One of Norway’s major insurance companies, Gjensidige Forsikring, received fully 440 accident reports from its customers just between Tuesday and Wednesday evening. Most of them were blamed on suddenly icy roads that left vehicles skidding in all directions.
“I was startled when I saw these numbers,” the company’s communications director Bjarne Rysstad told news bureau NTB Wednesday night. The accident rate is 50 percent higher than normal and Gjensidige was far from alone: The entire insurance branch was facing bills to cover accident damage that are expected to cost them around NOK 10 million.
Rysstad called that a “conservative” estimate. “When we have these kinds of conditions, where it’s just so slippery on the roads, it doesn’t take much for the bills to mount,” he told NTB.
Police in Oslo were so busy on Tuesday and Wednesday that they urged motorists to leave their cars parked and drop driving. The rain that froze on contact with streets and sidewalks let up on Thursday but hazardous conditions remained. Warnings were also still up for the Agder counties, Telemark, Buskerud, Oppland and Hedmark, and storms closed most mountain passes in Southern Norway through the day.