.
The expected lifespan of the stores is 25 to 30 years depending on type. That's why Visana pays only 20% because that's about the share you had to pay without insurance. The remaining 80% are clearly the landlord's business.

Link to the Tableau paritaire des amortissements (PDF, french)
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Old 23.02.2012, 09:43
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

Don't forget you will have to pay your excess too.....
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Old 27.02.2012, 15:41
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

Switzerland: country of the compromises, where nothing is free! :
I had a bad experience with my last owner, I was on my right and ask for help h ASLOCA which I considered free!! But finally I paid more (every advice, letter, assistance,..) + my nerves all the time of the procedure and my deposit (3 months!) was blocked for a long time ......
If you have time, more money and stronger nerves, I wish good luck to you !
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Old 27.02.2012, 16:02
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

One more time.

If you live in CH, you get PERSONAL LEGAL PROTECTION insurance from the TCS.

Link: http://www.tcs.ch/main/fr/home/versi...tz/privat.html
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Old 27.02.2012, 16:08
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

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One more time.

If you live in CH, you get PERSONAL LEGAL PROTECTION insurance from the TCS.

Link: http://www.tcs.ch/main/fr/home/versi...tz/privat.html
All very true and also from companies like ourselves.

BUT one must remember... There is a always a cooling off period in such policies and on matters to do with disputes with a landlord or employer one cannot claim immediately; it is usually a 3 month period on such cases and at the time of policy inception you must sign if you are currently or about to be in any dispute. In this case the dates are already filed.
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Old 27.02.2012, 16:20
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

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All very true and also from companies like ourselves.

BUT one must remember... There is a always a cooling off period in such policies and on matters to do with disputes with a landlord or employer one cannot claim immediately; it is usually a 3 month period on such cases and at the time of policy inception you must sign if you are currently or about to be in any dispute. In this case the dates are already filed.
Agree completely about the need to get the insurance when you first arrive. The "barn door and the horse" come to mind in many of these situations that come up on EF.

The point I was trying to make to other people is that this situation is a good example of what can happen in the course of day to day living. Then you need to leave CH. Guess what. You are tied up in a nasty legal mess and you don't get your deposit back until it is finished. Lawyers here cost CHF 300+ per hour so a bit of insurance has a very fast payback.
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Old 27.02.2012, 16:25
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

I totally agree, it's a great valid point you are making Barn door indeed, after all you can't insure a burning house!

There is a lot here that can bite you in the rear when you least expect it
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Old 27.02.2012, 21:06
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Re: Personal liability insurance... Am I in trouble?

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Agree completely about the need to get the insurance when you first arrive. The "barn door and the horse" come to mind in many of these situations that come up on EF.

The point I was trying to make to other people is that this situation is a good example of what can happen in the course of day to day living. Then you need to leave CH. Guess what. You are tied up in a nasty legal mess and you don't get your deposit back until it is finished. Lawyers here cost CHF 300+ per hour so a bit of insurance has a very fast payback.

The best solution is to find an arrangement to calm the owner: propose him half / half or 1/3 2/3, or a round sum....
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