Damages caused by Sunday's rainstorm and related flash flooding in the Estonian capital have spurred the submission of 21 insurance claims totaling 80,000 euros to Estonian insurance provider ERGO by Tuesday.
The greatest numbeer of claims involved damages caused by an overload of stormwater that the city's sewer system was unable to handle after 40 millimeters, or over 1.5 inches, of precipitation fell in just 40 minutes. Six claims involving damage caused by lightning strikes and others involving hail were also reported.
Owners of damaged vehicles can seek compensation for these damages under their vehicle's comprehensive insurance policy.
"Insurance will provide compensation in the case of damages occurring unexpectedly and which were impossible to foresee or prevent," explained Rain Tomingas, director of ERGO's Transportation Damages Department. "This is the case, for example, when a vehicle is parked in a parking lot and heavy rains lead to the water level rising so high that stormwater damages the interior or the vehicle or causes damage to the vehicle's [onboard] electronics."
The department head noted, however, that what are not considered unexpected or unforeseeable situations are cases where the driver sees that a road is flooded and the water level may be higher than the underside of the vehicle and still decides to attempt to drive through the floodwater.
"In such cases, it is reasonable to expect that water can enter the cabin of the car or cause damage to its engine," added Tomingas. "In doing so, damage is practically inevitable, not unexpected or unforeseen. Speaking of which, the cost of repairing a vehicle in cases involving damage to its engine, for example, may reach up to several thousand euros, which often exceeeds the value itself of older models."
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik