Social insurance


From the first of January following their twentieth birthday, Swiss and foreign students with legal residence in Switzerland must pay 482 francs a year (minimum contribution) into the  Age and Surviving Dependants' insurance, Disability insurance, and Military Income Loss insurance fund. Students in paid employment must pay from the first of January following their seventeenth birthday, Students who earn an income or obtain a military income loss insurance payment, from which contributions of less than 482 francs (minimum contribution) are deducted, can have these contributions credited to them: they need then only pay the difference from the minimum contribution.

Further informations

Ausgleichskasse des Kantons Bern (german)

Student contributions into the Age and Surviving Dependants' insurance, Disability insurance, and Military Income Loss insurance fund (German)

Health insurance

Sickness and accident insurance

All persons resident in Switzerland must insure themselves with a Swiss health insurance fund, regardless of their nationality. Anyone taking up residence in Switzerland has three months in which to arrange insurance. The insurance must, however, be retroactive to the date of arrival in Switzerland. Students staying in Switzerland for a limited time and able to show proof of equivalent insurance protection in their own country may submit a written “application for exemption from the insurance requirement”.


Further informations

Exemption from compulsory health insurance

The Essentials in Brief (FOPH)

Health and Accident Insurance Notes for Students at BFH (PDF)

Liability insurance

Private personal liability insurance

Private personal liability insurance is not obligatory. It can, however, be very useful, as it applies to harm done to third parties, whether this occurs, for example, in sport, as a pet owner or as a tenant. Payments are made on the basis of current value of objects at the time the damage occurs. Corresponding private personal liability insurance coverage is recommended.

Household insurance

Household contents insurance

Household contents insurance is not obligatory. However, this voluntary insurance covers damage to household property. For the most part, policies of this kind cover losses arising out of fire and water damage and theft. Usually payments are made on a replacement value basis, i.e. the amount that would be required to buy a new article.

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