Les couvertures de l'assurance bâtiment

Building insurance: how are you covered?

Independent house, condominium apartment, building, these properties have a significant asset value for which it is better to cover yourself from possible risks. It is true that fire and natural damage are only mandatory in some cantons, however it is essential to protect your property against glass breakage, water damage, but also burglary damage.

Before making your choice and taking out building insurance, don’t hesitate to browse and compare the different offers of insurance companies. The goal is to be able to obtain the best guarantees and the best benefits in the event of a claim. To take appointment for information and to claim your building insurance premium from one of our specialist building insurance consultants.

What do we mean by building?

What is a building? “A building, according to the rules of insurance technology, is a real estate product deriving from the construction activity, including its integral parts, covered by a roofcontaining usable and built premises as apermanent installation“. The condominiums and building systems are also covered by building insurance. In terms of building insurance, there are various constructions for which, as the owner, you have the option of taking out building insurance, or even in some cases, you will have an obligation to protect yourself from the risk of fire and natural damage. They are considered residential buildings, second homes, commercial and craft buildings, hotels, industrial buildings, but also special buildings, such as churches, museums or indoor swimming pools within the meaning of the definition of insurance. All the owners of these buildings need to think take out building insurance and not just to cover the fire risk when it is imposed on them.

In the same way as home insurance, which allows the various policyholders to protect themselves from possible risks that may arise on their movable property, protecting your property is essential as the owner of a single-family house or condominium apartment. Beyond the risk of fire and natural damage, you can do it extend the benefits of your building insurance water damage, glass breakage or theft. Attention, however, to the latter, which implies some clarifications. Indeed, it seems difficult to talk about building theft!

The notion of fire: attention to legal bases

The concept of fire is essential in terms of insurance. In all property insurance, we associate all natural damage that may occur with the risk of fire. For some cantons, the risk of fire and natural damage must it must be covered by building insurance with regard to real estate. This is based on the same principle as home insurance, where only a few cantons have imposed coverage for the risk of fire – natural damage. Here, these insurances are governed by cantonal and non-federal laws unlike, for example, the motor vehicle liability. In the latter case, regardless of your canton of residence, you must bring the RC vehicle with you.

This therefore means that each canton can decide whether or not to make fire insurance mandatory for the building or for the furniture. Therefore, the risk of fire and natural damage for real estate insurance is mandatory in 22 cantons, 19 of which must use an ECA (Cantonal Insurance Institute) and 3 for which the choice of the insurer is free, but the mandatory building fire risk. These are the cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Obwalden. As with furniture insurance, some cantons and cantonal laws not only require the building to be covered against fire risk, but also require you to pass an ECA. By the way, on the same topic, you can read one of our articles: “Home and home insurance: supplementary insurance“. Among the cantons, where there is no obligation in terms of fire risk for building insurance, there are 4 cantons: Geneva, Ticino, Appenzell-Rhodes inland and Valais.

The fire risk includes 5 sub-risks:

  1. “destructive” fire and “utilitarian” fire;
  2. the emission of smoke, which must be sudden and accidental;
  3. lightning which includes not only the direct or indirect causes of lightning;
  4. explosion: it is a chemical or physical reaction that causes an explosion;
  5. the accident or forced landing of aircraft or spacecraft (damage caused by part or all of an aircraft).

To these 5 sub-risks of fire, it is customary to integrate in this risk factor, what are called the 9 natural damages, namely:

  1. high water;
  2. flooding;
  3. storm ;
  4. Hello ;
  5. the avalanche;
  6. snow pressure;
  7. landslide;
  8. falling rocks;
  9. the landslide.

Two risks must also be added, theft and disappearance as a result of natural damage. On the contrary, certain risks, such as subsidence of the soil, floods caused by artificial lakes or plumbing installations, should be excluded. To check the risks covered or, on the contrary, excluded from your real estate insurance policy, it is essential to refer to art general insurance conditions. You can also consult a consultant who specializes in building insurance.

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