Background knowledge: Accident abroad – what now?

Maybe this has already happened to you or you’ve already asked yourself what to do if an accident happens abroad? You can find answers to these questions in this blog post from the experts in the international claims department.

Being involved in an accident – whether you’re at fault or not – is always unpleasant. Far away from home, in a country with a different legal basis, a different language and a different culture, the jungle of the insurance world often seems even more complicated than at home. It’s good to have a reliable insurance partner at your side in case of emergency. To ensure that your insurance company can support you in the best possible way, the first steps after the accident are often the most important ones.

Now it has happened. There has been a crash. Hopefully, you were able to stay calm and fill in the European accident report with the other party. The report has the same structure in all languages and helps enormously in assessing liability. It is recommended that you always carry one in your vehicle. You can obtain the reports free of charge from your insurance company. The accident report must be filled in and signed by both parties on site. Without the signature of both parties involved, the report is worthless. However, as the accident report is considered as proof of liability in some countries, it is important to sign it only if you agree with it and understand it completely. The accident report must not be altered afterwards. If communication with the other party is difficult, for language reasons or otherwise, we advise you to contact the local police and have them establish a written report.

If you’ve subscribed to a fully comprehensive insurance for your vehicle, report the damage to your insurance and they will take care of everything else. You can sit back and relax.

If your vehicle has partially comprehensive cover and the accident is not your fault, you must first find out which insurance company is the Swiss representative for the foreign insurance where the car that caused the accident is insured. You can obtain the relevant information from your own insurance company. Every foreign insurance company is represented in Switzerland by a local company. This makes it easier to settle the claim, as you don’t have to make expensive phone calls or send letters abroad and there are no language barriers. You can simply register the claim with the corresponding Swiss insurance and correspond with them from then on. Please note that normally the law of the country where the accident occurred applies and that the Swiss company only acts as a representative. They have no authority to make any decisions of their own and are always bound by the instructions of the foreign insurer.

We wish you a safe trip.

Published in November 2021