Insurance is confusing. We have the answers.

What exactly is life insurance?

The life insurance product landscape can be divided into two major sectors: Life insurance with a savings part and pure risk life insurance. Life insurance with a savings part focuses mainly on retirement and tax optimization (pillar 3a). In the second case of risk life insurance, the risk of death or disability is insured. There is also a combination of the two products: Savings insurance with a risk component.

Death risks are usually insured with a one-time lump sum in case of death during the duration of the policy. In that case, the beneficiaries are paid the sum insured in cash after the death of the insured person. In the event of disability, a pre-defined benefit is insured that is paid periodically to the insured person until the end of the disability, the end of the contract period or his/her death.

We strongly believe, that risk and savings should be considered as two separate matters. That’s why you only find risk insurance coverage at vlot.

Why do I need life insurance?

To answer this question, vlot has changed the complex insurance world into a simple questionnaire that allows us to capture, calculate and identify any need for your personal situation.

In short, it may well be that you or your family have no income gaps to insure. If our calculations do identify a gap, we will show you where it is and recommend a corresponding coverage solution.

The main reasons for life insurance for disability or death are usually one or more of the following:

  • You want to secure your income and your/your standard of living
  • You want to make sure that your current housing situation (e.g. your residential property) is secured
  • You want to make sure that the education of your/your children is not at risk
  • You need to give your mortgage lender a security in case of death or disability
When do I need insurance for death and disability risks?

Death risk insurance: If it is important to you to ensure the standard of living for your partner / family in the event of death, a death insurance policy is recommended. For singles or cohabiting partnerships, this product doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as there are usually no financial dependencies. However, once children or home ownership are in play, it’s well worth thinking about it.

Disability risk insurance: If it is important to you to ensure a standard of living in the event of disability, a disability benefit is recommended. Important to know: The level of disability doesn’t depend on a medical assessment, but on the level of income loss associated with the disability. Therefore, if you become disabled due to an illness or accident and you carry out another job and earn the same or more than before, no benefits will be paid.

What advantages do I have with vlot compared to traditional life insurance offers?
  • vlot analysis: vlot offers you a free and non-binding way to calculate your current financial situation in detail and identify any possible income gaps. Our main goal is to provide you with a solution that neither over- nor underinsures you. At vlot, there is no pressure or obligation to purchase coverage. We convince with simple facts, not sophisticated sales techniques.
  • vlot digital: If we find an income gap and you choose to take action as per our recommendation, just fill out the application online. We made the process as simple as possible. Spare yourself the visit of a consultant or advisor. If you have any questions or if there are any uncertainties on your side, contact us by phone or email.
  • vlot life planning: The vlot service does not end with the conclusion of the contract. On the contrary. This is where our journey together begins – just as dynamic as today’s life is… There are a lot of future events that will greatly influence your risk coverage. It changes if you get married, get children, take out a mortgage or pay it off, when you get a new job, or your income increases or decreases. We can calculate some of these events based on your information and actively point it out to you. For some events we need your help and interaction. We will ask you to check and update your data on an annual basis. This ongoing analysis gives you clarity and certainty about the impact of changes in your life. And it’s you (and you only) who makes the final decision to change or cancel your coverage.
  • vlot premium: Our administrative overhead is low and we’ve decided to get rid of sales commissions. That’s why we can offer you an extremely attractive premium for your insurance. We calculate your risk and your ongoing premium using a so called “natural” premium. We adjust it every year according to your age. So, at a younger age, you pay a very low premium compared to when you’re older (we explain that in the next answer). Most insurance carriers collect an average premium and keep their distribution going with high sales commissions (which you pay indirectly anyway). This increases product costs up to 50%!
Why does the vlot premium change over the years?
Did you notice that the vlot premium starts very low and increases over the years? We are happy to explain why this is good for you and how you can save a lot of money.

