Regardless of whether your SME uses the property itself or rents it out: Almost everywhere in Switzerland, owners of buildings and properties are required to take out insurance against fire and natural forces, in fact it is provided directly by cantonal building insurance in 19 out of 26 cantons. But since this minimum protection doesn’t nearly cover all the main building risks, it is advisable to take out this all-round no-worries supplement from AXA.
Coverage against fire and natural forces is required by law in 22 Swiss cantons and provided under cantonal building insurance in 19 of them. Damage from natural forces is damage caused by the impacts of nature – such as basements been flooded by torrential rain. Damage attributable to fires, sudden emission of smoke, lightning strike, explosion or aircraft all constitute ”fire damage”.
Cantonal building insurance is mandatory in : Aargau, Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, Bern, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Fribourg, Glarus, Graubünden, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Thurgau, Vaud, Zug, Zurich, and the Oberegg district (AI)
Insurance conditions in the GUSTAVO* cantons: Coverage against fire and natural forces is also mandatory in Schwyz, Obwalden and Uri, but there is a free choice of insurer. By contrast, building insurance is not mandatory in Appenzell-Innerrhoden – with the exception of the Oberegg district – Geneva, Ticino and Valais.
* Geneva / Uri / Schwyz / Ticino / Appenzell-Innerrhoden / Valais / Obwalden
A real estate property can account for a substantial share of an SME's operating assets. So it makes sense that your insurance coverage should not just be limited to damage from fire hazards or natural forces, but should also kick in when human behavior is to blame or perhaps wild animals have been at work. This is why AXA building insurance provides financial protection for all eventualities, from the cost of locating rodent damage, emergency security measures following willful damage to your showroom and subsequent repair work on the display windows, to the coverage of lost rental income resulting from a devastating storm.
The owners of buildings in cantons with a free choice of insurer receive reliable one-stop insurance protection from AXA. Property owners legally required to take out basic coverage against fire and natural forces with cantonal building insurers can rely on AXA for options to individually supplement and optimize cover and avoid any gaps.
Fire hazards and natural forces
Fire and smoke, heat, lightning and explosion can cause immense damage to a building. These are covered, along with damage caused by storm, hail, high water or other natural occurrences .
Water damage: Whether water or other liquids – AXA covers the cost of remedying damage due to frozen and leaking pipes. Or caused by rainwater, meltwater or condensation penetrating the structural fabric .
Earthquake: If your building suffers earthquake damage, this policy will cover you. Where it is unclear whether a tectonic event is actually the source of the damage, the assessment of the Swiss Seismological Service will be taken as the basis.
Burglary: The costs of all damage to buildings and building elements demonstrably shown to be caused by actual or attempted burglary will also be borne by AXA.
Glass breakage: Display windows, solar energy systems or sanitary installations: If glazed areas of the building are broken, the insurance will cover repair or replacement costs.
Construction projects: If you insure your building, construction projects such as renovation, maintenance and extension work up to CHF 100,000 are automatically covered. This is conditional on the work being carried out by qualified builders.
Other risks: Building insurance from AXA can, if requested, be extended to cover property damage resulting from vandalism, animal gnawing, or other causes such as a vehicle or the collapse of a building on neighboring land.
The insurance covers not only the building itself but building-related and operational installations such as building services and infrastructure (for instance solar energy installations or elevators), as well as the building's surroundings, e.g. gardens or equipment and materials needed to maintain or use the building. Buildings are normally insured at replacement value. This includes all costs that would be incurred to reconstruct the building unchanged in the event of a claim. In order that the amount can be regularly updated in accordance with the construction cost index and to ensure that no underinsurance develops over the years, the inclusion of automatic adjustment of the insured amount is recommended.
Repair and renovation costs as well as consequential costs arising from an insured event – for example, loss of revenue or rental income – are covered. And in the event of a total loss, AXA will pay for reconstruction of the building or for a newbuild.
Owning property comes with responsibilities. If a customer’s bicycle is damaged by parts of the roof falling off, or if the postman slips on an icy pathway leading to your company building, property owner's liability insurance from AXA is indispensable. Then you'll be on the safe side if third parties suffer material or health damage in connection with your property and your business is held liable.
Where personal injury and property damage to third parties is attributable to the existence, condition or maintenance of an insured real estate property, you or your company are liable. AXA's SME property owner's liability insurance provides security: It covers the financial consequences of all justified claims and wards off those which prove to be unfounded.
Bodily injury: In- or outpatient treatment costs. Financial losses resulting from an insured event – for example, a loss of earnings suffered by the injured person – are also covered.
Property damage: This includes damaged or destroyed third-party objects. We cover the cost of their repair or replacement and make good any losses in value.
No – or only inadequately. Since the relevant provisions differ from canton to canton, the majority of buildings in Switzerland are not covered against earthquake damage, or cover is insufficient. For this reason, it is almost always advantageous for property owners to take out separate earthquake insurance.
The premium is calculated based on the sum insured and other parameters such as the year of construction, the construction method or any fire protection in place. If a deductible is agreed, the premium will be somewhat lower. In the event of a claim, however, a specific share of the costs must be borne by you. You will receive further information during a personal consultation.
Provided total construction costs do not exceed CHF 100,000, your planned conversion is included in AXA's building insurance. If total construction costs are higher, we recommend that you take out construction insurance.
Ideally, you should have taken out property insurance for your business – this is the commercial equivalent to household contents insurance. In the event of a claim, this covers all of your company's movable items. Only built-in fixtures count as part of a building's installations and are covered under the building insurance.