Insurance

The insurance companies fear the explosive debt

Last year, the insurance industry had to spend NOK 300 million after frost damage. Now the insurance companies ask that one must take precautions before the cold comes.

The Meteorological Institute has reported that in the inner regions over almost the whole country this weekend can come down to 30 degrees below zero. In outer areas and on the coast, the minus degrees can reach 20 degrees below zero in some places.

Preliminary calculations from Finans Norge for 2018 show that almost 6,000 frost damage was registered. This means payments from the insurance industry of over NOK 300 million, which was a sharp increase from the previous year.

Now the insurance companies are asking people to prepare well.

– Minus degrees are quickly expensive. In the worst cases of damage, water pipes, floors and walls must be demolished and replaced with new ones. On average, a frost damage in a private residence costs almost NOK 70,000 to repair, says Espen Opedal, chief of Tryg Forsikring.

The number of water and frost damage varies from year to year and is related to how cold the winter is, and how long the cold temperatures govern. The age of the homes also plays a role. Out of the 6,000 frost injuries last year, over 1,000 were found in houses that were over 50 years old. The worst frost months of 2018 were March, February and April.

Good advice

The advice to avoid frostbite is to always check basement windows and valves, ventilate briefly and effectively instead of glowing windows, and both empty and shut off the water in outdoor cranes. The temperature in the living room should be above 10 degrees, even when not at home.

Furthermore, one should consider contacting a plumber if you have water pipes in creep cellars or cold air. You may want to get insulated such pipes better. If you want to travel over a long period of time, the main valve should be closed, and taps and pipes should then be emptied of water. Antifreeze in water locks to prevent frost blasting is also a good idea.

Think of the boat

Codan insurance warns against forgetting the boat in the winter. If it is on land and is well wrapped and frost-proof, it will seldom be a problem. But if it is on the sea, precautions must be taken.

In 2018, 3,150 recreational boat claims were reported, which accounts for more than 30 per cent of all recreational craft injuries reported in one year. In total, the insurance companies pay over NOK 450 million over the course of a year for various damage to leisure boats.

– Water and ice can cause boats to sink and engines fail. If you do not have regular inspections of the boat during the winter season, you do not behave properly, says Annika Persson, chief of claims in Codan Forsikring.

The boat should preferably lie in a whirlpool where the water does not freeze. If the boat is not used during the winter, the engine must be frost-protected, antifreeze poured into boats with toilet and drain and the fresh water on board is drained.

Warns electric car owners

The insurance company If, for its part, is concerned about the electric car owners. They warn that explosive cold causes the batteries in the electric cars to deteriorate and that electric car owners must be prepared for their cars to get less reach.

“In recent years, the onset of telephones has increased on icy days from electric car owners who have run out of power on the road and need road assistance,” says Information Manager Sigmund Clementz.

It is especially fresh electric car owners who find that the car stops, the more experienced have learned how batteries and cars are affected by the cold. A lot of snow in the road also affects the range because the rolling resistance increases.

While petrol and diesel car owners often call to get home help in their own driveway, it is more typical that electric car owners need help out in the field, Clementz notes.

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