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Building insurance covers the body of the building against the four principal risks of property insurance: fire, water damage, theft and glass breakage.
In Switzerland, all property owners are obliged to take out insurance against the risk of fire. In the canton of Vaud it is Etablissement Cantonal d’Assurance contre l’incendie et les dégâts naturels, or ECA, who has a monopoly over this type of insurance.
Therefore, for all other risks, each owner is free to choose a private insurer.
Although no coverage is mandatory, it is often a good idea to take out insurance against water damage. Keep in mind that ‘fire’ coverage protects against damage to buildings also caused by high water or natural flooding, whereas insurance against water damage provides protection against costs, often significant, that are inherent to frozen or leaking piping inside the building, water infiltration through the roof, walls and foundations, as well as spillage of heating oil from the tank.
Theft insurance covers only incidents and costs occurred in the building’s rooms affected by a burglary, for example, in a shared laundry. As far as the condominium is concerned, only the shared areas are insured. Housing entrance doors are covered as such by the owner’s household insurance.
Insurance against glass breakage protects only the property’s glazing, such as windows in the shared areas, glazed doors, light domes, roof windows, etc.
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