  • Your age represents your current risk of death and disability. The insurance companies work with mortality and disability tables and can thus calculate exactly how likely such a scenario can occur at a given age. In addition to your age, your gender, whether you smoke, what job you do, and your current state of health are other important factors for calculating the risk of death and disability.
  • Most traditional life insurance policies charge the premium for a term of 20 to 30 years. They take the risk of death and disability over the next 30 years into account from the first day of your insurance policy. An example: You are 35 years old and want to insure yourself for a 30-year term. From day one, you’ll be paying for your possible risk till the age of 65. Does that make sense? We don’t think so. At vlot, your premium is risk-adjusted. You only pay for the risk that corresponds to your age. We think that makes a lot more sense, right?
  • Most people need less coverage as they get older. The reason: your financial situation tends to improve over time, as obligations for children drop off, your savings and benefits from state social security and employer are increasing and mortgages are often paid off in whole or in part.
  • The sum of all these factors leads to the following conclusion: you pay less premium at vlot when you’re young, and you need less coverage (and thus less premium) when you get older. You save at both ends. An average vlot customer can save around 30% of life insurance premium like this (taking a 30-year term from age 35 to 65 as an example). We think that’s cool, right? You’re asking where the catch is… There isn’t one.
Is vlot an insurance carrier?
No, vlot is not insurance carrier. Vlot is an insurance intermediary (tied agent) between you and the Elips Life AG, a 100% subsidiary of the global leading re-insurer Swiss Re. Vlot is responsible for analysis and calculation of your financial situation, the customer relationship, the policy management and archiving of files. Elips Life AG takes over the medical risk assessment, carries the insured risks and handles claims and payouts. Elips Life AG has a A (a+) (outlook stable) rating from A.M. Best.
How does the vlot analysis work?

We have spent countless hours in the development of the vlot analysis tool. It is unique on the life insurance market. Our analysis has three steps:

Data: We love precision, we hate lengthy data entry. We want as little data as possible, but as much as necessary about you and your family. As you’re entering your data, we’re building a family unit in the background, which builds the backbone of our calculations. By combining all the individual data points and parameters, we’re creating a holistic picture of your situation.

Calculation of existing benefits: We take into account all available benefits from the state social security (1. pillar), employer benefits (2. pillar) and – if available – the private benefits (3. pillar). Since the calculation of illness and accident benefits are substantially different, we calculate both scenarios in parallel and show you the scenario with the larger income gap. In order to capture your situation holistically and make it as meaningful as possible, it’s important you enter all data correctly and completely. We are legally obliged to avoid over-insurance.

Evaluation of the personal situation and needs: After calculating your existing benefits, our algorithm helps us evaluate your income gaps accurately. The following factors come together and influence each other:

  • your age
  • your education
  • your job and your salary
  • your family situation and your civil status
  • number and age of your children
  • your current housing costs for rent
  • your interest, maintenance and amortization costs for ownership
  • current market interest rates
  • cost of living adjustments

All of these factors influence the amount of coverage we propose. We base our proposition on the extensive knowledge and experience of the vlot founders.

How does the registration process work?

We are keeping the registration process as simple as possible whilst complying with the strict guidelines of our insurance carrier. We wanted to make the analysis and the result available to you without registration. If you decide to get a coverage through vlot or if you want to save your analysis, we only ask you for your email address.

We are obliged to also protect any anonymized data. It is therefore necessary to use a 10 digit password, capital letters and a special character.

Your data is stored anonymously and encrypted by us. You can find out more about this in our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

How long does it take until my answers to the health questions are reviewed by the insurance company?

In 70% of all cases, there is no manual review of your health questionnaire. As soon as we receive your printed application, your policy is issued immediately.

If you are or have suffered from health conditions or, for example, take part in risk activities or sports, a so called “underwriter” of our insurance partner will review your application manually. During this process, the underwriter might ask you for more information and / or request further medical information.

If you’ve applied for larger amounts of coverage (above CHF 60’000 disability benefits or a death lump sum of over CHF 600’000), you may have undergo a medical examination. We’re covering the costs of this of course.

We will inform you within 3 working days and keep you up to date on further steps at all times.

When should I re-run the vlot analysis?

Our declared goal is to keep your risk coverage up to date at all times. How do we do this? Well, together.

vlot uses several methods to update your analysis. First, we use the data you input at the beginning to calculate time-related parameters such as age, duration of the mortgage, contribution period in the first pillar and duration of a relationship / registered partnership. Furthermore, our algorithm is constantly adjusted to the current legal framework and we update the compensation tables of the state social security whenever there is a change. This happens automatically without your interaction.

There are other relevant changes in your life that we can’t assess without your interaction. We will remind you once per year to check your parameters and update them if necessary. This includes:

  • changes in civil status (new partnership, wedding, separation, divorce, etc.)
  • birth of a child
  • changes in your salary and / or pension benefits
  • changes to your employment (new job, new function, etc.)
  • changes to your living situation (home ownership, etc.)

If your income gap changes as a result of the above information, you will receive a comparison chart and a call to action from us.

Increase of coverage: You can increase your cover by up to 30% without re-answering the health questionnaire. If this limit is exceeded, you’re required to answer the questionnaire again. If you don’t exceed the limit, the change is immediately implemented in your policy. But you also have the option to reject the change at any time. Your choice.

