Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Insurance  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28.05.2020, 17:48
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fribourg
Posts: 30
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
gettingitchy has no particular reputation at present
Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

When I first moved to Switzerland, I signed up for household contents & third-party liability insurance. It was a 5-year contract. (I know this is "normal" here, but I can't imagine it's good for the consumer?) Five years have passed, and per the terms of the contract, the policy has now converted to renewing from year-to-year.

I moved cities recently. When I notified them of my move, they sent me a new 5-year policy, stating that if I didn't say anything, they assume I agree with the new policy. (I don't see how they can just create a new contract for me without me signing or agreeing to it, but anyways...)

I looked into the insurance terms, and it mentions nothing about having to renew or extend for 5 years if you relocate; in fact, it says the policy continues to cover you at the new location. It does say that the premium may change, which I understand. I've already sent a registered letter stating that I do not agree to the new policy they sent me. It all feels slimy to me, especially as it contradicts the small print of the insurance terms, and it makes me want to cancel/not commit to 5 years even more.

I also contacted the insurance guy about it; he says that because I made a change (of address), the contract gets extended. It sounds like BS to me, and maybe I'm just distrustful of insurance company representatives, but I feel he's trying to coerce me into another 5-year contract. I've yet to hear back by post about my letter.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with this, or any advice about how to respond now? How far do I need to push back to get them to back off? I don't want to get into a legal battle but I don't see why I should agree to another 5 years when there doesn't seem to be anything in the contract terms suggesting this is a requirement.

Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 28.05.2020, 17:56
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Risch
Posts: 637
Groaned at 27 Times in 17 Posts
Thanked 639 Times in 339 Posts
KiwiSteve has a reputation beyond reputeKiwiSteve has a reputation beyond reputeKiwiSteve has a reputation beyond reputeKiwiSteve has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

This (unfortunately in german)
from comparis.ch
Vermeiden Sie langjährige Verträge, damit Sie flexibel bleiben und von günstigeren Angeboten profitieren können. So fahren Sie besser als mit den geringen Rabatten, die Sie für langjährige Verträge erhalten. Bei Gesellschaften, die keine einjährige Vertragsdauer anbieten, können Sie darauf bestehen, dass Ihnen ein jährliches Kündigungsrecht zugestanden wird. Dieses muss auf der Police vermerkt werden.

Avoid long term contracts so that that you have flexibility and can benefit from cheaper offers. So it is not worth the small saving you will make on a long term contract. With companies that do not offer a one year contract, you can demand one years notice of termination recorded in the contract.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 28.05.2020, 18:47
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 12,139
Groaned at 189 Times in 166 Posts
Thanked 17,487 Times in 7,114 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Quote:
View Post
I moved cities recently. When I notified them of my move, they sent me a new 5-year policy, stating that if I didn't say anything, they assume I agree with the new policy.
That clearly means that you have to agree with it.

Go and talk to another insurance broker. They've a vested interest in selling to you.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 28.05.2020, 19:06
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

So they said: "5 more yrs or nothing take it or leave it". You wrote in a registered letter "Leave it"

Just give them a call that you are awaiting the confirmation of cancellation, and take it up from there if they cause problems.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 29.05.2020, 00:58
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,785
Groaned at 312 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 10,050 Times in 5,305 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Quote:
View Post
I've already sent a registered letter stating that I do not agree to the new policy they sent me.
That means your contract ends soon, if it hasn't already. Check your contract, expect 30 days notice period. The question is what the starting day is for that period, could be your move-in date at your new place or the day they sent the new contract.

But before you sign something with another insurer you should request confirmation that you're out of this contract, as already advised above. Otherwise you risk having two contracts and paying double. This can be done by phone, I would enquire how long such a confirmation takes to arrive (I wouldn't care when they send it).

If you do decide to sign the new contract, feel free to strike through the 5yr duration clause and place a remark they can't overlook near your signature saying 1 year minimum duration with revolving extension by one year.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29.05.2020, 11:09
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lugano
Posts: 853
Groaned at 15 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 947 Times in 447 Posts
LuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

I've lot of experience with this over the years. I refuse to accept 5 year contracts and if they don't remove the clause I don't go with them. We've mainly been with Zurich now for 20 years and never had a problem.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank LuganoPirate for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 04.06.2020, 19:03
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fribourg
Posts: 30
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
gettingitchy has no particular reputation at present
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Quote:
View Post
That means your contract ends soon, if it hasn't already. Check your contract, expect 30 days notice period. The question is what the starting day is for that period, could be your move-in date at your new place or the day they sent the new contract.
Yes, my contract was ending at the end of May. The notice period was 3 months, which I obviously missed, but per the terms of insurance, it should have simply renewed for another year.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04.06.2020, 19:08
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fribourg
Posts: 30
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
gettingitchy has no particular reputation at present
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

In the meantime, I got an email response from their representative, who said that "The duration has been extended because as soon as you make a change (address) to the contract it will be extended." Which of course, is not what the terms say. As I have explained to him via email.

But as many of you have suggested, I probably should give them a ring and simply ask when I will receive confirmation of either a) cancellation or b) extension by only one year.

When I log in online to the insurance, it still shows me having a contract until 2025. How they can do this when I haven't signed anything is beyond me!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05.06.2020, 01:33
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,785
Groaned at 312 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 10,050 Times in 5,305 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Quote:
View Post
When I log in online to the insurance, it still shows me having a contract until 2025. How they can do this when I haven't signed anything is beyond me!
Can you outline the timeline?
Your moving date, when you told the insurance, date of their letter, when you sent your reply, etc. What's the new end date of your contract according to them?

And what does your old contract say, or their T&C, on the consequences of moving?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06.06.2020, 13:44
eng_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Up where the air is clear
Posts: 1,629
Groaned at 4 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 1,581 Times in 806 Posts
eng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Yep, cancel if you can! Some of the bigger and older insurance companies still try to work with 5-year contracts if they can; from experience Zurich will usually revert to one-year contracts on request.
The newer, online brands tend towards one-year contracts and one-month notice as their default. I've gradually moved most of my private policies to Smile.direct (the online arm of Helvetia IIRC) and have been very impressed. Very helpful and responsive and absolutely no quibble on the claims I've had to make (the real test, after all). Our kitten managed to smash our bathroom washbasin to smithereens earlier this year and they said, providing it's not over CHF 1000, just sort it out and send us the bills. They settled inside a week.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank eng_ch for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 07.06.2020, 23:26
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,785
Groaned at 312 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 10,050 Times in 5,305 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Quote:
View Post
our kitten managed to smash our bathroom washbasin to smithereens earlier this year
ROARRRRR!!

(need this to keep the above capitalised)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08.06.2020, 14:42
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fribourg
Posts: 30
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
gettingitchy has no particular reputation at present
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Quote:
View Post
Can you outline the timeline?
Your moving date, when you told the insurance, date of their letter, when you sent your reply, etc.
  • 1 Oct 2019: First day of the new lease at the new apartment.
  • 8 Oct 2019: Ordered “Change of residence” service with Swiss Post.
  • 15 Oct 2019: Last day of my old lease at my old apartment.
  • 18 Nov 2019: I get a letter in the mail from the insurance company that, due to my recent move, they are proposing a new (5-year) contract. I do not sign and return.
  • 17 January 2020: I get another proposed 5-year contract by mail. I do not sign and return.
  • 20 April 2020: I get invoice in the mail for the next year’s premium. It’s addressed to my new address, but I notice my old address as the insured location. I’m able to log into the insurance portal (had previously not been able to) and make the change of address there. I’m also able to see the contact information of my new representative (I had requested a new local representative) so I email him about the change of address. He responds right away by email that I’ll receive a corrected contract via post.
  • 2 May 2020: New contract sent by mail. It says that my “current insurance coverage has been rearranged”, that my previous policy was terminated and replaced with the new policy. This time, instead of asking for my signature, they say that if I “do not agree with the contents of this please contact us within four weeks, otherwise this content is deemed to have met with your approval.”
  • 13 May 2020: I email the local representative to clarify a few things and ask about the 5-year extension.
  • 20 May 2020: Not having gotten a response, I send a letter (recomendee) in both English and French that I do not agree with the new policy and contract. Among other things, I request confirmation that the contract will only extend for one year per the T&C.
  • 28 May 2020: I get an email response from the representative, briefly answering my questions and saying that the contract duration was extended because as soon as I make a change of address, the contract will be extended.
  • 29 May 2020: I respond quoting the relevant parts of the T&C which does not mention anything about the extension of a contract due to change of address, remind him of the letter I sent by post, and request confirmation of cancellation.

