NORTH Ayrshire Council has paid out £139,538.83 in insurance for damage to vehicles over the last three years, with over £71,296 paid out in one year alone.

The figures were obtained from a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request the Times put in to North Ayrshire Council.

In 2014/2015, the authority paid out a total of £31,522.45 in vehicle insurance claims.

Out of the number of road accidents during that period, 121 claims were made either for the council or by third parties.

Four council vehicles were also written off due to accidents.

The annual premium for vehicle specific insurance during this time period was £365,286.60 and covered around 634 vehicles.

During 2015/2016, the authority paid out £71,296.28 – more than twice the amount of the previous year.

A total of 155 claims were made and road accidents resulted in three of the council’s vehicles having to be written off.

The annual premium went up slightly that year to £377,058.94 for an estimated 655 council vehicles.

During the year 2016/17, a total of £36,720.10 was paid out in insurance and 153 claims were made.

Three of the authority’s vehicles were written off due to accidents and the annual premium for vehicle specific insurance increased again, this time to £410,082.37.

This premium covered approximately 698 vehicles.

The FOI also revealed that the council holds insurance for its vehicle fleet as a whole as part of a commercial combined policy with Zurich Municipal.

This covers all types of vehicles, both road and off-road, with the exception of hired plant vehicles which are covered by a separate policy.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “During 2015-16 we made more claims for damage to our vehicles. Some of these were highervalue claims which resulted in higher excess payments. There was no stand out incident or series of incidents and variations of this size can occur.

“The insurance premiums are negotiated each year as part of a longer-term contract with our insurer and are determined by a number of variables including claims experience.”