Ecology, Estonia, Financial Services, Insurance

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 30.05.2020, 12:38

Estonian insurers: Storm damage may amount to couple of million euros

BC, Tallinn, 30.10.2019.Print version
The Estonian Insurance Association estimates that the sum total of claims following a single major storm in Estonia may amount to a couple of millions euros, whereas the exact size of the damage caused by the storm that ravaged mainly southern Estonia on Sunday is to become clear within a month, when all claims have been received, informed LETA/BNS.

Ulli Reimets, head of damage prevention at the Estonian Insurance Association, said that the likelihood of damage increases when wind speeds surpass 21 meters per second.

"Usually the sum total of claims arising from strong winds amounts to over one million euros a year on the average. Powerful storms accompanied by flooding, like the one in Parnu in 2005, increase the size of damage severalfold," Reimets said.

In the past decade, Estonia sustained the biggest storm damage in 2013, when wind speeds reached over 30 meters per second in gusts in October and December. A total of 1,156 storm damage insurance cases related to buildings were recorded in that year and the total value of the claims was 2.2 mln euros. Wind damage of the same scale was recorded in 2011 and 2015. 

Lauri Nou, head of nonlife insurance at If Kindlustus, said that If has registered 80 damage cases in the wake of last weekend's storm with a total initial price tag of more than 225,000 euros. However, it can be expected that this will increase significantly.

"The biggest damage is caused by roofs broken and trees fallen as a result of a storm. In the event of roof damage, damage to people's dwellings caused by water often has to be eliminated as well. In connection with the storm in question we have received more than 40 notices of broken roofs, in two cases the entire roof of an apartment building was blown off," Nou said.

Karen Soosalu, head of the property damage department at Salva Kindlustus, said that the regions that suffered the biggest damage in last weekend's storm were the counties of Tartu, Voru and Valga.

"Salva Kindlustus has thus far received 15 loss claims related to the storm, but there are more on the way and [total damage size] will become clear later. The biggest loss case that has been notified to Salva to date may amount to up to a couple of tens of thousands of euros," Soosalu said, explaining that in said case a tree that fell on a house also damaged the building's bearing structures, windows and other parts.

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