Unfortunately I cannot find "proof" in my sent email of when I informed them of my move - it might've been over the phone, through their "contact us" form, or maybe the Post informed them? In any case, it must've been before 18 November 2019.

Quote:
View Post
What's the new end date of your contract according to them?
When I log into the customer portal I can see an "active contract" with a start date of 10.07.2014 and end date 01.06.2025, and an "inactive contract" with a start date of 02.07.2014 and end date 01.06.2021.


Quote:
View Post
And what does your old contract say, or their T&C, on the consequences of moving?
When I first got the insurance 6 years ago, it was a different company, since then it’s been purchased/acquired. The T&C from the company I signed with says:
The insurance is valid for…when moving home within Switzerland…both during the removal and at the new address. The Company is to be notified of changes of address within 30 days and reserves the right to adjust the premium in line with the new circumstances.
Regarding the term of the contract and renewal:
All other contracts are tacitly extended by one year unless cancelled in writing three months before expiry.
It's essentially the same in the 2019 Mutual Provisions dated of the current company, though.

As you can see, it's been a long battle, and I'm quite unhappy with their attempts to (I feel) coerce me into 5-year contracts. I know I should have cancelled 4+ months ago when I had the chance, but I really do appreciate all the advice and commiseration!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08.06.2020, 16:32
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,785
Groaned at 312 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 10,050 Times in 5,305 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Thank you.

The way I see it they either accepted the 1yr duration as per your registered letter, or there's no running contract at all. IMHO it's debatable whether a "4 weeks to complain, otherwise it's accepted" has any validity in the first place, but thanks to your registered letter that's not an issue here.

The agent may be trying it on because his cut will depend on the entire premium from the new contract, a 5yr contract yields five times what he gets from a 1yr contract - of course this is speculation. Either way there's definitely no need to make it 5yrs.

Perhaps print a printscreen of what you see in the customer portal, just to be sure and have complete documentation. I can't make sense of the different start dates, but IMHO the two end dates make it clear that someone's trying to change the 1yr extension to a 5yr one. If there were a new contract that start date would be June 2 or so.

The takeover has no bearing, the new company assumes all contracts and the obligations arising therefrom as they are.

Then contact the agent's superior (probably the "GeneralAgent", no idea about the French term) and ask them to explain the situation in writing, both what happened, why they think there's a need for a new contract, and what they think the current state is. If you don't like what they say you could try the insurance ombudsman (the other language versions of the page may contain additional info on them), but keep in mind that they're neither arbiter nor judge, they have no formal authority as such.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Urs Max for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 09.06.2020, 18:48
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fribourg
Posts: 30
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
gettingitchy has no particular reputation at present
Re: Extension of insurance contract just for moving house?

Quote:
View Post
Then contact the agent's superior (probably the "GeneralAgent", no idea about the French term) and ask them to explain the situation in writing, both what happened, why they think there's a need for a new contract, and what they think the current state is. If you don't like what they say you could try the insurance ombudsman (the other language versions of the page may contain additional info on them), but keep in mind that they're neither arbiter nor judge, they have no formal authority as such.
Thanks very much for the link! Would this written documentation from the insurance company essentially serve as the "Statement of the insurer" that one must attach to the Ombudsman's Complaint form (https://vom-of.evidence.ch/?lang=en)?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
contract extension, contract renewal, five-year contract, household insurance, liability insurance




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Private Liability Insurance-Moving House pisceangirl Insurance 2 27.08.2017 09:56
Temporary Contract Extension Aklein00 Employment 29 07.01.2016 12:58
Orange contract extension chiheng TV/internet/telephone 3 18.08.2014 11:32
Liability insurance & moving out before contract ends _caroline Permits/visas/government 3 24.07.2014 15:16
Sunrise contract extension kiwiguy08 TV/internet/telephone 9 17.01.2011 16:23


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:20.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0