Traffic accidents have decreased by a quarter during emergency situation

Empty streets of Tallinn
Empty streets of Tallinn Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Movement restrictions imposed due to the emergency situation have helped decrease the number of traffic accidents on Estonian roads by a quarter, but insurance companies say payouts are not proportionate to the amount of accidents.

Road traffic volumes in Estonia have fallen significantly due to the restrictions imposed, according to Tallinn's City Government. The traffic load in Tallinn has lessened by a third compared to the numbers of last year's March and April.

Insurance provider ERGO says that the number of traffic accidents during the emergency situation has fallen by a quarter compared to the same period last year, the third week of the emergency situation saw nearly 50 percent less insured events compared to last year.

Even though the total number of traffic accidents has fallen, the financial losses caused by traffic accidents have not decreased, Chairman of the Estonian Insurance Association Mart Jesse said.

"Overall traffic volume and in that regard, the number of accidents is down, but the change in environment has not brought a decline in heavy traffic damages. There is a positive financial impact, but unfortunately the payouts have not declined in proportion to the number of traffic accidents," Jesse said.

According to ERGO, March saw a threefold increase in travel insurance claims, Salva insurance paid out more than twice as much compared to March last year regarding travel insurance. The major reason unanimously cited by insurance companies is the coronavirus and the restrictions imposed during the emergency situation. Travel bans have led to thousands of cancellations.

"Luckily, most clients have found an external solution," Jesse added. "Travel agents have reimbursed their costs or they have had the chance to change the dates of their reservations."


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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