Swiss Triple Protection

Swiss building insurance companies (KGVs) play a central role for Swiss fire departments. They not only insure Swiss homeowners against fires, natural disasters, and earthquake damage, but are also operationally and financially responsible for the fire departments. Active in 19 out of 26 Swiss cantons, KGVs are independent, public-sector companies that insures around 1.9 million buildings. In relation to all of Switzerland, this corresponds to approximately 70% of all buildings.

What makes the KGV system unique is the triple protection it offers customers: as integral service providers, KGVs combine insurance, prevention, and intervention and thus offer loss prevention, accident prevention, and claims settlement from one institutional source.

Prevention and Intervention

For example, the building insurers develop binding fire protection regulations throughout Switzerland in their industry association and promote projects in applied prevention research through their own foundation. The industry association also trains fire protection and technical experts and assesses the mandatory certificate and federal examinations.

The building insurers are also responsible for fire departments and operational fire fighting operations. They offer a comprehensive education and training program through the industry association and organize training courses in their own training centers. Plus, they comprehensively support fire departments in procuring vehicles, tools, and technical equipment.

Vehicle Procurement

Gebäudeversicherung Zürich (Zürich building insurance company, GVZ), for example, shares up to 50 percent of the cost of firefighting vehicles. The company defines the vehicle concepts for the canton (e.g., the vehicles are painted lemon yellow instead of fire engine red, with a 300 mm wide strip in bright red luminous paint), and it creates the specifications, construction and equipment regulations and loading lists depending on the type and purpose. The GVZ also operates an online shop, through which the fire departments can access technical and personal equipment directly.

Good Cooperation

Rosenbauer is also listed in the GVZ equipment shop, including the HEROS-titan protective helmet and the FOX portable pump. Numerous vehicles have also been delivered to fire departments in the canton of Zurich in recent years: Rosenbauer aerial ladders, for example, went to the fire departments in Affoltern am Abis, Rüti, and Opfikon. Rosenbauer multipurpose vehicles were recently manufactured for the fire departments in Weisslingen and Oberglatt. Rosenbauer tank firefighting vehicles are also in service in the fire departments of Dielsdorf, Grüningen, and Oberglatt, among others. A training vehicle from the AT flagship series is stationed at the GVZ training center in Andelfingen. The next Rosenbauer TLF will be brought into service this fall at the Ausseramt fire department.