BTA: the number of insurance claims for pothole damage soars
Since the beginning of February BTA Insurance Company SE has already received thirty (30) insurance claims for road pothole damage. Experts admit that this is the number of insurance claims the company normally receives over about 3 months.
Although winter is not yet over, the number of insurance claims received is much higher compared to the average winter indicators in previous years. The company's experts estimate that given the speed at which new potholes appear on roads the number of insurance claims will continue to grow this winter.
For example, over the past two weeks the number of insurance claims for pothole damage caused to vehicle owners has already doubled. On average, two insurance claims are received a day. According to BTA data insurance claims are filed most often in Riga (97%), Liepaja and Daugavpils.
Iveta Rijniece, Director, Claims Department of BTA Insurance Company SE: “The pothole problem is characteristic in early springtime. This year, however, black ice occurred earlier than in other years and that is why deep potholes appeared in the middle of roads in mid-winter. The number of insurance claims filed to the company grows day by day. This year, a new record was broken in the history of BTA. If the local and central governments do nothing to fix the road order, a social problem will result because the number of vehicles damaged by potholes before roads are fixed will continue to grow in arithmetic progression, while only some vehicle owners have the “Full Service CASCO” or the “CASCO Potholes” insurance that covers this insurance risk.”
It is essential to note that the potholes that form on roads can create dangerous situations on the road and endanger the participants of road traffic. According to the opinion of BTA experts, the placement of road signs imposing stricter speed limits is of no great assistance.
Most often, insurance claimed under the “CASCO Potholes” and the “Full Service CASCO” for pothole-related damage - damaged tires, shock-absorbers and springs; at the same time the share of a more severe damage such as broken axles, etc. has been growing.
According to BTA the average amount of the disbursed indemnity for pothole related car damage has been growing, too. In 2011, the average indemnity for this kind of accident was about 160 lats, this amount increased by 25%, reaching an average of 200 lats per accident in 2012. If the roads are not repaired and black ice persists, the average indemnity cost will go up because pothole related damages will become more severe.
Last year, BTA disbursed 75,000 lats in indemnities to its CASCO customers to cover pothole-related damage. Of the said amount 30,000 lats were disbursed to the customers who had purchased the service “CASCO Potholes” from BTA - a special CASCO policy covering losses in the event of pothole-related damage or entering into an open manhole on the road. If there is no such policy, vehicle owners have to cover the loss themselves and thereafter have the right to take action against the road-maintaining entity to recover the money. However, in practice, such cases are rare.
Information prepared by:
Head of the Marketing and Public Relations Department of BTA
Public relations agency "Reputé"