Guide to Legal Insurance in Switzerland


What is legal protection?

Legal insurance in Switzerland is divided into two distinct categories:

  • Legal insurance for road users or motorists (and boat users)
  • Legal insurance for private persons

It is recommended to always subscribe to a combined package, even though some providers enable their clients to only subscribe to road user protection, which includes all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians, drivers and passengers.
The combined package covers compensatory damages in the following cases:

  • Disputes with an employer
  • Disputes with a landlord
  • Disputes with a third party (such as a neighbour)
  • Disputes with an insurance company
  • Contractual compensation
  • Non-contractual compensation
  • Disputes with car rental companies
  • Motor vehicle taxation issues
  • Administrative procedures related to motor vehicle fines
  • Criminal law

Certain providers offer limited coverage for:

  • Property and building law

Compensatory damages are not covered for the following cases:

  • Family issues (divorce, inheritance)
  • Tax disputes and issues
  • Bankruptcy related issues
  • Intentionally committed offenses
  • Isolated expenses (fines, deeds, registration in official registers)
  • Issues related to investment funds, securities, bonds and other financial affairs
  • Betting and gaming issues

The better providers will provide free legal advice on the above.

What amount should I be covered for?

Attorney fees in Switzerland are anywhere between CHF 350.- to 800.- per hour and a retainer or an advance of ten hours is common practice. A retainer on cour costs is also required to receive a case in court. If the lawsuit is lost all the legal costs of the opposing party must also be borne by the claimant. In short, legal action is expensive. To avoid the financial risk one can decide not to go to court as a claimant; but what happens if one is the defendant? The defendant is obliged to protect their rights, so the above legal fees cannot be avoided.

The amount covered should therefore never be less than CHF 50’000.-, and more just adds further financial security.

What deductible should I choose?

No deductible will apply to any serious legal insurance policy.

What amount is reimbursed in case of a claim and which costs are covered?

The amount specified in the insurance policy as it is a lump sum insurance.
The following costs are covered by legal insurance:

  • Attorney fees
  • Expert fees
  • Legal and procedural costs
  • Costs due to the opposing party
  • An advance on cour costs
  • An advance on bail
  • Translation costs
  • Publication costs if required by a foreign court

What option should always be included in the legal insurance plan in Switzerland?

The free choice of attorney.

Examples of legal insurance claims in Switzerland

.A’s rent is increased by an excessive amount
A can use the legal insurance to ask the landlord to justify the rent increase.

.A is not refunded for medical care
A can ask the legal insurance to write a letter to the insurance company asking them to justify their position.

.A is made redundant
A can ask the legal insurance to check that his or her basic rights were respected throughout the redundancy process.

.A receives a parking or speeding ticket or has their driving license withdrawn
A can ask the legal insurance to check that the law has been respected in the event of a fine or license withdrawal.

.A is about to sign a binding contract
A can ask the legal insurance to read the contract before they sign it to check that it respects local rules, laws and obligations.