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Life insurance | Questions and answers

Here are the most important answers relating to your life insurance and pension.

Payment methods

  • Online banking
  • Direct debit: direct debit procedure (LSV or DD) through a Swiss bank or postal account. To do so, simply complete the “direct debit mandate” and return it to us by post (not e-mail): Generali, Postfach 1040, 8134 Adliswil 1.
  • Standing order
  • Credit card: possible via the MyGenerali customer portal

 

More information on the topic of billing can also be found under “payment methods”.

This payment method is not currently available for life insurance. However, we do offer this payment method for property insurance, such as bicycle insurance, household contents insurance, third-party liability insurance, travel insurance, etc.

  • When setting up a standing order, please make sure that no premiums are overdue.
  • Schedule your standing order for when the next premium is due and use the reference number found on the payment slip. Our system will then automatically assign the payments to the premiums.
  • The premiums are always due at the start of a given period. We therefore recommend that you always set the first of the month as the payment date.

With some life insurance policies, the premium increases on the same date each year. In this case, please remember to change the reference number when changing the standing order amount.

 

Our advice:

Use a direct debit procedure (LSV or DD) to pay your premiums. This way, the premiums will be deducted straight from your bank or postal account. The annual premium adjustment is automatically accounted for. To select this payment method, simply complete the downloadable form “direct debit mandate” and return it to us by post (not e-mail): Generali, Postfach 1040, 8134 Adliswil 1.

Payment difficulties

These are the most common solutions:

  • You can request to change your payment method using this online form. You can pay your premiums monthly instead of yearly, for example. However, fees may apply for paying in instalments.
  • For pillar 3b: you can apply for a policy loan and benefit from attractive terms. Further information can be found in the downloadable document “Current interest rates”. If you are experiencing temporary financial difficulties, you can still enjoy full insurance coverage. You can repay the loan plus any interest at your own pace in affordable instalments.
  • Request a premium reduction (see “How can I reduce the premiums for my life insurance?”). However, we would only recommend this option if you have been paying premiums for at least three years.
  • You can request a payment extension by using this online form.
  • You can request exemption from paying premiums (see “How can I stop the premiums for my life insurance?”). Again, we would only recommend this option if you have been paying premiums for at least three years.
  • Request a premium break (see “Can I take a break from paying my life insurance premiums?”). Yes, but this option is only available for certain policies and in certain situations. For further information, please contact our customer service team or your advisor.

Reduce premiums

Please send us your signed application for a premium reduction by e-mail to life.ch@generali.com, if possible. If you are unable to send it by e-mail, you can send it by post instead.

  • Monthly premium payment: min. CHF 50
  • Quarterly premium payment: min. CHF 150
  • Six-monthly premium payment: min. CHF 300
  • Annual premium payment: min. CHF 600

Yes, you can. But a new policy will need to be drawn up. This will replace your existing policy. You will have to undergo another medical examination for the new policy. The new policy will then be drawn up based on the current conditions.

 

Please note: the policyholder must be a Swiss resident.

 

Benefits of an additional insurance policy:

  • Greater flexibility: different terms of contract are possible
  • More payment options
  • Diversification: choose between different investment plans
  • Tax optimisation: by distributing pillar 3a tax deductions over several years, tax progression can be slowed down in some cantons
  • You receive a discount on the premium (see further below)

If you take out a new life insurance policy in addition to your existing one, you will receive a 10% loyalty discount on the first annual premium. This is subject to meeting the usual criteria.

Pause premiums

For certain policies and in certain situations, we offer the option of a premium break (payment freeze).

You can freeze your premium payments for a maximum of two years. This can be useful if you want to take parental leave or sabbatical to undergo training, for example.

No, you do not have to repay the missed payments.

There are three main conditions:

  • You must be a Swiss resident.
  • Your life insurance policy must have been concluded after 1 March 2009.
  • Your life insurance policy must have been running for at least three years and you must have paid your premiums during this time. 

 

Please note: This list is not exhaustive. To find out if we are able to offer you a premium break, call our customer service team on 0800 881 882:

Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 5.30 pm

Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

 

Please note that fees apply for taking a premium break. These can be found in the downloadable document “Fee regulations”.

