May 312007

I was flabbergasted to learn that the price of car insurance in Switzerland is a function of your nationality. The surcharge can be as high as 97% if your unlucky enough to be from pretty well anywhere in the sourth-eastern Medditerranean area and, curiously, anywhere in north or south America (article in French).

The insurers argument is that drivers from certain countries statistically have more accidents. Now I can follow the reasoning, the problem is that each company has wildly differing prices for a given nationality, which to me smells of poor statistics. If the sample is large, the surcharges should be approximately the same.

What’s even worse is that the no-claims bonus is aplied on the surcharged price. This means that a driver from country X, whose initial policy has a 94% surcharge, who has no accidents for 10 years is penalised forever.

Legal as it may be, this practice stinks of racism. Shame on the Swiss; are they alone in doing this?