Reduction of coverage: You can cancel your coverage at any time. In addition, you have the option to adjust your cover at any time within the scope of our three cover proposals (minimum, optimum, maximum). If you’ve had health issues since the initial conclusion of the life insurance policy, we’ll let you know that after a reduction in coverage, a renewed increase may not be possible. Here, too, you always have the option to maintain the existing coverage within the scope of the general insurance conditions.

How long does it take until I have the right insurance coverage?
The vlot analysis helps you to find the right insurance coverage. Keep your pension fund certificate ready and any mortgage contracts or existing risk insurances. If you have everything you need, the analysis including the insurance application takes about 15 minutes to complete.
To which extent does vlot use my data?

Vlot uses your data for the analysis of the financial situation in your household and to calculate any income gap and recommended insurance coverage.

Your personal data will only be transmitted and stored on the servers of our insurance partner Elips Life AG when you apply for the contract. Until then, your data rests encrypted and anonymized on the vlot servers.

Please read our terms & conditions and data & privacy policy for more details.

Is my data safe with vlot?

Data security has the highest priority for us and our insurance partner Elips Life AG.

Your personal data is encrypted and stored in Switzerland with our insurance partner. The entire IT infrastructure has been thoroughly tested and verified by independent experts. We comply with all legal requirements, regulations and guidelines on data protection and data security.

Please read our terms & conditions and data & privacy policy for more details.

Who has access to my data?

Please refer to our terms & conditions and data & privacy policy for more details.

In a nutshell: Our platform and processes are almost fully automated. If a manual intervention is necessary, the following people have access to your data:

  • Medical underwriting specialists of our insurance partner
  • Selected vlot staff responsible for consultation or administration
How can I keep my data up-to-date or change data?

All mutations can be done through your user account on the vlot platform.

  • Would you like to change your address or payment details? Navigate to your user account details and change the data accordingly. Done.
  • Would you like to make a change that affects your analysis or benefits? Then use our life planning feature and let us guide you step by step through the process.

If you have further questions, please contact our hotline or send us an email.

What can I do if I forget my password?
You’ll find a ‘request new password’ function on the login page of the vlot portal, under this link:
Why does vlot need data from my pension fund certificate?

Vlot takes all existing insurance covers into account in the analysis.

All employees are insured for occupational benefits by law in Switzerland, beginning at a minimum wage of CHF 21,330.-. We only need five figures from your pension fund certificate so that our algorithm can calculate the existing cover of your pension fund correctly.

We might ask you to enter children’s pensions, even if you have no children. Background: If you do get children later, we can re-calculate your situation without having to ask for the information again.

You can find an example of a Swiss pension fund certificate and the 5 values we need for calculation here.

What happens if I can’t pay my vlot premium on time?
Missing out on a payment happens to everyone. Don’t worry, our goal is to keep your coverage up. We proceed according to the specifications of our insurance partner and the general insurance conditions. As soon as we realize that you have not paid your premium, we will send you a payment reminder. If no payment has been made four weeks later, we will send you a reminder. You’ll find a final due date on the reminder. If we can’t register a payment by the due date, we must cease your insurance coverage.
Can I get coverage even if I had health problems?

Basically, that’s not a problem. Each of us was ill once or had an accident in the past. However, insurance companies need to know the truth about your state of health in order to assess the risk fairly. In 95% of the cases, we can grant you the desired insurance cover. Great, right?

There are restrictions sometimes. As the saying goes: “Nobody insures a burning house”. For past or existing health conditions, a medical underwriter will evaluate your specific case. This can have the following effects:

  • Cover without exemptions / exclusions: the insurance application is accepted without amendment
  • Cover with exemptions / exclusion: you will receive a counterproposal from us, which you can either accept or reject
  • Coverage with premium adjustment: in this case, we can insure you, but because of the increased risk, this goes along with a higher premium that you can accept or decline
  • There are cases that we can’t insure. This can relate to one or both coverages (death and disability).

You always have the option of calling our hotline or emailing us. We can probably help you, even if you do get a refusal.

Why does vlot need information on my current life situation?
The cornerstone of our calculation is the current family situation. This includes any partnerships or children in the same household. In the following questions, we create a household profile that helps us calculate the exact income gaps and coverage proposals for you and your family. But only if you have a gap of course!
Why does vlot need my personal information?
Your personal information is important to understand the base of your personal situation. Part of this data is needed for the analysis of your household income, another part for the calculation of the insurance premium, should there be an income gap.
Why does vlot need my partner’s personal information?
The partner details are just as important as the details of the applicant. We take a holistic view of your financial situation so that you and your family receive the insurance cover you really need – not too much and not too little.
Why does vlot need information about my / our children?

