TALLINN – Insurer PZU Kindlustus, Estonian operation of international insurance group PZU, has so far paid out approximately 100,000 euros in travel insurance compensation in connection with the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Travel insurance claims have tripled in recent weeks and the company said that sum of damages is to increase significantly. There are currently around 20 PZU customers abroad whose return home the company is actively involved in.
"Travel insurance claims saw a drastic increase on March 13, when the emergency situation was declared. There will definitely be additions to the nearly 100,000 euros paid so far, as a large part of the damages are pending and new applications are submitted daily," Urmas Saar, head of claim settlement services at PZU Kindlustus, said.
Claims are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and receiving compensation depends on the insurance policy and insurance coverage chosen, the company said.
Around 20 PZU customers have not been able to return to Estonia and the company is prioritizing dealing with these cases so that people will not be trapped abroad for a long period of time.
"It can be seen that foreign hotels are raising prices to a significantly higher level than usual for those who have not yet been able to return home," Saar added.
PZU's main compensation cases involve trip cancellations, and there are extremely few cases of luggage, medical treatment and liability insurance. The number of claims per day has exceeded 50 on many occasions.
In February, PZU paid a total of 2.6 million euros in damages to customers, which was 500,000 euros less than in the first month of the year. Three-quarters of PZU's damage claims then involved vehicle insurance, but from mid-March, already, there was a huge amount of incoming coronavirus damage claims.
PZU is an international insurance group that ranks among the biggest insurers in Estonia for revenue and payments against claims. In Poland, PZU has a market share of 33 percent in non-life insurance and 42.9 percent in life insurance, while its market share in Central and Eastern Europe in general is 13 percent.