The fans of winter recreation become alert as school holidays are just about to begin and the weather forecast says “cold” in the first days of January, it implies more work for accident surgeons and extra expenses for the injured ones. According to BTA Baltic Insurance Company (BTA) data, although in general injuries are less frequent in winter than in summer, usually they are severer and their treatment takes longer.
Previous winter BTA received 837 claims for injuries sustained during recreation, in 70% of which the sustained traumas were heavy. The majority among them were bone fractures – 80%, ligament ruptures – 10%, head traumas, brain concussion – 5%, and finger amputation or cuts – 5%. Healing such injuries may take even a couple months, and in case of a surgical operation, may cause expenses of more than 3000 euros. The largest insured event taken care by BTA last winter was a trauma sustained by a customer, who had slipped and fallen on a slippery pavement – femoral tendon rupture with traumatic neuritis, for the treatment of which BTA disbursed nearly 7000 euros.
“As winters in recent years in Latvia have been quite short, active leisure fans have rather little opportunities to recover and improve the skills of skiing, snowboarding or skating, somewhat lost during summer. But, as soon as the weather conditions permit, quite natural is the wish to make use of them and dive into indulging the joys of winter head-on. Not unfrequently it leads to overestimating one’s abilities and serious injuries. Therefore it would be advisable to start with refreshing one’s skills without hurry, taking one’s time, take care of good quality safety equipment, and, prior to departing to the place of recreation, insure oneself by all means. Because, in case the worst happens, insurance policy will help to cushion the financial impact,” suggests Kārlis Liepiņš, BTA Insurance Claims Handling Department Director.
To gain joy from winter recreation, a number of important aspects should be kept in mind. First, always comply with the safety regulations of a ski trail, skating-rink or other place of recreation. Second, wear an appropriate equipment, reducing the injury risk. Third, to remain sober during active leisure, as alcoholic beverages, apart from dulling senses and increasing the response time, and thus the ability to manoeuvre, can also be basis for rejecting in insurance indemnity. It is important to watch out for children and other relatives while having rest, so that in case of getting an injury you could immediately respond and provide help. BTA reminds that each active leisure fan, to avoid accidents, should be capable of adequate assessment of own physical aptitude and skills, as well as to take one’s time to refresh the skills during the first times of returning in field, gradually increasing the speed and level of complexity.
Recreational activities policy is the most appropriate for winter recreation fans, which costs just a few dozen euros a year, meanwhile covering the person, the sports equipment and the person’s third party liability. The latter is especially useful, in case you happen to bump into another skier on the mountain, and getting them hurt or breaking their equipment. For the insured person itself, the policy covers medical expenses in the entire territory of the Baltic States, occurrence of disability or death, as well as the sports equipment getting damaged, stolen or destroyed.
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