At vlot, we only have employees who have children themselves. We know how important the well-being of our children is.

Children play an important role in the calculation of existing benefits, both in terms of state or employer benefits. Today’s family constellations are also very different. Whether it’s a patchwork family or a single parent … it’s the children who are the most vulnerable to the fate of a death or a long illness. That’s why it’s important to enter your children’s data accurately.

But you only have to reveal what is absolutely necessary:

  • You prefer not to give the names of your children? No problem. You can just enter “child 1”. It is important that the age and the affiliation to the parent are correct<
  • You have children who are no longer eligible for support? Please enter them anyway. They have a relevance for calculating the state social security benefit amounts – also retrospectively.
Why does vlot need to know if and since when I am married or in a registered partnership?

Marital status and date of marriage or registration of a partnership are important factors in the calculation of pension benefits. Depending on the service provider and the type of death (due to accident or illness), different conditions apply regarding the duration of the relationship and age of the respective partner in order to receive benefits.

Registered partnerships are equivalent to married couples.

Why does vlot need to know since when I am living in cohabitation?

Cohabitaion of an unmarried couple is not a legally binding partnership according to Swiss law. Especially in the state social security and accident insurance, there are significant benefit losses.

As a registered vlot customer you can simulate a marriage in the customer portal and see the financial implications. After the wedding, you record the new civil status and we recalculate your situation and the necessary amounts. Push of a button, and the policy is adjusted.

Why does vlot need to know the details of how I earn a living?

Your income is the basis of your standard of living. We need to know how high your income is, so that we can correctly allocate the income in the household profile.

As a student or homemaker we ​​calculate fictional income values because costs and needs are not matched by a financial compensation. Don’t worry, we’ll do that for you in the background without any additional input from your side.

Please fill in your current gross annual income in the appropriate field.

Why does vlot need to know the details of how my partner earns a living?

We want to get the most comprehensive picture possible of your current household income in order to correctly calculate your financial situation and any gaps. The income of both partners are relevant for this.

As a student or homemaker we ​​calculate fictional income values because costs and needs are not matched by a financial compensation. Don’t worry, we’ll do that for you in the background without any additional input from your side.

Please fill in the current gross annual income of the partner in the appropriate field.

Why does vlot need figures from my pension fund certificate?

The pension fund is an important component of the risk coverage of all employees in Switzerland. Those who do not reach the entry threshold of CHF 21,330 are not mandatorily insured (but can be voluntarily insured by the employer).

  • all employees receive their pension fund certificate once a year. It shows all the benefits that have to be entered in the five input fields on vlot.>
  • self-employed, homemakers and students are usually not insured in a pension fund. The corresponding input fields are to be filled with CHF 0.

You can find an example of a Swiss pension fund certificate and the 5 values we need for calculation here.

Why does vlot need figures from my partner’s pension fund certificate?

The pension fund is an important component of the risk coverage of all employees in Switzerland. Those who do not reach the entry threshold of CHF 21,330 are not mandatorily insured (but can be voluntarily insured by the employer).

  • > all employees receive their pension fund certificate once a year. It shows all the benefits that have to be entered in the five input fields on vlot.
  • employed, homemakers and students are usually not insured in a pension fund. The corresponding input fields are to be filled with CHF 0.

You can find an example of a Swiss pension fund certificate and the 5 values we need for calculation here.

Why does vlot need to know about existing life / disability insurance policies?

Vlot is obliged to avoid over-insurance. Therefore, we must be informed about all existing risk insurance in place today. This information is included in the calculation of the coverage requirements.

The following insurances must be input:

  • any benefits paid on death or disability.
  • savings policies can be entered as death lump sum with the current surrender value

Please make sure you note whether the benefits are due in case of accident and / or illness.

Are you unsure if and how you should enter the benefits? We are glad to help you.

What impact does my housing situation have on my analysis?
In the background, vlot calculates a household budget based on the average Swiss household. One of the biggest cost factors in a household is the cost of housing.

