Compensation Body

Claimants residing in Switzerland can address their motor third party liability claims to the Compensation Body of the National Guarantee Fund in case the recipients of their claims do not observe their legal obligations in respect of claims handling (art. 79d para. 1 letter a of the Road Traffic Act SVG).

The case arises when these recipients omit to provide any reasoned offer of compensation or any reasoned reply to the claimant within a three month time limit (art. 79c para. 1 SVG).

The three month time limit starts as soon as the demand containing a precise claim for compensation reaches the recipient (art. 79c para. 2 SVG). The Compensation Body becomes definitely competent for the handling of the claim in case the recipient omits to put things right by sending a reasoned offer of compensation or a reasoned reply within a supplementary time limit of two month starting with the receipt of the compensation claim by the Compensation Body (art. 54a para. 2 of the Vehicle Insurance Ordinance VVV). However, where legal action has been taken to enforce the claims directly, no claim may be presented to the compensation body (art. 79d para. 2 letter a and b SVG).

Art. 79d para. 1 SVG also allows claimants to address their compensation demands to the Compensation Body in case the foreign MTPL insurer did not appoint any claims representative or in case that the accident occurred abroad and was caused by a vehicle that cannot be identified or whose insurer cannot be identified within two months after the accident. However, with one exception (cf. below), these provisions are currently not applicable in Switzerland. As a matter of fact, art. 79e para. 1 SVG states that the concerned countries have to concede reciprocity to Switzerland in order to allow the application of these provisions. Currently, only Liechtenstein concedes such reciprocity to Switzerland.

The so called protection of visitors agreements that the Swiss National Bureau of Insurance (NBI) signed with the competent insurers associations of the EEA member states do not fall under the scope of art. 79e SVG. Further, these agreements expressly exclude the intervention of the compensation bodies.