Buying a house: what insurance do I need? |

Buying a house: what insurance do I need?

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In collaboration with
08.07.2021 | 2 minutes

When building or buying a property, at first glance everything revolves around obtaining the right financing. But watch out, it’s easy to forget that insurance coverage also requires foresight and planning. This article explains which insurance policies make sense in your current situation as a (soon-to-be) homeowner.

Enemy number 1: water

In practice, what types of damage most often affect homeowners?

We did a little survey: the most frequent claims from homeowners at Baloise Insurance in the last ten years were for water damage. This type of damage can occur due to defective water pipes, groundwater or the penetration of rainwater, for example. Finding the cause of damage is sometimes quite tricky and can result in high costs even before the damage is actually repaired. Experience shows that water insurance is definitely worthwhile for homeowners.

The following illustration indicates the insurance you will need right through to the last stage of the real estate purchase process – once you are a homeowner. But let’s go back to the beginning. In the infographic below, you can see which insurance is needed when.

The infographic shows which insurance is needed when.
© Baloise

Before building a house

Obtaining financing

Before you buy a property, you have to resolve the question of financing. Anyone who wants to take out a mortgage often needs not only sufficient equity – at least 20% of the purchase value – but also collateral to guarantee payments in the event of death, disability or incapacity. That’s why we recommend addressing this issue as early as possible and taking out term life insurance and occupational disability insurance.

A woman calculates her equity in Excel.
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“Before they grant a mortgage, mortgage providers often require collateral to ensure that payments are guaranteed even in the event of death or disability. That’s why you should think about obtaining financing as early as possible.”

– Stephan Brenneisen, Credit Advisor, Baloise Bank SoBa & Baloise Insurance

During the construction of your house

Play it safe as the contractor

The time has finally come: the building work can begin on your house! You now need to take out construction insurance to insure the property under construction and the plot of land around it against damage during the building work. This insurance is not mandatory. It comes into play if, for example, the excavation pit collapses due to heavy rain, a water pipe breaks due to drilling work and the escaping water damages the shell of the building, or if components are stolen. This type of insurance also covers damage caused during the construction phase, but which does not have an impact until after the building work has been completed.

Contractor’s liability insurance is also optional, but indispensable. As the contractor, you are liable for damage to other people or property, for example if a visitor has an accident on the construction site or if the neighbor’s house is damaged during the building work. Did you know that Baloise contractor’s liability insurance has been ranked first on the list of top insurance policies for 2021?

Two workers re-cover a roof
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“Damage occurs regularly during the construction phase – the excavation pit could be flooded due to a thunderstorm or a wall could fall down. Costs amounting to several tens of thousands of francs are not uncommon.”

-Alex Lutz, Head of Property, Marine and Technical Insurance, Non-Life Insurance Corporate Clients, Baloise Insurance

After building or buying a house

Protect your finished home

Finally, your new home is ready to move into. Building insurance is now crucial for homeowners. This is mandatory in most cantons to protect against fire and natural hazards and is taken out with the cantonal building insurance company. In Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden and the Principality of Liechtenstein, coverage is mandatory, but is taken out with a private insurer. However, it is optional in the cantons of Geneva, Valais and Ticino. There, property owners can purchase insurance from a private insurer if they wish.

Insurance is highly recommended against water damage – as mentioned in the introduction, this is one of the most common causes of damage – theft, if your front door is damaged during a burglary – glass breakage if, for example, a perfume bottle falls into the washbasin and breaks – and earthquakes.

A father loads the dishwasher with his daughter
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The following coverage is also recommended: building services, if the heating stops working due to sudden unforeseen damage – household legal expenses insurance, in the event of disputes with craftsmen or tenants – gross negligence coverage, if a fire starts due to an unattended candle – as well as intentional damage, for example from graffiti. You can put together all these options individually with Baloise household insurance.

Protecting valuable home contents

Last but not least, you mustn’t forget household insurance including private liability. This type of insurance is not to insure the building, but your household effects, i.e. all the furniture and objects that would fall out of the building if it was turned upside down. Fire and natural hazards coverage for home contents is on our must-have list. The same applies to water, simple theft and glass breakage coverage.

Are you properly insured?
With Baloise you will find the right insurance coverage for your home


Do I need to take out different insurance for an apartment than for a house?

No, the risks are basically the same, so the same insurance coverage is needed.

Do I have to take over the existing insurance contract when buying a property?

Yes, in principle, you have to take over the whole contract. However, the new homeowner has 30 days from the transfer of ownership (entry in the land register) to refuse to take over the contract or terminate it.

I’m buying a vacation home. What do I need to pay attention to?

It’s important to take out insurance coverage for a vacation home as well, and to modify the insurance locations specified in the household insurance policy.

I’m buying a property to rent out. What insurance is recommended in this case?

You should always take out insurance against the loss of rental income. Depending on the situation, it may also be worth having landlord’s legal protection as well as the landlord’s security module to cover damage to the apartment and payment defaults for rent that can no longer be collected.

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