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BTA: number of lightning damage cases up by 30%

05.07.2016

July and August in Latvia is a time of storms, when lightning strikes cause the greatest damage. According to statistics of BTA Baltic Insurance Company (hereinafter – BTA Baltic), the number of cases of damage caused by lightning has increased by about 30% in late June and early July of this year, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, cases resulting in damaged buildings and a variety of electrical appliances in the amount of several thousand euros.

 

The things that suffer from lightning strikes most often are various electrical appliances – TV sets and decoders, computers, electric ovens and alarm systems of buildings, though, the greatest and financially most painful are damages caused by lightning to buildings, destroying their roofs and causing fires. This year as well, for example, in the evening of June 25, lightning struck the chimney of J.Čakste Liepāja Secondary School 10, resulting in partially collapsed chimney, with a subsequent fire, which burned roof timbers, and one of classed got badly damaged.

 

"Each year, during the hottest months of summer, we face situations where the property of clients is destroyed by lightning and strong wind accompanying thunderstorms. Damage can be a few dozen euros, when just one damaged electrical appliance needs to be fixed, up to as much as a few thousand euros, in the case of damage to an object such as gas boiler or roof of a building. Unfortunately, we have also come across lethal cases in our practice, when lightning strike has killed a man," says Iveta Rijniece, Director of Insurance Claims Handling Department of BTA Baltic Insurance Company.

 

What to do to protect yourself and your property from lightning damage?

  1. Lightning strikes usually target all energy carrying networks – communication, electricity and internet, therefore, when a storm approaching, disconnect from the power sources all the appliances – television sets, computers, television decoders, electric cookers and other home appliances. One should not forget to disconnect from the power supply all antennas - including wireless.
  2. As the storm begins, you should shut the windows and chimney lids, and in particular to keep an eye on children and pets, so they stayed off water taps or radiators.
  3. In case storm has caught you up outside, you should avoid standing underneath tall trees.
  4. While lightning strikes, it is not recommended to engage in sports and be near water - swimming, fishing or enjoying water sports can become a very dangerous occupation.
  5. During a lightning storm it not advisable to hold in hands any metal objects, especially if they are long and in vertical position, therefore umbrellas with metal handles should be avoided during a lightning storm.
  6. In case the storm has caught behind the wheel, do not worry – car is considered to be one of the safest places to hide. A lot riskier during a storm is riding a bicycle, motorbike or scooter - they should be avoided during storm.
  7. Concerned about the safety of animals, livestock must be lead into the barn, and in any case keep them away from hoarding under trees, which are often used to shelter from the rain and hail. Livestock should not be left on leash in any case.
  8. At the start of the storms season, it is wise to check whether your house has the best protection from possible lightning damage - whether the power mains are grounded and whether the installed electrical wiring is power surge protected. To ensure a continuous power supply to electrical appliances, such as a computer, and protect them against power surges, a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) device might be a good idea.

 

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.

 

About BTA

 

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.

 

More information:
Linda Upeniece

Public Relations Department Director

BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS

email linda.upeniece@bta.lv

Phone: +371 67025676, mobile: +371 26756841