Insurance companies: Storm damage claims from Monday on the rise

Hail damage to a car in Sõrve, Saaremaa, on Monday. August 7, 2023.
Hail damage to a car in Sõrve, Saaremaa, on Monday. August 7, 2023. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

A severe storm and giant hail to hit the islands as well as Western and Southern Estonia on Monday hasn't given rise to many insurance claims yet, although rising numbers of new claims are continuing to come in, insurance companies said Wednesday.

"Based on claims we've received from clients thus far, we're seeing that Monday's storm did not cause very significant damage," said Caterina Lepvalts, head of claims at ERGO.

"ERGO received nearly 30 claims from Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Western Estonia on Tuesday, the majority of which comprised comprehensive and homeowner's insurance events," Lepvalts noted. "The claims total around €60,000 in damages. I'm willing to wager that we'll be seeing more claims come in, and that the amount of damages will increase as well."

According to the claims chief, the most damage has been caused by trees falling on buildings and vehicles.

"People have also reported damaged roofs as well as vehicles shattered by hail," she continued. "Clients have contacted us asking whether ERGO's comprehensive insurance will compensate for damages caused by the storm, hail or a tree falling on a vehicle during the storm. I can hereby reassure customers and confirm that it's precisely comprehensive insurance that will help in such cases."

As of Wednesday, If Insurance had received 42 claims related to Monday's storm, half of which were submitted from Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, with fewer damages being claimed elsewhere in Estonia.

"Strong winds ripped roofs and doors off of houses and took down trees, leading to building roofs, outbuildings and other property being damaged," described Lauri Nõu, head of the property claims group at If.

Nõu added that the number of claims is still in constant flux, as there is a delay in clients submitting claims.

"It's still too early to assess the extent of damages, as that will become clear once our partners [claims adjusters] have been able to inspect sites and submit their calculations for asset recovery," he explained.

Two people were injured in severe storms that hit Estonia on Monday, including a man in Pärnu County who was hospitalized after getting caught under a falling tree and a woman in Harju County who needed medical attention after being toppled to the ground by a gust of wind.

Estonia's Emergency Response Center fielded nearly 2,600 emergency calls as a result of difficult weather conditions on Tuesday. This nonetheless marked a decrease compared with this past Saturday, Sunday and Monday, when the number of emergency calls topped more than 4,000 a day.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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