So you’ve finally moved into your own place: at last you can enjoy your own four walls! However, even after moving in, home ownership brings with it various obligations and tasks that must be addressed. In this article, we’ll provide some useful information about home insurance.

The above-mentioned obligations and tasks include, for example, maintenance costs, land taxes and fees, upkeep of the garden, etc. It’s important to know which other costs you will face each year in addition to the borrowing costs and mortgage repayments. As a matter of fact, maintenance costs — excluding the garden and major repairs — amount to between 0.7 and 1 per cent of the total annual investment cost. In addition, there are insurance and tax issues that you should consider (we’ll cover the topic of taxes in the next article).

You need home insurance

A lot of heartache, time and a huge sum of money — this is what you have invested in owning your own home. If accidental damage occurs, such as a fire, it’s usually impossible to replace everything. Financially speaking, however, you can protect yourself in advance. Burglary, accidental damage, fire or other hazards: some categories of home insurance are compulsory for homeowners, while others are optional. Below is a summary of three common types of home insurance that should be considered by every homeowner.

1. Building insurance

Cantonal building insurance policies are available in 19 Swiss cantons. In the other cantons, where building insurance is not obligatory, building insurance is provided by private insurers. In the canton of St. Gallen, building insurance is obligatory. The insurer is the building insurance institution of the canton. In the case of damage to buildings, it provides the corresponding insurance services. Building damage can be caused by the following:

  • Fire, smoke, heat or electric currents
  • Lightning strikes or explosions
  • Storms, hail, floods, snow pressure, snowfall, avalanches, rockfall, earth or rock slippage
  • Aircraft
  • The fire brigade and water board

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2. Contents insurance

Under building insurance policies, the building’s contents are also insured. The land registry administrator or an insurance adviser can give you the best advice on the distinction between building and contents insurance — i.e. an actual homeowner’s insurance policy. In a nutshell: the contents of the household are, in principle, all movable objects that belong to the owner and the members of their family community. In particular, we recommend contents insurance for apartment owners, who, for example, share lawn mowers, garden tools or playground equipment.

3. Liability insurance

The insurance experts at St.Galler Kantonalbank recommend that you take out liability insurance, which provides compensation if a third party is injured or their personal property damaged. This could include, for example, a window pane broken by a flying football. It will also pay damages if, for example, your home’s entrance is iced up in winter and a visitor should slip and fall. If you live in an apartment building, the premiums for liability insurance are paid by all the residents.

Learn everything you need to know about the construction and purchase of residential property on our website: