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Switzerland - Insurance

Health insurance abroad is essential for any expat. In addition to expat healthcare insurance rates, insurance providers or online insurance comparison sites can provide life assurance quotes and auto insurance rates to provide you with overseas coverage. However, remember that cheap insurance may not represent the best value for money if you need to make a claim - as an expat you may require specialist expatriate insurance cover abroad.

To request free, no-obligation quotes from leading insurers, please visit our expat insurance page

Health Insurance

Everyone who is resident in Switzerland is required by law to have basic health insurance. This includes those on the temporary L permit. You have 3 months in which to register with one of the private health insurance companies and will be contacted by your Gemeinde if you do not provide them with evidence of this by the end of this time-frame. You won't, however, be able to arrange your Swiss health cover before you are registered as being resident. It is standard practice for your health insurance company to backdate your initial insurance to your date of entry into Switzerland and to charge you from that date. If you fail to take up cover, you will be assigned health insurance and will be expected to meet the costs for it, regardless of whether it is the best value cover for you.

Taking out the mandatory health insurance will cover you for basic health care within your canton. Basic insurance covers you for hospital treatment in your canton, and a range of therapies, health screening for at risk categories and consultations (normally requiring referral by your doctor/physician), and standard maternity care. Certain medications and medical accessories will also be covered. Your insurance will make a contribution to costs for corrective spectacles or contact lenses, but excludes general dental treatment. EU/EFTA nationals will also be covered for health care within those member states and will be issued with an insurance card so will not need a separate E111. Non EU/EFTA nationals will be covered for emergency treatment within Europe.

The premium you will pay for a basic health care package depends on your age and location. The basic premiums use broad age bands of 18 years and under, 19 to 25 years, and 26 plus. You will have an annual excess that you will be responsible for paying for most treatment (excluding maternity costs, and accidents if in employment), and opting for a higher or lower excess will alter your premium. Basic cover will also involve a deductible, which means that you will also have to pay 10% of the remaining costs after the excess has been paid. This can be no higher than CHF 700 per year for an adult, and CHF 350 for a child.

Many residents opt to pay more for enhanced cover which allows for more choice in treatment, does not restrict patients to the canton of residence, and may include private rooms for hospital stays.

Comparison services such as comparis.ch will allow you to compare health insurance premiums. Some of the major health care insurers include (in no particular order) Helsana, Sanitas, Visana, and Groupe Mutuel. Note that there are many other providers who may offer competitive premiums and you will need to obtain quotes to find the best value insurance in your area. Most expats will find health insurance more expensive than they are accustomed to, although for US expats the system may be less costly than that at home.

Useful Resources

Helsana (available in English)
Helsana Versicherungen AG, Postfach, 8081 Zürich
Tel: 0844 80 81 82
International tel: +41 43 340 16 11

Contact: Use contact form on website

Contact: Use contact form on website

Groupe Mutuel
Contact: Use contact form on website

Life Insurance

If you are in employment you are likely to be covered under the state pension (AHV) and occupational pension (BVG) contributions that are deducted each month from your salary. This would provide your dependants with benefits on your death. For additional cover you can take out a private life insurance policy that meets your needs. PostFinance offer a range of life insurance products and have information available online in English. Zurich Financial Services also have a choice of life insurance products explained in English on the website. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain the best life insurance cover for your own personal circumstances by using an independent insurance broker such as AWD. Life insurance is generally an expensive product in Switzerland. Some expats have been successful in obtaining more affordable insurance from their home country that covers them while in Switzerland.

Useful Resources

Life insurance products in English
Tel: 0848 888 710
Email: Use contact form

Zurich Financial Services
Life insurance products in English
Tel: 0800 80 80 80
Email: Use contact form

Independent insurance broker
Tel: 0800 818 000
Email: Use contact form

Home Insurance

While in Switzerland, you will need to take out home (household liability) insurance to cover your accommodation and your personal belongings. This will insure you against accidental damage and theft. Although burglaries are less common in Switzerland than elsewhere, petty crime appears to be on the rise and a number of expats have been the victims of break-ins. Your premium will of course vary according to your location and the value of your property and possessions, but a price comparison site will help you to compare a variety of providers. Major insurance companies include AXA Winterthur, Zurich Connect, Visana, and Allianz. Your household insurer will normally also offer personal liability insurance, if required.

Useful Resources

Zurich Connect
Tel: 0800 22 66 22
Email: service@zurichconnect.ch

AXA Winterthur
Tel: 0800 809 809
Email: Use contact form

Car Insurance

Car insurance must be taken out in Switzerland once registered as resident. Insurance is for the car, rather than for the driver, although young (under 25) drivers may need to be officially named on the policy.

You are allowed to import a foreign car but within a year of import it must be inspected by Swiss authorities (the STVA) and will be granted Swiss plates. Once you have made an appointment for this inspection, you will be issued with a unique Stamm number (Stammnummer) that identifies your car to the authorities, and this can be used to arrange temporary insurance cover until the Swiss plates are obtained. You can obtain quotes for more competitive cover once your car has Swiss plates. Car insurance premiums take into account the usual risk factors and can provide full coverage, partial coverage, or third party liability only. Swiss premiums also include a no claims bonus. Zurich and Allianz are two car insurers who are popular with expats, but compare quotes for the best prices.

Useful Resources

Zurich Connect (as above)

Tel: 0800 22 33 44
Email: Use contact form

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability is expensive to insure in Switzerland. However, depending on the nature of your work, it may be required. Zurich Financial Services have a department that can assist English-speaking expats in obtaining professional liability insurance. You may find that existing professional liability insurance with worldwide validity that has been taken out in your home country is acceptable.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.


Health is your number one priority. At Aviva we understand this, which is why we’re focused on helping you and your family access high quality healthcare at home or overseas. Our award winning medical insurance will help you get the treatment you need or simply provide guidance and advice wherever you are, 24/7.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.