Adjust premium payment

If you would like to convert to premium-free insurance, please send us your application by e-mail to life.ch@generali.com. If you are unable to send it by e-mail, you can send it by post instead.

A policy will have a conversion value if it has a surrender value. The conversion value will correspond to the new sum insured if you stop paying the premiums for your life insurance.

 

All supplementary insurance and any pension payments for illness or accident will be cancelled. Unit-linked life insurance policies with guaranteed capital are maintained in “conventional” form. This means that they are not tied to investment funds.

The method for calculating the new sum insured will depend on the type of policy you have signed. You can find this in your General Policy Conditions (GPC).

In the case of combined life insurance, it is paid out on maturity of the policy in the event of survival. You can find this date in your policy.

 

If the policyholder dies prematurely, the sum insured will be paid out to the rightful claimant.

Expiry of life insurance

You will receive a provisional statement from us at least one month before your life insurance expires. It will show the estimated survival benefit including any surpluses. On maturity of the policy, we will pay out the guaranteed benefits including any surpluses from supplementary insurance. If the insurance policy has been pledged, the pledgee’s written consent is required.

 

Please note: If you have a unit-linked policy with no guaranteed benefits, the current fund assets of the policy and any surpluses will be shown in the statement. If your policy is not unit-linked, the sum insured specified in your insurance policy will be shown in the statement.

If your insurance is unit-linked, the final value of the fund assets will not be known until a few weeks after your insurance has expired. We send you a provisional statement in advance so that you can provide us with payment instructions before your policy expires.

Please let us know your new address as soon as possible by completing this online form. This will ensure we can get in 

Cancellation

Please send us your cancellation by e-mail to life.ch@generali.com. If you are unable to send it by e-mail, you can send us your cancellation by post instead.

 

Please note:

  • Qualified provident insurance (pillar 3a) is subject to statutory provisions. The surrender value can therefore only be paid out under certain conditions. Details can be found in the downloadable form “Cancellation of qualified provident insurance (pillar 3a)”.
  • There are no special payment conditions for free provident insurance (pillar 3b). Details can be found in the downloadable form “Cancellation of insurance pillar 3b”.
  • If the insurance policy has been pledged, the pledgee’s written consent is required.
  • If you cancel your contract before the first three years, the insurance will lapse without any value.
  • Your policy will have a surrender value after the first three insurance years, provided that you have paid the premiums. Details of the different surrender values can be found in the supplement to your policy.

Surrender requests take effect when received by us. If you do not specify a future cancellation date, the surrender will be executed on the first day of the month following receipt of your surrender request, at the earliest. If the policy has a surrender value, we will usually make the payment within 30 days of receiving all of the required documents and information (i.e. full payment instructions and acceptance of the fund’s redemption prices for unit-linked insurance). The fund’s redemption prices are usually made available from the second week of each month.

  • You will accumulate funds for retirement or a future project.
  • With death cover, you can make sure your loved ones are financially secure.
  • If you have taken out supplementary insurance, you can protect yourself against lost earnings due to illness or accident.
  • You save taxes with pillar 3a: the premiums paid are tax-deductible.
  • You guarantee yourself a minimum amount of capital irrespective of how the fund performs. This applies in the case of unit-linked insurance policies with guaranteed capital.
  • You can use your insurance to finance your primary residence: pledge your policy as bank collateral for a mortgage (see “Financing your own home”).
  • The amount of your premiums is guaranteed for the entire term of the contract. This is subject to any special exclusions in the policy.

Surrender value

Life insurance policies have a fixed term. This means that you have to pay premiums for a certain period of time. The term is agreed when you take out the policy and is specified in your policy documents. If you cancel the life insurance prematurely, this surrender value is paid out to you. That is why cancelling a life insurance policy is sometimes also referred to as “surrendering”. The surrender value is therefore the monetary amount that you receive when you cancel your policy.

The method used to calculate the surrender value depends on the type of insurance policy and is set out in your General Policy Conditions (under “Surrender”). If your insurance is unit-linked, you can find possible surrender values for different annual fund returns in the supplement to your policy documents.

Your premiums are composed as follows:

 

  1. Savings premium: This portion is used to accumulate your endowment benefit over the entire term of the contract.
     
  2. Risk premium: This portion covers the costs for the insured risk. The risks are usually death and disability (including any supplementary insurance).
     
  3. Cost premium: There are certain costs associated with managing your policy, such as acquisition costs and administrative expenses.

 

The savings premium serves as the basis for calculating the surrender value. Conversely, Generali retains the risk and cost premiums.

 

That is why we do not recommend cancelling a life insurance policy prematurely. You should only do so if there is no other option.

To find out the surrender value, please use the online form “Order policy values and fund assets” on our website. We will then send you the corresponding documents.

Home ownership

If you would like to make an advance withdrawal to buy a home to use as your primary residence, the following options are available to you.

 

Full surrender of the policy: payment of the surrender value.

 

  • How will this affect the policy?            

The policy will lapse as soon as the surrender is complete.

 

  • Which form should I use for this purpose?

 

  • What is the surrender value of my policy?

To find out the surrender value, please use our online form “Order policy values and fund assets”. We will then send you the corresponding documents.

 

Privileged advance withdrawal: payment of the surrender value + additional amount.

 

  • How will this affect the policy?

The policy will remain active and you will need to continue paying the premiums.

 

With a privileged advance withdrawal, you receive more than the surrender value. An added benefit is that you do not have to cancel your policy. A privileged advance withdrawal for a home is subject to the following two conditions, in particular:

  • Condition 1: the property must be situated in Switzerland.
  • Condition 2: as the policyholder, you agree to continue paying premiums (based on the current level) for at least five years.

 

Fees apply for privileged early withdrawal. These can be found in the downloadable document “Fee regulations”.

 

Please note that privileged early withdrawal is subject to further conditions. This list is not exhaustive. To find out if we are able to offer you this solution, please call us on 0800 881 882:
 

Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 5.30 pm
Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

Once we have received all of the required documentation, we can usually make the payment within 30 days.

If you do not want to withdraw any funds against your insurance policy, you can ask your bank about the possibility of indirect amortisation when buying a home. This would allow you to offer the mortgage provider, the bank, your insurance policy as collateral. When an insurance policy is pledged with a bank, the contract serves as a guarantee for paying off the mortgage loan indirectly.

 

If the policy is surrendered or expires, or in the event of premature death, the benefits would be paid out in accordance with the bank’s instructions to pay off the mortgage debt. Contact your bank directly to find out more about this option.

Tax

Taxation of qualified provident insurance (pillar 3a)

  • The total amount is taxed separately from any other income and is subject to a special tax rate. The cantons can set their own rules for the applicable tax rate. Please contact your local tax authority for details.
  • If you live outside of Switzerland or are about to move away, withholding tax will be deducted directly from the surrender value at a rate between 6% and 9%, usually.

 

Taxation of free provident insurance (pillar 3b)

  • Free provident insurance is not taxable if you disclose the potential surrender value of the policy on your tax return each year.

Yes, if you are over 60 years old, you can also transfer your assets from pillar 3a in a tax neutral way. This is assuming that your policy does not expire before then. Once the benefits become due, the assets can no longer be transferred to another pillar 3a in a tax neutral way. This means that tax will be payable on any benefits that have been provided.

We send you the year-end documents for the previous year, along with other important information, by the beginning of February each year. If you have not received the documents by then, your address might no longer be up to date in our system. Please let us know your current address using this online form.

 

If you need the tax documents for a previous year, you can also request them easily and conveniently using this online form.

To find out which details you need to provide about your insurance, please visit www.generali.ch/taxes. You will find information about:

  • Pillar 3a and pillar 3b
  • Tax surrender value
  • Policy loan
  • Premium deposit account
  • Payment account

Have you been paying too much into pillar 3a? Then please send us the official letter from your tax authority by e-mail to life.ch@generali.com or by post. Please remember to include your policy number. We will get back to you with a solution tailored to your contract, situation and expectations.