Thursday February 25, 2021

OP pays €930m in insurance claims last year

Published : 15 Feb 2021, 22:10

Updated : 16 Feb 2021, 00:10

  DF Report

Olli Lehtilä, CEO of Pohjola Insurance. Photo: OP.

Pohjola Insurance paid out about 930 million euro in insurance claims in 2020, said OP in a press release on Monday.

The amounts of paid claims, however, did not show significant shifts from that of 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic and weather phenomena made the year exceptional for insurance claims.

Weather conditions have a significant impact on the trends of insurance claims in any given year. Last year, two phenomena in particular stood out: a warm and snow-free winter and increased storms.

A snow-free winter and good driving conditions all year round reduced the number of motor vehicle claims. The number of claims was 214,000, showing a year-on-year decrease of about five per cent. On the other hand, the number of windscreen damage claims grew by 10%. In total, Pohjola paid out 325 million euro in motor vehicle claims last year.

“The number of motor vehicle claims depends on how actively people move around and especially on driving conditions in Southern Finland and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, where traffic is the heaviest,” said Pohjola Insurance CEO Olli Lehtilä.

The increasing number of storms was also reflected in claims statistics, although only four were large enough to cause more than one million euro in losses: Tuuli, Päivö, Aila, and Liisa. Of these storms, Aila was the most destructive: Pohjola Insurance paid out 3.7 million euro in claims related to the storm.

“Last year had a total of 44 stormy days, compared with 26 in 2019. The number of claims due to storm damage filed with Pohjola Insurance increased by around 110 per cent from that in 2019 and around 150 per cent from that in 2018. The region worst hit by storms was the west coast of Finland,” added Lehtilä.

In the autumn, claims trends were also influenced by the exceptionally high number of large, destructive fires. In total, Pohjola paid out 70 million euro in claims for major losses caused by fires, up from 60 million euro in 2019.

Pohjola Insurance paid out around 37 million euro in claims resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The most significant share of these was lost profits due to the cancellations of large events last summer.

Around six million euro was paid out in travel insurance claims due to the travel restrictions in the spring. As a result of the restrictions, the number of travel-related claims fell towards the end of the year.

Restrictions imposed in the spring to fight the pandemic had an impact on the number of motor vehicle claims and, to a lesser extent, on health insurance claims. More people opted for remote doctor’s consultations or skipped their appointments entirely. In addition, non-urgent procedures were postponed and the number of workplace accidents plummeted.