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Compare travel insurance for Switzerland

Alpine views and winter sports are just two reasons why around 1 million Brits visit Switzerland every year. Whether you’re going with family or friends, having the right travel insurance can help you relax and enjoy your trip.

Alpine views and winter sports are just two reasons why around 1 million Brits visit Switzerland every year. Whether you’re going with family or friends, having the right travel insurance can help you relax and enjoy your trip.

Written by
Helen Phipps
Travel insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
Last Updated
8 MARCH 2023
7 min read
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Do I need travel insurance for Switzerland?

Although most visits to Switzerland are trouble-free, it’s still important to have travel insurance. Having cover gives you financial protection if you need medical care while you’re abroad. And that could be especially important if you’re travelling to Switzerland for an exciting alpine adventure.

Travel insurance can also cover you if your trip is cancelled, your luggage is lost or your valuables are stolen.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

How much is travel insurance for Switzerland? 

Holidays to Switzerland will be covered under a European travel insurance policy. The price of travel insurance for Switzerland is based on several factors, including:

  • How long you’re going away for
  • Your age – you’ll start to pay more for your travel insurance as you get older, and you may need to get specialist cover if you’re over 65.
  • What activities you’ll be doing while you’re away
  • If you’re travelling on your own, as a group or with family
  • If you have any pre-existing medical conditions that need to be covered.

How much you pay for your travel insurance policy will also reflect how much cover you want to include for your luggage, medical expenses and cancellation, and how much excess you agree to pay if you need to make a claim.

What will Switzerland travel insurance cover? 

A standard travel insurance policy for Switzerland should include: 

  • Medical expenses – in case you’re injured or fall ill while you’re away. Many policies also include repatriation to cover the costs of getting you back to the UK if you suffer a serious illness or injury.
  • Baggage cover – to help pay for replacing the contents of your luggage if your bag goes missing or something is stolen. When you compare quotes, look at the maximum amount a policy will pay out for a claim as well as the limit for a single valuable item.
  • Holiday cancellation or curtailment – this can help if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday because of unforeseen circumstances such as illness or bereavement. Travel insurance can help you get back what you’ve already paid for transport, accommodation and excursions. Make sure the cover offered for cancellation will cover the cost of your trip.
  • Flight cancellations and delays – in case your flight to Switzerland is cancelled by the airline for reasons out of their control, or you need to cancel for one of the reasons specified in your policy.
  • Coronavirus cover – available on some policies in case you catch COVID-19 while you’re away and you need to book additional accommodation or travel as a result. It can also cover cancellation if you test positive before your trip. When you compare travel insurance quotes with us you can use the filter to compare different levels of COVID-19 cover.

What won’t Switzerland travel insurance cover? 

There are a few standard travel insurance exclusions to be aware of when you compare policies for your trip to Switzerland: 

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – you must declare any existing medical conditions to your insurance provider or risk invalidating your policy if you need to make a claim. Some policies will exclude treatment for certain medical conditions and others will simply charge you more. When you compare with us, we’ll only show you policies that cover you for any medical conditions you declare, without exclusions.
  • Claims resulting from drugs or alcohol – you won’t be able to claim for any accidents or injuries that happen while you’re under the influence. So if someone suggests a late-night slalom race after the après-ski, maybe give it a miss. And bear in mind that you won’t be able to claim for possessions that are stolen when you’re drinking either, so keep a close eye on your valuables.  
  • Natural disasters – look out for any mention of travel disruption cover, natural catastrophe cover or extreme weather events in your policy terms to see if you’ll be covered for injury and loss in the case of an avalanche, for example.
  • Acts of terrorism – Switzerland may not seem like an obvious target but terrorist attacks are a risk, even in tourist areas. Bear in mind that standard travel insurance policies likely won’t cover you for claims relating to terrorism.

What else should I consider when I choose my travel insurance?

Going to one of Switzerland's 200+ ski regions? Then you’ll need a winter sports travel insurance policy, which will offer more comprehensive cover than a standard policy for activities like tobogganing, snowboarding or skiing.

With winter sports insurance you’ll have cover for:

  • Loss of ski pass.
  • Avalanche delay.
  • Piste closure for more than 24 hours.
  • Personal liability if you injure someone else.

Check your policy to see which winter sports activities are covered, as it varies between providers. You'll also need to understand the conditions of your cover, for example if you have to wear a helmet on the slopes. Check GOV.UK guidance for staying safe on the slopes.

If you’re heading over to Switzerland in the summer and venturing up into the Alps, check your policy terms carefully to see what sports are covered. Hiking over a certain elevation may be excluded on standard policies. And if you’re climbing, mountaineering or mountain biking you may need to add on cover for extreme sports.

Do I need a visa to travel to Switzerland?

No, if you’re a British citizen with a valid passport then you won’t need a visa to travel to Switzerland, as long as your trip lasts for less than 90 days.

You can only spend a maximum of 90 days in Switzerland and Schengen area countries within a 180-day period. That means any other time you’ve spent in mainland Europe in the past six months counts towards your 90-day limit.

Make sure your passport is stamped when you enter or leave Switzerland to avoid any potential mix-ups over whether you’ve overstayed your visa-free limit.

If you want to stay in Switzerland for longer, you’ll need to try to get a visa from the Swiss Embassy.

More details about the entry requirements for Switzerland can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Any other tips for travel to Switzerland?

Currency – the Swiss Franc is the national currency in Switzerland.

Language – Switzerland has four national languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh. Which language you hear will depend on which border you’re closest to. For example, if you’re visiting the west of Switzerland, you’ll hear more French. When you’re closer to the southern border, you’ll hear more Italian. Romansh is spoken in the Graubünden canton.

Transport – if you plan on travelling around Switzerland by train, consider getting a Swiss Rail pass, which can be more cost-effective than getting individual tickets.

GHIC/EHIC – a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you access to necessary state-provided healthcare while you’re in Switzerland at a reduced cost (or sometimes for free) if you’re a UK citizen. However, it’s not a replacement for travel insurance and it won’t cover you for treatment at a private hospital.

If you have an EHIC, the predecessor of the GHIC, issued before the end of 2020, it’ll still be valid until the expiry date. You can apply for a GHIC six months before your EHIC expires on the NHS website. The GHIC offers the same cover as the EHIC did in European countries.

If you need medical attention, go to a state medical facility first and tell your insurance provider. They will give you advice on what additional private treatment might be covered by your policy.

Where can I compare travel insurance quotes? 

Compare travel insurance deals with our easy-to-use comparison service to help you get the right level of cover ahead of your trip.

Frequently asked questions

Can I drive in Switzerland on my holiday?

As a UK citizen, you can drive in Switzerland if you have a full UK driving licence, insurance for your vehicle and you have your vehicle documents with you. You should keep your passport on you when you’re driving too, just in case. You could consider adding European breakdown cover to your car insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for roadside assistance outside of the UK.

To travel on Swiss motorways, you must buy and display a vignette (sticker) or face large fines. You can buy a vignette at most border crossings, petrol stations, post offices, by phone (+800 1002 0030) and online. And make sure you read up on Swiss driving rules before you go, including speed limits, rules on alcohol limits and other safety regulations.

Does my Switzerland travel insurance include mountain rescue?

It’s highly unlikely that your standard travel insurance will cover mountain rescue, so if you’re planning on any mountaineering or off-piste snowboarding or skiing, you’ll need to look into specialist cover. You should observe all warnings about avalanches and follow safety instructions.

Is travel insurance compulsory for travel to Switzerland?

No, if you’re travelling into Switzerland without a visa then travel insurance is strongly recommended but not compulsory. However, if you’re applying for a visa to enter Switzerland you may need to provide proof of insurance as part of your application.

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Helen Phipps - insurance expert

Having worked in both sides of the industry, Helen’s a real insurance expert. She’s worked directly with several insurance providers and now Compare the Market. She’s always searching for the cheapest prices for customers and is passionate about saving people money. Being married with two kids, Helen knows all about the cost of living and the benefits of having the right products and insurance for the whole family.

Learn more about Helen

Rebecca Goodman - Insurance expert

Rebecca Goodman is a freelance financial journalist who specialises in insurance, personal finance and consumer affairs. Rebecca regularly writes for national newspapers including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday on a wide-range of financial topics. She covers everything from money-saving tips and holiday advice to investigations into how energy efficient appliances can cut the cost of household bills and the impact donating money can have on those in need. Along with features in national papers, Rebecca also writes news stories for websites including Yourmoney.com and The Money Edit.

Learn more about Rebecca

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