Motor insurance claim values have shot up by more than a third in just five years due to more vehicles on the road, an increase in more sophisticated cars and the deteriorating state of roads.

Claims last year reached a €44 million, an increase of €12 million over 2009, Malta Insurance Association director general Adrian Galea told The Sunday Times of Malta.

However, he pointed out that an increase in premiums was unlikely due to the highly competitive insurance market. “There is no way insurance companies would consider such an option as they would risk losing customers to their rivals,” he said.

Over the same period, premiums increased by just five per cent, which does not cover the increase in the value of claims paid as well as other overheads like commission to sub-agents, he said.

Data provided by the association shows that the highest claims were paid in 2013, when payouts totalled €48.5 million, 52 per cent more than four years before. However, Mr Galea noted that this spike was exacerbated as a result of a heavy hailstorm in January 2013 which dented several cars and even cracked windscreens.

The lowest increase in claims was registered in 2012 when insurance companies forked out €37.5 million. This was still 17 per cent higher than 2009.

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