Household insurance is not a compulsory insurance in Switzerland, although it is highly recommended to have this type of insurance. However, whether you are a property owner or renting a property, you may be legally required to obtain certain policies.
If you own a property
As a property owner, you are required by law to have basic building insurance. This type of insurance coverage protects you against liability for damage caused by fire, flood, and other natural disasters. Also, there is a possibility of acquiring a more comprehensive option where you can, for instance, insure your property against damage caused by tenants.
In addition to the household insurance, it is usually recommended to take out contents insurance as well. Protecting your household contents (movable property and personal belongings) against theft, fire and water damage is not obligatory in Switzerland. Typically, your possessions are also covered when you move house within Switzerland or travel outside of the country.
If you rent a property
As a renter in most cantons in Switzerland, you will most likely be required to provide proof that you are a holder of third-party liability and contents insurance policies. In other words, you need to have a policy that will cover the costs for accidental damages caused to the rental property. Unfortunately, third-party insurance policies you and your family may possess from your home country will not be accepted.
Landlords and real-estate agencies in most cantons in the country may insist on seeing this evidence before actually singing a rental agreement. Therefore, it is recommended that you get basic coverage for the first few months of your stay as soon as you arrive in Switzerland. After you settle in your new residence, you can adjust your policy to match your needs.