Upon the arrival of warmer weather, even more people engage in leisure time activities in open air characteristic to summer. In accordance with the statistics provided by BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (hereinafter - BTA), the number of insured events reported in May and June for injuries sustained while enjoying recreational activities has increased by 25%. The majority - 70% of fans of recreational activities, questioned by BTA, admit that at least one or twice a year they get injuries of various severity. Regardless of the significant risk of injuries, many recreation lovers – both adults and children – give little care to their safety and health.
Each year people become more and more active in Latvia – the number of bicyclists significantly keeps increasing each season, the number of participants of various runs increase, during the summer season different types of recreation on water - wakeboarding, kitesurfing, surfing, water skiing, in winter - skiing and snowboarding - become more and more popular. Both, adults as well as children, use the possibilities of recreational activities, but not always people are aware of the fact that recreational activities are related to the increased risk to get injured as well as to cause harm to another person.
“When collecting BTA data, we have concluded that the number of claims for insurance indemnities, received during the last two years regarding injuries that are obtained while enjoying recreational activities, increases by 20% each year. It is to be explained by the increasing intention of inhabitants to do sports activities. Injuries are obtained by both, adults as well as children, in the most various ways: falling from bicycles, roller-skates, skateboards, even more injuries are obtained also when doing water sports. This year we have already received a number of claims for indemnity regarding injuries that are obtained, while enjoying leisure time activities characteristic to summer, for example, a customer, when wakeboarding, unsuccessfully hit the ramp and tore a leg’s muscle, a number of customers, children as well as adults, have got serious injuries - cerebral commotion and fractures, while roller-skating,” says Iveta Rijniece, Director of BTA Insurance Claims Handling Department.
According to the survey performed by BTA, where enthusiasts of various recreational activities participated, 70% of BTA respondents admit that they get injuries of different severity at least once or twice per year, while each fifth respondent, being a recreational activities fan, admits that he or she obtains injuries very regularly - at least once per month. Mostly these are different bruises (24%), dislocations of joints (23%), sprains (20%), open wounds (12%) and different types of fractures (11%). “Regardless of the high risk and frequent injuries, one fifth of recreational activities fans do not use any protective equipment. Also the ones, who use it, mostly protect themselves to minimum - they only use a helmet. When summarising claims received by BTA, we have concluded that children often get injuries in cases, when no protective equipment is used, therefore we suggest parents see if their children use the equipment suitable for the particular kind of sports while engaging in recreational activities during the summer season,” indicates I.Rijniece.
Damaged sports equipment may cause a lot of worries to the recreational activity lovers as a result of falls or unfortunate manoeuvres. Within the framework of the survey performed by BTA, 83% of respondents admitted that their equipment has been damaged or irreversibly broken due to unsuccessful manoeuvres or other circumstances within the last two years. “Recreational activities equipment may be very expensive - for certain kinds of sports it even amounts up to several thousands of euros. When damaging or breaking, for example, a wakeboard, you have to allow for big and unexpected expenses. No matter how the activity lovers would take care for their equipment, it does not always remain unaffected as a result of falls. Similarly, also injuries is quite a typical phenomenon, in particular during the first years, when the skills of appropriate activities are still being acquired. Skateboard, wakeboard, surfing, kitesurfing, water skiing is more or less extreme kinds of sports, therefore it is very important for such activities lovers, in particular the parents, the children of whom acquire these kind of sports, to think one step ahead, following whether the children use protective equipment, as well as to use possibilities of complex insurance for recreational activities lovers in order to protect themselves from possible losses,” tells Dāvis Nesenbergs, director of Monsterpark and the Head of the Agency of the Skatepark Sports Types.
Taking into account the fact that the number of recreational activities lovers and thus also the risk of various injuries is increasing during the recent years, BTA has developed a new insurance service - “Active policy”, including insurance against accidents, insurance against theft, destruction and damages to recreational activities inventory and equipment, as well as civil liability, compensating for losses caused to health of another person or damage to property.
Although the majority of recreational activities lovers understand and are aware of the high risk of injuries, people not always are lost in thoughts that also collisions with other activity lovers or simply holidaymakers may cause significant loss, because you may have to compensate for losses caused to another person. Also BTA has received several claims for insurance indemnities regarding events, when not only the recreation activities lovers themselves, but also other persons have obtained injuries as a result of falls or unfortunate manoeuvres of recreational activities lovers. For example, this winter one customer obtained injuries on the hill during collision with another recreational activities lover, who did not manage to break, when skiing down the hill; several pedestrians have obtained injuries in collisions with bicyclists. Last year one BTA customer obtained injuries, while swimming in Riga, at the swimming place in Lucavsala, where a wakeboardist drew on him during the swimming. Enthusiasts of recreational activities themselves admitted during the BTA survey on the comparatively high risk to accidently cause a harm to health of another person or damages to the property of another person, namely, 22% of respondents admitted that they have managed to cause a harm to health or property of another person, because usually the leisure time is spent together with friends and persons, who share their views, as well as in places, where also other persons are relaxing.
BTA is one of the largest indemnity payers in Baltics. Last year BTA has disbursed an average of 398 thousand euros each business day in insurance indemnities in the Baltic States, which makes it 50 thousand euros every working hour.
AAS BTA Baltic Insurance Company was founded in 2014, after reorganisation of BTA Insurance Company SE, performing successful division of the company according to the geographical distribution of its business operations: Baltics and rest of Europe. BTA Insurance Company SE, being a mother company of AAS BTA Baltic Insurance Company, has been successfully operating on insurance market for more than 20 years, in 2009 becoming the third biggest insurer in Baltic States. The international growth of BTA is proven by the TOP 500 of Central European Companies issued by the international auditor company Deloitte for year 2013, where BTA ranks among 50 largest insurance companies in Central Europe.
In December 2015 AAS BTA Baltic Insurance Company concluded a contract about attraction of an investor – one of the leading insurers in Europe – Vienna Insurance Group AG (VIG). The deal shall be completed after receiving all the necessary permits from the authorities, supervising the operation of the industry, which might take place in the first six months of 2016.
Public Relations Manager
AAS BTA Baltic Insurance Company
Phone: +371 67025661, mobile: +371 27828796