Accident Insurance in Numbers

Until well into the 20th century, only a minority of wage workers – primarily in industry and commerce – were insured against accident risks the Swiss Institute for Accident Insurance (Suva). The proportion of Suva policyholders remained stable in the 1960s and 1970s at 50 and 60 percent of the working population (F18). For the first 50 years after the formation of Suva occupational accidents accounted for the vast majority of insurance cases, though the share of non-occupational accidents was rising continuously (F19). The revised Accident Insurance Act that entered into force in 1984 significantly expanded the range of workers covered. The insurance obligation now applied to all employees. This expansion of insurance cover, however, did nothing to halt the increasing number of cases of non-occupational accidents. Accident insurance is considered one of the pioneering areas of Swiss social security and its financial importance remained quite stable over the course of the 20th century. Until 1984, the expenditures of compulsory accident insurance constituted around half a percent of GDP; this share has since risen to around one percent (F2).



F2 Expenditures of key social insurance programs as a percentage of gross domestic product, 1925-2010

F18 Full-time workers insured against accident as a percentage of the working population, 1918-2011

F19 Occupational and non-occupational accidents resulting in the payment of benefits, 1918-2011