The heavy rainfall that kept soaking roads and turning streets in water obstacle courses in the past few days, can seriously damage the electric or mechanical units of cars. According to data of BTA Baltic Insurance Company (BTA), heavy rainfall as the recent one doubles the number of CASCO claims. Particularly useful in such cases is the hydro impact damages cover, included in BTA CASCO policy.
Flood is more dangerous to drivers in Riga, where the traffic is heavier, and social network users are active, sharing pictures and videos of largest and deepest puddles in town. “As we can deduct from insurance claims, the problem streets change – improvements are observed in places more affected by water, while large puddles appear elsewhere and therefore sections hard to cross,” BTA Motor Insurance Product Manager Gunārs Faļkovskis has observed.
Riga City Council Traffic Department has made a decision to develop various locally customized solutions for the problematic street sections, for instance, for Krišjāņa Barona street it might be grooves to channel water to rain gutters. While for Čiekurkalna Line 1 underneath the Vairoga Street cross-over, as well as in Viestura Avenue, the idea is to design a local rainwater drain system that is going to channel rainwater to the adjacent sandy areas.
Whatever the future solutions, drivers still have to take into account that severe rainfalls will make streets overflow, therefore the insurance cover against hydro impact, included in BTA’s CASCO policy, is a very good idea.
“When there is no way around driving through a puddle, what you should pay attention to, is the speed of entering the puddle and the water level, as in case the water level reaches the engine’s air intake or any of car’s electrical blocks, it may cause damages, which might be quite costly to fix them.
And it is not the water itself, which makes this so dangerous, but, as the water in puddles is never pure, it is various contaminants, which inevitably get into car systems together with water, such as grains of sand, oils, particles of other chemicals. Thus, when you fix the water effects and dry the car, these small particles can unpredictably affect the operation of car systems in a long-term, causing extra expenses for the drivers,” emphasizes G. Faļkovskis.
“Moreover, drivers should keep in mind that a serious threat is deep puddles that their car may get into, as well as the wave caused by the oncoming cars, which can result in water getting into the front part of the car, where, predominantly, all the major technical units are located,” he explains.
Therefore, BTA advises drivers to select appropriate driving speed in problematic weather conditions, to drive with caution and keep ears open for updates on flooded sections of streets and roads.
It has been particularly emphasised in the new version of BTA CASCO insurance terms and conditions, effective as of 6 June of this year, that BTA will compensate for losses from vehicle damages caused by the vehicle hitting a puddle or flooded place when water gets into electric or mechanical units and devices (engine, transmission, etc.) causing damage to them.
In the first half of this year, BTA has received CASCO insurance claims for 5 million euros regarding road traffic accidents, which is by 20% more compared to the first half of previous years, according to BTA statistics. Cars of BTA clients have been damaged not only in road traffic accidents involving other cars, but also by falling trees during storm, colliding with animals, and damage, when driving into deeper puddles, has occurred to wheel discs and rims, car body or its underneath part.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. With about 50 companies in 25 countries and more than 25,000 employees, Vienna Insurance Group is the clear market leader in its CEE markets. Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of Vienna Stock Exchange with a rating of A+ with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s; its share is also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.
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BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS