Buildings in 19 Swiss cantons are currently insured against fire and natural hazards by a state-owned monopoly insurer (Aargau, Appenzell Ausser Rhoden, Basel-Country, Basel-City, Bern, Fribourg, Glarus, Grisons, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, St. Gallen, Solothurn, Thurgau, Schaffhausen, Vaud, Zug, and Zurich) and in 7 cantons by private building insurers (Appenzell Inner Roden, Geneva, Obwalden, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri, and Valais). At present, the earthquake risk cannot be insured within the context of this obligatory building insurance.
In 1978, 18 cantonal building insurers came together to form the Swiss Pool for Earthquake Insurance, which in the event of an earthquake will provide benefits on a voluntary basis. The cover provided by the earthquake pool currently amounts to CHF 2 billion; a further CHF 2 billion is available for a second earthquake in the same year. The building insurer of the canton of Bern (GVB) quit the pool on January 1, 2013. Since then, future earthquake damage in the canton of Bern can no longer be covered by the pool.
The building insurer of the Canton of Zurich (GVZ) covers earthquake damage with resources from an in-house fund, providing cover of up to CHF 1 billion. The same sum would be available in the event of a second earthquake occurring in the same calendar year.
In the cantons of Appenzell Inner Rhoden, Geneva, Obwalden, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri, and Valais, private building insurers provide fire and natural hazard insurance. In these cantons, no financial resources are available for voluntary compensation following an earthquake.
Private insurers offer voluntary earthquake insurance solutions. At the present time, these products represent the only solution for the contractual coverage of earthquake damage in Switzerland.
Source: Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), 17.02.2015