The insurance undertakings active in the motor third party liability insurance branch constitute and administrate together the National Bureau of Insurance. The NBI is an association and has its own legal personality. The main provisions concerning the organisation, the tasks and the funding of the NBI are contained in art. 74 ff. of the Road Traffic Law (SVG) and art. 39 ff. of the Legal Ordinance on Vehicle Insurance (VVV).
The legal tasks of the NBI consist in covering road traffic accidents caused by foreign vehicles or trailers. Vehicles or trailers, however, must submit to mandatory insurance according to the road traffic law (art. 74 par. 2 lit. a SVG). Furthermore, the NBI operates the National Information Centre and coordinates the conclusion of frontier insurance policies. Frontier insurance policies must be concluded for vehicles entering Switzerland and Liechtenstein without sufficient insurance cover (art. 74 par. 2 lit. c SVG).
Claims settlement is carried out by the signatories of the Swiss Interclaims Agreement. This cooperation is based on the Claims Regulations of the NBI & NGF.
The tasks of the National Bureau of Liechtenstein are fulfilled by the NBI (art. 1 of the exchange of notes dated November 3, 2003 between Switzerland and Liechtenstein).
In case a claim for a road traffic accident was brought into court (art. 74 par. 2 lit. a SVG), the NBI would have to be the defendant (art. 76b par. 1 SVG). In other words, legal action has to be taken against the NBI and not against a representative. Representatives of the NBI are Zurich or another member company.
According to Art. 38 of the Civil Procedure Code (ZPO), the following courts have jurisdiction:
The NBI's head office is situated in Zurich, at the siege of the managing company Zurich Insurance Company Ltd. The NBI has branch offices in Lugano and in Lausanne.
If the plaintiff is a resident of the Principality of Liechtenstein, not only the court at the place where the accident occurred but also the courts at the plaintiff's domicile in Liechtenstein and the courts at the NBI's domicile or at the place of an NBI branch office have jurisdiction (see the treaty concluded between Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein).