Insurer: Road traffic accidents rose to record levels in 2021

Aftermath of a road traffic accident on a wintry Estonian road (photo is illustrative).
Aftermath of a road traffic accident on a wintry Estonian road (photo is illustrative).

Road traffic accidents rose by around 20 percent on year to 2021, the Estonian Motor Insurance Bureau (LKF) reports, to record levels. The statistics are partly the result of wintry weather and also increased activity on the roads with the exit from the worst of the Covid crisis.

The average damages claim for a road traffic accident stood at €1,960, the LKF reports.

35,900 motor third party liability insurance cases were registered in 2021, 33,200 of them in Estonia, plus 2,700 cases involving Estonian vehicles outside of Estonia.

A record number of accidents also occurred in December 2021: 3,890.

Andres Piirsalu, LKF boar d member, said heavier traffic following a lull during the worst of the Covid pandemic, plus harsher winter weather, were the main factors behind the surge.

"While the frequency of traffic fell at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, last year it was again comparable to the pre-crisis period. As a result of economic recovery, the number of cars making up the traffic rose," Piirsalu said.

The number of insured vehicles also rose on year to 2021 by 33,800, to a total of 804,000.

Another new phenomenon is the return of profitability for third-party, as opposed to fully-comprehensive, motor insurance, which, Piirsalu said, has become profitable again for insurers for the first time since 2011, and was in the black to the tune of €5.7 million.

The average annual third party premium also fell by 9 percent on year to 2021, to €102, and premiums collected nationwide through 2021 fell by 5 percent, to €84.2 million.

The LKF is the registrar of traffic insurance, the traffic insurance guarantee fund, the provider of the "Green Card" policy and the compulsory insurer of vehicles which get involved in an accidents but which are uninsured

The LKF also mediates in third party insurance claim disputes.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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