Natural hazards (NH) insurance covers damage caused by the forces of nature. In view of its major economic and socio-political importance, insurance cover for risks of this kind has been subject to special statutory regulation based on country-wide solidarity since 1 January 1993.
Under Article 33 of the Insurance Supervision Act (SR 961.01), natural hazards coverage must be included in fire insurance. The coverage and premium rates are uniform and binding on all private insurance companies. The associated ordinance (Insurance Supervision Ordinance, ISO, SR 961.011) also specifies which types of damage regarded as damage caused by natural hazards are included in fire insurance (damage caused by natural hazards under NH-ISO).
Natural hazards damage of the types regulated in the ISO cannot be insured in the open market. Insurers do, however, have a degree of entrepreneurial freedom when it comes to objects and risks which are not covered by these regulations (natural hazards special: NH special).