Employees and pensions

Accident on the way to or from work: Which insurance policy pays?

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An accident on the way to and from work can have consequences not only for your employees, but also for you and your company. Find out here which insurance will apply in the event of such an accident and what benefits your employees are entitled to.

The health of your employees is essential to the success of your company. If they have an accident on the way to or from work, they are off work for a certain period. With the right insurance coverage, you can get your employees back on their feet and back to work as quickly as possible.

Who pays if you have an accident on the way to or from work?

Am I insured if I have an accident on the way to or from work? This is the question most employees ask themselves – regardless of whether they go to work on foot, by bicycle or by car. The answer is: Yes! 

In Switzerland, the Accident Insurance Act (UVG) applies, according to which every person working in Switzerland must be insured against accidents. As an employer, you are obligated to insure your employees – regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time employees, trainees, or interns.

Occupational or non-occupational accident?

Whether an accident on the way to or from work counts as an occupational or non-occupational accident depends on whether the injured person works more or less than eight hours a week. What is important for you is that regardless of whether you have an occupational or non-occupational accident, the benefits for your employees are the same.

If an employee has an accident on the way to or from work, mandatory accident insurance will take effect. It is important that your employees report accidents to you immediately so that you can inform the insurance carrier. The reporting deadlines are as follows: 

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What can be considered an accident on the way to or from work?

By legal definition, an accident is a sudden, unintended detrimental effect from an unusual external factor on the human body that results in physical, mental, or psychological impairment, or in death. If one of these aspects is missing, the event is classified as an illness rather than an accident. 

  • 1

    Accident due to black ice: In winter, your employee commutes to work on foot or by bicycle. The road became very icy overnight and the roads were not gritted. Your employee slips on the black ice and breaks their leg. A typical accident on the way to or from work.

  • 2

    Car accident: On the way to work, the streets are known to be busy. When your employee gets into a traffic jam, another vehicle collides with them. This is also a typical accident on the way to or from work.

  • 3

    Carpooling accident: Your employee is picked up by car every morning by a colleague. On the way to work, the driver fails to see a sign with the “Give way” symbol and collides with another vehicle. For both employees, this is deemed to be an accident on the way to or from work.

  • 4

    Accident on public transport: Like every morning, your employee takes the bus to work. When boarding, they slip and break their wrist.

What counts as travel to and from work?

For an accident on the way to or from work to be recognized as such, it must have occurred on the direct route between the place of residence and the place of work.

However, small errands on the way are not a problem, so a short visit to the supermarket or family should not get in the way of an insurance case.   

What benefits are employees entitled to following an accident on the way to or from work?

If an employee is absent following an accident on the way to or from work, mandatory accident insurance covers the following benefits:

  • Medical treatments
  • Necessary medical care
  • Required aids, e.g. wheelchairs, crutches, prostheses, etc.
  • Medications
  • Rescue and transportation costs

By law, the following cash benefits are also covered:

  • Daily benefits: Employers are entitled to daily benefits from their insurance from the third day after an accident. 
  • Compensation: If employees suffer severe physical impairment as a result of an accident on the way to or from work, such as the permanent loss of a body part, they are entitled to impairment compensation. If they also need permanent help due to permanent damage, they receive a helplessness allowance.
  • Pensions: If the injured person suffers from a prolonged or even permanent disability, they are entitled to a disability pension. If an accident leads to death, a survivor’s pension is paid to the family members.

What benefits are paid in the event of an accident on the way to work abroad?

If an accident occurs on the way to work abroad, the same benefits as in Switzerland apply, but with certain limits:

  • In the event of an accident abroad, mandatory insurance covers a maximum of twice the costs of an inpatient stay that would have been incurred in the event of an accident on the way to or from work in Switzerland.
  • Rescue and transportation costs are covered up to a maximum of CHF 29,640.

Supplementary accident insurance (UVGZ) is highly recommended in order to increase the insurance coverage of your employees in the event of an accident at work abroad.

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