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Dissolving a household

In the event of a separation or divorce, if you are moving out of a shared flat or are moving into a retirement home: If you are dissolving your household, you should check your insurance policies. This enables you to save premiums - and ensure that you always enjoy full protection.

Good to know

Pay less

Adjust your insurance to your new living situation. This may allow you to save money. For example, because you no longer need certain additional insurance.

Adjust your joint insurance

Couples often share the following insurance policies: household insurance (household contents and personal liability), legal protection insurance and travel insurance (Assistance). You should adjust these insurance policies after a separation.

Co-insured persons

With a joint insurance policy, someone is typically the policyholder. The other person(s) are also insured and enjoy equivalent protection.

Frequently asked questions about dissolving a household

If you are dissolving your home, there are a few things you should consider. In our FAQ you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What happens to my retirement provision if I leave Switzerland?

Governmental, occupational and private retirement schemes are regulated differently:

Governmental retirement provision

If you leave Switzerland, you will not receive any benefits from the old-age and survivors' insurance (OASI). As an employee, you have automatically paid into the OASI scheme with your salary. This is not a personally saved retirement capital, however. Nevertheless, if you have paid OASI contributions for one year, then you are entitled to a pension when you retire. It does not matter whether you live in Switzerland or abroad at that time.

Occupational retirement provision

Any credit balance from an occupational retirement provision scheme belongs to you, and is part of your personally saved retirement capital. This means: You will receive this money when you leave Switzerland. However, a distinction is made between the mandatory and the super-mandatory part, and also whether or not you move to an EU or EFTA country.

Moving to an EU or EFTA country

  • mandatory part: The credit balance is transferred to a Vested benefits account.
  • super-mandatory part: The credit balance is paid out when you move

Moving to a non-EU or non-EFTA country

  • Credit balance is paid out

Personal retirement provision

Your funds in the 3rd pillar will be paid out to you when you leave Switzerland. It does not matter which country you move to. Note that you have to pay withholding tax on the credit balance that is paid out.

Does the joint insurance coverage remain in force even if you no longer live together?

No, you should always adapt your household insurance to the new living conditions. Household insurance refers to household contents and personal liability insurance.

The personal liability insurance and the household contents insurance remain in force for the policyholder. The persons who no longer live with the policyholder must seek new insurance coverage. 

If no other persons, such as children, are involved, we recommend converting from family to individual personal liability insurance. As for the household contents insurance, the policyholder can probably reduce the sum insured. 

To check your insurance coverage, it is best to contact your Customer Consultant.

Where do I put things that I no longer need?

Depending on the condition of your belongings, you can either give them away, sell them or dispose of them.

Give away / donate

  • Friends: Do you have useful items that you know are in good hands with a friend? Ask your friends or acquaintances. Perhaps a grateful customer will soon be found.
  • Brockenhaus: Whether furniture, crockery or decorative items: You can bring undamaged, clean goods to Brockenhäuser. However, there is no guarantee that a second-hand shop will accept your belongings. On the ZEWO website you can see which thrift stores and convenience stores accept which goods.
  • Caritas: Would you like to do something good for people in need? Well-preserved clothes and shoes, children's or baby clothes can be donated to Caritas, for example. You can find more information on the website. 
  • Swiss Red Cross (SRK): Give furniture, clothes, toys or books a second life. The SRK Bern will be happy to accept your goods in their second-hand shops. You can find more information on the website

To sell

Don't need your TV anymore? Would you also like to get rid of the bookshelf and the ironing board for a fee? Then place a classified ad in an online portal or in social networks. Depending on the price, you can get rid of your goods quickly. Also state in the advertisement whether you will be sending the goods or whether the buyer will have to collect the goods from you.

Tip: Add meaningful pictures to your advertisements and describe the items as precisely as possible – including defects.


  • Recycling: Whether books, electronics or textiles: In many recycling centers you can recycle items free of charge.
  • Bulky waste: The old mattress, the wobbly table: shabby or broken objects are best taken to the bulky waste. The disposal fees depend on the weight of your goods. In some cities, for example in Zurich, you can dispose of bulky waste free of charge with disposal coupons.

Good to know: Old electronic devices can be handed in at any point of sale free of charge.

Do I still need household insurance if I move into a retirement home?

Even in a retirement home, you will have your own household effects, and maybe even valuables. We therefore recommend that you keep your household contents insurance and adapt the policy to the new situation. When you move into a retirement home, you will most likely reduce your household effects. You can therefore also reduce the sum insured of your household contents insurance accordingly. This way you will pay less in premiums. 

We also recommend that you keep your personal liability insurance. Because things can go wrong, even in a retirement home. For example, you are liable if you damage something belonging to a fellow resident.

In principle, we recommend checking the scope of coverage of all your insurances. It may be that certain additional insurances are no longer necessary. For example, travel insurance or insurance for damage to motor vehicles used.

What happens to a joint household insurance policy if one person dies?

In this case, we distinguish between whether the policyholder or the coinsured person dies.

The policyholder dies:

  • Household contents insurance: The personal belongings and thus also the household contents insurance pass to the heirs. They can cancel the household contents insurance.
  • Personal liability insurance: The insurance expires and the coinsured person must take out a new policy. If the policyholder was married to the coinsured person, the policy is transferred to the surviving spouse , who may reject it. 

The coinsured person dies:

  • Household contents insurance: If the household contents of the coinsured person are inherited by people who do not live in the joint household, these items are no longer insured. 
  • Personal liability insurance: The policyholder can have the joint insurance converted into an individual insurance.

Can a deceased person's policies be cancelled?

You do not have to actively cancel household contents and personal liability insurance. The household contents insurance is automatically transferred to the heirs upon the death of the policyholder. They can reject the transfer of the policy, whereupon the insurance will expire. The policyholder's personal liability insurance expires when he or she dies.

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