Guide to Cancellation, travel & roadside assistance insurance in Switzerland


What is cancellation, travel and roadside assistance protection?

Many people take out basic travel insurance at the same time as they reserve their trip; this means that if they do three trips in a year they pay for three different insurance policies with limited scopes of protection. A yearly combined travel and roadside assistance insurance  package done with a specialist company is highly recommended as protection is generally much better and costs less than multiple individual insurance contracts.

The roadside assistance and travel insurance plans in Switzerland generally go way beyond holiday protection and include:

  • Full assistance and reimbursement of amounts not used and additional costs generated if one needs to postpone or cancel a trip due to home damage, theft or a health or professional related issue.
  • Full protection worldwide for multiple trips throughout the year once one is abroad. Protection should include full assistance in case of theft of documents, the reimbursement of amounts not used, additional catering and hotel costs, advance of medical expenses, search, translation and international communication expenses as well as protection in case the organizing travel agency goes bankrupt.
  • Coverage of additional costs generated if you need to return home early because of a medical issue or if your home is burgled or suffers from damage caused by fire, water or natural disaster.
  • Full roadside assistance insurance throughout Europe if you are travelling by car to your destination. Protection includes break-down assistance, repatriation of your car, alternative transport and additional catering and hotel costs. This coverage means you are also protected when you go away for a weekend to see family or friends.
  • Full event protection if season passes, entrance tickets or pre-paid courses or classes are not refunded in the event that you cannot participate due to sickness or other insured events (theft, redundancy, home damage, strikes etc).

What amount should I be covered for?

In a combined Swiss travel insurance package it is normal to find different amounts depending on the situation. Packages should include:

  • Minimum CHF 20’000.- for cancellation costs to cover the amounts paid but not reimbursed if the trip cannot be undertaken.
  • Minimum CHF 20’000.- for additional costs incurred if the trip is delayed and pro-rata reimbursement of the amounts not used because of the delay.
  • Minimum CHF 20’000.- for assistance costs once the trip has started which cover any additional costs incurred following the interruption of a trip due to an accident, sickness or other insured event.
  • Minimum CHF 1000.- for additional transport, airline tickets, hotel, catering and translation costs in case of a strike, natural disaster or an emergency during the trip.
  • Minimum CHF 10’000.- for all costs related to roadside assistance or the breakdown of a private motor vehicle.

What deductible shoud I chose?

Choose a 0.- deductible so small claims can be made to amortise the yearly premium. It is rare to see deductibles on cancellation, travel and roadside assistance  packages, so beware of plans that offer that option.

What value or amount is reimbursed in case of a claim?

The amount (or amounts) is capped at the amount(s) specified in the insurance policy as it is a lump sum insurance.

Extended coverage that should always be included in travel insurance in Switzerland:

There should always be protection for before (cancellation costs) and during every trip made throughout the year, regardless of the means of transport (by plane, boat, motorbike, car…) and the length of stay.<<

Examples of cancellation, travel and roadside assistance insurance claims in Switzerland

.A has to cancel their trip due to an accident or illness 3 days before the date of departure.
All pre-paid, non-refundable costs paid for a leisure trip will be refunded to A if A or anyone travelling with A has to cancel the trip because they are sick or have had an accident three days before the date of departure.

.A’s flight is cancelled due to a strike.
A will be paid a predefined amount to buy a new airline ticket so the trip can be undertaken as planned. If A arrives at destination 48 hours late the unused expenses (rental car, hotel, tours…) will be refunded on a pro rata basis.

.A is ill or suffers injury at destination.
A suffers from appendicitis, food poisoning or a broken ankle in Thailand. As per the travel insurance contract’s predefined amounts, all of A’s medical expenses will be paid upfront to avoid big cash payments, A can pay a translator before signing binding documents, A will be transported back to Switzerland if required, as will A’s travel partner. All unused expenses will be refunded on a pro rata basis. If the stay must be extended the additional costs will also be covered by the travel insurance plan.

.A’s car breaks down on a weekend excursion.
A goes on a trip with his private car. The car breaks down and cannot be repaired immediately. A can rent a replacement car to continue the trip and spend a night in a hotel if necessary. All related expenses will be refunded by the roadside assistance or  breakdown module of the travel insurance plan.

.A cannot attend a prepaid and non-refundable event.
If A cannot be refunded for an unused concert ticket, event, private seminar or season pass due to an insured event the cancellation module of the travel insurance plan will honour the refund up to a predefined amount.