  • Are you a tenant? Then please enter your rent incl. side costs
  • Are you a real estate owner with mortgage? Then please enter the details of your current housing situation. We calculate all necessary costs such as interest, amortization and side costs
Why does vlot need the figures of my / our mortgage situation?
In addition to the financial calculation around your mortgage values, we record the expiry of the mortgage tranches. Since we consider the cost of the mortgage, it is important to know when mortgage tranches might get paid back or changed in amount. If you record this data correctly, we will automatically calculate your new situation shortly before the tranch expires and point out possible changes or adjustments.
What happens when I run the analysis?

Once you press the ‘Start Analysis’ button, the following calculations and analyzes take place in the background, all within seconds:

  1. vlot creates a household profile and summarizes all information in a “family unit”.
  2. Based on your information, vlot calculates the disability benefits you are entitled to in the event of both an accident and illness. In the event of disability, periodic disability benefits are the basis of the income replacement.
  3. Based on your information, vlot calculates the benefits that are paid to your survivors if you should die after an accident or illness. In the event of death, periodic death benefits and / or capital benefits are the basis of the income replacement.
  4. Once all benefits have been calculated, it is determined in which scenario (death or disability) which cause (accident or illness) creates the greatest income gap. For couples, both individuals are calculated separately depending on their current situation, but at the end “reassembled” to a household income.
  5. After that, the household parameters are sent through a machine learning algorithm. This calculates if and how high an insurance coverage is recommended. For this calculation the following factors are taken into account:
    • mutual, financial dependence (with couples)
    • current age
    • number, age and level of education of the children
    • education of the partner
    • civil status
    • housing costs (rent / mortgage)
    • cost of living adjustments
    • market interest rates and compound interest calculation (for death lump sum)
  6. Once the necessary coverage has been calculated, the amounts will be corrected by any tax implications on pay out. Our goal is to insure the correct amount AFTER taxes.
  7. Finally, the three proposals “vlot minimum”, “vlot optimum” and “vlot maximum” are evaluated and the current monthly premiums for each cover are calculated.

Can you imagine that nearly 400,000 lines of code are needed to perform these calculations? I takes us seconds to do this, while a financial advisor or insurance specialist takes a couple of hours to work through the calculations. In addition, our algorithm runs calculations a normal calculator can’t even compute.

How do I interpret the analysis and which coverage option is the best for me?

These are the most important steps and interpretations for your analysis:

  • Use the “hover” for more information about the respective scenario or the displayed benefits. The legend gives you information about the different color codes.
  • If there is no income gap for you, no income loss (red) appears. Congratulations, you are currently adequately insured!
  • If you get red colored graph sections, we’ve identified income gaps in the respective situation. It may also be that your current coverage exceeds the minimum recommendation of vlot. We then show you the gap for the other suggestions only.

As a rule, we propose three different options to cover your income gap:

  • vlot minimum: with “vlot minimum” you secure yourself or your family for a minimum standard of living. No extras, no big luxury. But it is enough to pay for living costs and not to become dependent on social welfare.
  • vlot optimum: “vlot optimum” is our recommendation for the average household. A good mix of insuring current living standards in relation to the premium.
  • vlot maximum: With “vlot maximum” we protect you and your loved ones so that no monetary losses occur and your standard of living stays the same as before.

Depending on your personal preference, the coverage suggestions can be selected individually for disability and death. The coverages are not interlinked.

The premium calculation is done individually and transparently:

  • The premium we display is calculated exactly for you and your personal risk profile. However, it only becomes binding after completion of the health questionnaire (done online after creating your profile). Depending on the occupational class, the premiums for similar age groups may vary. Attention: Smokers shell out much higher premiums than non-smokers.
  • You can freely choose if and how much you want to insure yourself. In any case, you can be sure that we do not want to overinsure you or give you something to chew on. If you do not want cover for the respective scenario, just click on the corresponding button and you can skip it (can be added later on).
Last but not least - how does vlot make money?

vlot has decided not to take upfront sales commissions for distributing a life insurance product. Nevertheless, we need to earn money to sustain and grow our business. Vlot has two revenue streams:

  • vlot platform fee: as part of your insurance premium, vlot is charging you a fix amount per month per coverage you take out through vlot. This amounts to CHF 2.50 for one coverage or CHF 5.00 for two coverages (death and disability) per month. The platform costs thus amount to a maximum total of CHF 60.00 per year per person.
  • vlot software and administration fee: because we take over the full advisory, administration, invoicing and archiving for our insurance partner, we get compensated for these services and the ongoing development of our tech stack with a fix percentage per month.

Keep in mind, that traditional insurance carriers will compensate their advisors with a high, upfront commission, which is usually 70-90% of your first annual premium. This commission is priced into your premium and drives the cost additionally.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more about our compensation structure.