Other insurances

| Old age and survivor's insurance (AVS) | Personal liability insurance (RC) | Household insurance | Fire and natural elements insurance (ECA-Vaud) | Legal protection insurance


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Old age and survivor's insurance (AVS)

Old age and survivors’ insurance (OASI) is the most important pillar of old age and survivors’ benefits in Switzerland (1st pillar). Its purpose is to cover subsistence needs in old age or the event of a death. As a form of national insurance, OASI is obligatory for everyone.

According to AVS law, Swiss and foreign students (residents) holding a C permit must subscribe for AVS if they do not have any gainful employment. The amount is: 514.- CHF/year. This contribution applies from the 1st January of the year following that in which the student reaches the age of 20. Students with a B permit for "study stay" are exempt from the obligation to pay contributions.

For more information, visit: ch.ch.


Personal liability insurance (RC)

When you cause damage to another person, you have an obligation to repair it. You can take out personal liability insurance to cover the cost of the damage.

While it is in principal optional in Switzerland, we strongly recommend to take out personal liability insurance. Indeed, it is often required when renting a flat. In most cantons, personal liability insurance is also compulsory for dog owners.

In Switzerland, all owners of motor vehicles (including motorbikes and e-bikes) must also take out separate motor vehicle liability insurance.

For more information, visit: ch.ch.


Household insurance

Household insurance covers water damage, broken glass and theft (including theft occurring outside the home) in your apartment or a neighbour’s flat (for water damage only).

  • This insurance is not mandatory but almost always required by rental agencies and student halls when renting an accomodation.
  • This insurance is inexpensive and offers good protection.
  • This insurance is often included in student halls’ contracts.
  • Such a contract can be cancelled in writing by giving 3 months’ notice before the end date.


Fire and natural elements insurance (ECA-Vaud)

The ECA (Cantonal Establishment of Insurance) is informed of your presence in the canton by the Residents’ Registration Office of your commune of residence, for the time of a visit, when you arrive in the commune or when you move out of the commune. The weeks following your registration to the commune, you will receive a letter from the ECA, in order that you insure your household contents and personal property (furniture, clothing, electronic devices, equipment etc.) against fire (fire, explosions, smoke, etc.) and natural disasters (flooding, hail, hurricanes : violent windstorms, etc.). This insurance is compulsory for all residents of the canton (article 27 of the law concerning building insurance and personal property insurance against fire and natural disasters - LAIEN).

Your regional agency is at your disposal for any information.


Legal protection insurance

Legal protection insurance protects you against damage resulting from legal disputes. It gives you access to the advice of a lawyer who will represent you in a dispute before a court, but will also advise you as appropriate. The insurance can also cover the costs of proceedings (depending on the policy) and act as an effective substitute for you.

There are several types of legal protection:

  • private legal protection insurance is aimed at individuals and households.
  • It can be supplemented by road legal protection insurance, so that you can take to the road with complete peace of mind.
  • And if you run your own business, business legal protection insurance will protect you from the financial consequences of legal disputes.

Legal protection insurance is optional. However, it is advisable to take out one as soon as you rent a home or start working, especially if your budget does not allow you to pay for legal fees in the event of a legal dispute. Legal proceedings can quickly become very expensive. 

The cost of legal expenses insurance depends on the cover you choose and the benefits it includes. Premiums for private legal expenses insurance start at around CHF 150.- a year.


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