According to the Estonian Traffic Insurance Fund (LKF), collisions with wildlife have increased by a third since last year, with casco insurance cases increasing by 38 percent.
4,800 collisions with wildlife took place last year, with voluntary vehicle insurance payouts reaching a sum of €11.2 million.
For comparison, 3,600 cases were recorded in 2017 with casco payouts in the sum of €8.1 million.
"The €11.2 million paid out for wildlife collisions made up 13 percent of casco insurance payouts last year. The cost to ends up being even bigger, as only vehicles with voluntary casco insurance are considered," said Mart Jesse, head of LKF.
Casco insurance is the voluntary insurance of vehicles, which will compensate damages incurred to the vehicle, regardless of who or what caused the damages.
Insurers paid out a total of €83.5 million in casco cases last year.
Taavi Kiibus, head of claims handling department of If Insurance, said that collisions with wild animals often cause the animal to be executed.
"Cases where people also get hurt or even die are also not rare. Damages to vehicles in some accidents can reach up to €40,000," Kiibus said.
Extra attention should be paid during the night. Most collisions with wildlife happen at 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. (16 percent) and 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. (15 percent). The least amount of accidents happen at 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. (2 percent), Kiibus explained.
According to data collected by PZU Insurance, close to 75 percent of wildlife accidents are related to deer. "Also boars, moose, and hares often wander onto roads as well. There was a case where a stork unexpectedly took flight from the side of the road and was hit by an oncoming vehicle," said Jaanus Tanne, head of vehicle damages for PZU.
"Among accidents this spring, collisions with deer have been most expensive. There was a crash involving a Porsche, which ended up costing €11,000 to repair," concluded Tanne.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste