What insurances for rental property?


I bought a property in CH which will be rented out as soon as I do some basic renovations. The insurance of the previous owner reached out to me offering to take over the contract (within a very short timeframe), but I have no idea what I need to be insured about, so I’d like to ask for your opinions here.

Besides the building insurance (obligatory), I think I will need the Gebäudesachversicherung which would cover floors, windows etc in case of an event like a water leakage.

Because I plan to rent the place out, the insurer recommends that I take also a Privathaftpflichtversicherung cover, and this got me thinking: I have that insurance already, and I thought it covered whenever I would damage someone else anywhere, but now I wonder if this type of insurance is somehow connected to a specific place?



Hi Giff, have a look at : Rouky SA

I had this “problem” to solve a while back, and found it difficult to find good/clear info. (Part-)Owner of a property that I don’t live in.
Alas, taking an insurance company’s word for a product they’re selling seemed “unreliable”.
In the end, I did nothing/procrastinated the problem away, I saved the Fr 200 p.a. that they quoted me. I just have a Privathaftpflicht for my family and I.

In my understanding, in your case (and mine) one would need something specific for that property (it is not covered by your own Haftpflichtversicherung). However what damage potential does a house possess? Haftpflicht is for “actively” damaging someone. If the house is taken care of (roof tiles in good state for example), then the damage potential to a passerby is very small.

Here’s the info, I summarised for myself, in case it helps. Sorry, I don’t have references for any of it any more, it was collected from various sites/sources.

Bauliche Mängel und ungenügender Unterhalt sind an den meisten Haftpflichtschäden schuld. Als Immobilienbesitzer haften Sie für die materiellen Folgen von Personen- und Sachschäden. Das Gesetz definiert die Haftpflicht eindeutig:
Haftpflicht aus Werkeigentum (Obligationenrecht, Artikel 58, Absatz 1): «Der Eigentümer eines Gebäudes oder eines anderen Werkes hat den Schaden zu ersetzen, den diese infolge von fehlerhafter Anlage oder Herstellung oder von mangelhafter Unterhaltung verursachen.»
Beispiel: Der Postbote rutscht auf dem vereisten Weg zur Haustüre aus (ungenügender Unterhalt) oder ein loser Dachziegel fällt auf ein Auto, das vor dem Haus steht (Baumangel).

Wenn Sie Ihr Einfamilienhaus oder eine Wohnung in Ihrem Mehrfamilienhaus mit höchstens drei Wohnungen selber bewohnen, müssen Sie nicht mehr weiterlesen. Ihre Privathaftpflichtversicherung deckt sämtliche Kosten und Sie brauchen keine Gebäudehaftpflichtversicherung.

I agree that it is not mandatory for your propert to have this kind of insurance cover, but I dont quite share your risk assessment. I agree that keeping your property in good order will reduce your liability risks, but I would suspect that if something does go wrong, it could be costly (eg. Tiles off your roof due to wind and hitting your neighbour on the head despite everything being in good order). I would prefer to have good cover for these type of edge cases that could hurt you and your wealth significantly in an adverse manner. Thats what this kind of protection is there for. The 200 CHF you quoted do not seem to me to be a very high price for that kind of protection.

Yes and no. That’s the insurance company narrative IMO, and they’re in the business of selling insurances, the more the better.

I’ve decided to take this as a basis for my decision:
Obligationenrecht, Artikel 58, Absatz 1): «Der Eigentümer eines Gebäudes oder eines anderen Werkes hat den Schaden zu ersetzen, den diese infolge von fehlerhafter Anlage oder Herstellung oder von mangelhafter Unterhaltung"
But I’m no lawyer, admittedly.

IMO Fr 200 for a static house is much too much, when the Haftpflicht of a car (much higher risk) is of similar cost. And my personal Haftpflicht is Fr 100, and includes the house I live in. Something doesn’t add up, maybe it’s not a standard product, so competition doesn’t work?

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Well, in that case it all comes down again to the risk assessment from the individual perspective of the risk taker. But just saying that its the insurance company trying to “sell you” an insurance cover, therefore it can only be bogus and you dont need the cover seems to me a bit dangerous.

Anyways, adding to the snippets above you provided, a Gebäudehaftpflichtversicherung is especially advised for owners of buildings with more than three apartments or for buildings with commercial apartments.

That is in my view the correct legal basis when it comes to these kind of damages.

Just to add: while this provision may read as relatively straightforward, you can have lengthy legal proceedings on what constitutes e.g. “mangelhafte Unterhaltung” alone in a specific case (with the resulting legal risks/costs.