Compare travel insurance for Switzerland

Alpine views and winter sports are just two reasons why Switzerland is a popular holiday destination. Whether you’re going with family or friends, it’s important to get travel insurance to give you peace of mind on your trip.

Alpine views and winter sports are just two reasons why Switzerland is a popular holiday destination. Whether you’re going with family or friends, it’s important to get travel insurance to give you peace of mind on your trip.

Josh Daniels
Travel Insurance expert
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Last Updated 16 MARCH 2022

Do I need travel insurance for Switzerland?

It’s important to have travel insurance whatever your destination, and Switzerland is no exception. Having cover means you have 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 any claim you make 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.

The price of 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 expense of getting you back to the UK in the event of a serious illness or injury.
  • Baggage cover – to help you cover the cost of replacing the contents of your luggage if your bag goes missing or something is stolen. When you compare quotes, pay attention to 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 – if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or bereavement, travel insurance can help you recover 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 – now available on some policies in case you catch COVID-19 while you’re away and you need to make additional accommodation or travel bookings 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 click on the ‘more details’ option on the quote results page to easily compare 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? 

If you’re taking part in any winter sports, including snowboarding or skiing, then you’ll need a winter sports travel insurance policy, which will offer more comprehensive cover than a standard policy.

With winter sports insurance you’ll have cover for: 

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

Check your policy to see which winter sports activities are covered as it varies between providers. 

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 or mountaineering 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, if your trip lasts for less than 90 days.

Travel rules for UK citizens in Europe have changed due to Brexit. As of 1 January 2021, 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.

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, including rules on COVID-19 vaccines and testing.

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.

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

GHIC/EHIC – a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) 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. 

Now the UK has left the EU, you can no longer apply for an EHIC, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, it’ll still be valid until the expiry date. 

The EHIC has been replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC or yours is about to expire, you can apply for a GHIC 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 on hand. 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.

Make sure you read up on Swiss driving rules before you go, including speed limits, rules on alcohol limits and other safety regulations. And don’t forget to drive on the right.

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, then you’ll need to look into specialist cover.

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 are applying for a visa to enter Switzerland you may need to provide proof of insurance as part of your application.

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