Around 20 percent of Estonian residences experience storm damage per decade

Storm damage (picture is illustrative).
Storm damage (picture is illustrative). Source: Jaanus Tanilsoo/Elektrilevi

Approximately 20 percent of residences in Estonia will be hit by storm damage over a ten-year period, according to recent research.

The research, conducted jointly by the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, and the Association of Estonian Insurance Companies (EKsLi), studied storm and wind damage risk across the country, finding 30,000 dwellings were affected by storms, defined as wind speeds of at least 21 meters per second for at least 10 seconds at least once every two years.

The latter figure is the watershed, above which damage risk increases, the EKsLi finds.

With a figure of windspeeds over a 10-second stretch exceeding 28.4 meters per second, or Force 10 on the Beaufort Scale, around 10,000 dwellings were affected over a ten-year period, according to ERR's online news in Estonian.

While the amount of damage claims from Sunday's storm is not yet known, claims for any major storm can stretch to several million euros, the report said. This is exacerbated by flooding damae, as happened in Pärnu in 2005, the EKsLi said.

The greatest wind damage over the past decade came in 2013, when two storms in October and December brought windspeeds in excess of 30 meters per second and 1,156 building damage-related insurance claims totalling over €2 million. Similar storms occurred in 2011 and 2015.

Group head of property insurance at If insurers, Lauri Nõu, told ERR that over €225,000-worth of claims has been recorded by his company since Sunday so far, and that figure is expected to climb significantly.

Damaged roofs are among the largest costs, he said.

Karen Soosalu, head of property damage at Salva Kindlustus insurance firm said that her company had received 15 claims so far, again expecting that figure to increase, with most claims coming from South Estonia.

The EKsLi oversees insurance disputes, in addition to acting as a professional insurers association and analysts.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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