The greatest threat to property in the winter season is fire, causing the most massive damage and requiring the largest amount of funds to take care of consequences – facts, according data of BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA). It becomes particularly important around the time of Christmas and New Year festivities, when people use open flame more than usually and sometimes the festive mood makes then reckless.
In last two winters, fire was definitely the most damaging threat to property. Handling its consequences was the purpose of 68% of all insurance indemnities paid by BTA in the winter of 2015 and 34% in the winter of 2016. Fire damages cost an average of EUR 7000 to the property owners.
There is a steep increase in the number of claims just around the festive time each year. Most often the cause of fire disaster become candles left unattended in Christmas trees and Advent wreaths, and this happens not just at home, but at work places as well. Quite often even seemingly harmless situations lead to disaster. For instance, BTA received a claim for an accident during festivities, when children had been playing, dancing and running in circles around the Christmas tree until toppled it. Fire from the flames of candles in its branches caught the carpet and furniture, and a fire broke out.
BTA has registered a number of cases, when the persons sustaining losses have actually been cautious themselves, but flames breaking out as a result of carelessness of their neighbours have damaged the adjacent flats as well. The probability of pyrotechnical threats dramatically leaps on the New Year’s Eve. Last year, a fire-cracker launched by neighbours fell into the balcony of a flat, and a fire broke out. On another occasion, a stray fireworks flare knocked out a window.
“The received claim applications indicated that a person unfortunately is unable to predict all possible scenarios and secure himself against all of them. Even highly conscious, responsible and well-disciplined persons become victims, they seem to have taken into account all possibilities and taken care to reduce all risks, but nevertheless sustain material losses due to unfortunate coincidence of circumstances or carelessness of others. It is not easy to get over such nasty experience anyway, but still, property insurance at least compensates the financial losses,” says Kārlis Liepiņš, Director of BTA Insurance Claims Handling Department.
To spare yourself unpleasant moments during the festive time, as well as daily, BTA reminds to mind the fire safety requirements – do not leave candles unattended in rooms, to have an eye on children, while they are playing around the Christmas tree or with sparklers, do not leave matches or lighters in places accessible to children. Do not forget to have a regular glance at the oven while preparing the festive meal. When there is a fireplace or a stove at your home, use only the type and size of burning material designed for it. It is advisable to remind about the fire safety to your neighbours as well and request them to be careful. Disregard for compliance with safety requirements may lead to reduction of the size of insurance indemnity by 20 per cent.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is a major insurance company in the Baltic States, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG, one of the leading insurers in Europe with 190 years of experience in the insurance field. More than 50 companies in 25 countries constitute the group, which employs 24,000 employees. Vienna Insurance Group AG is a clear leader in its core markets in Europe maintaining high rating of financial stability – Standard & Poor’s A+ (stable outlook), with a listing on the Vienna and the Prague Stock Exchange.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS