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New in Switzerland? Compulsory and voluntary insurances

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The swiss insurance system can be somewhat difficult to apprehend because of many coverages available. Taking all products together, which are the compulsory insurances? Explanation.

Mandatory, optional, and recommended products

In Switzerland, the law offers broad freedom of choice regarding private insurances. Thus, it is possible to choose its insurer and options even for mandatory insurances. Add to this freedom of choice a large number of voluntary coverages and the whole thing can be a little complex for people who just moved in the country. However, there are not so many compulsory insurances. Below, we propose a list of those.

Basic health insurance: an obligation in Switzerland

People living in the country must subscribe to a basic health insurance. The choice of the insurer and conditions (franchise, kind of coverage) is however free. The only exceptions to this obligation are:

  • Some foreigner students: if those are already protected by a coverage from their home country, and if this insurance covers health costs in Switzerland.
  • Frontier worker: for example french border workers can choose between the Swiss system (LAMal) or the french system (CMU).

Do you need some additional information? Prestaflex propose some pages about Swiss health care, both for mandatory and voluntary insurances.

Private liability and vehicles

Vehicle owners mut make a private driver liability insurance. This coverage protects all drivers of the vehicle for damage caused to others while driving.


This product covers against damages caused to the vehicle itself. The coverage is available in two versions: full or partial casco. The partial casco protects against “natural” damage, and the full version protects against collisions. In terms of obligation, only leased vehicles must be insured with a casco (the full version).

Other mandatory insurances

Other coverages can be imposed in some cantons. Thus, it is sometimes compulsory to take a fire insurance for example.

Also, there are many voluntary insurances that are strongly recommended. The best, when moving in, is to call on an insurance agency who could help to get the best products. Finally, there are many websites offering informations for expats living in Switzerland ( for example), and many expat forums as well.