Insurance claims aren’t all triggered by natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis and erupting volcanos – most involve mundane daily situations that go horribly wrong.
In fact, many claims are so bizarre all claims handlers can do is have a good laugh.
To prove the point, here are a collection of barmy insurance claims that go to show despite good intentions. If something can possibly go wrong, it will.
Take coconuts. The long-standing joke is monkeys will hide in palm trees and throw coconuts at passers-by.
Well, it’s not a joke for some. Around 150 people a year die from being hit by falling coconuts, and hundreds more are injured.
Weird Insurance Claims
Some insurers include paying out for injuries caused by falling coconuts in their policies.
In one case, a police officer in Hawaii was awarded $39,000 compensation after a coconut hit him on the head while he was collecting fallen palm fronds from a sidewalk.
If you think that insurance claim was weird, read on:
- A farmer in Devon, UK, couldn’t find his smartphone after helping a cow give birth, so he rang his number to try to find the device. The plan worked – the phone rang but was unfortunately stuck inside the no longer pregnant mother. The insurer settled the claim.
- Insuring the tools of your trade is sensible, but what if your tools are parts of your body? Legendary Welsh singer Tom Jones once covered his hairy chest for $7 million, while food critic Egon Ronay insured his taste buds for nearly $400,000, and singer Jennifer Lopez covered her butt for $27 million.
- Most of us take out travel insurance when we go on holiday to cover claims for missed flights, hotel cancellations and lost baggage – but one cruise passenger got his teeth into a claim for lost dentures. The policy paid out when he claimed he lost his false teeth when he accidentally spat them over the side of the liner while being seasick.
- Sometimes, insurance claims can make assessors lost for words. Take specialist alien abduction insurer St Lawrence Agency, based in Florida, USA. The company sells cover on the promise of paying $1 a year until death or a million years – whichever comes soonest – if you can prove you were abducted by extra-terrestrials.
- Some people like to bet on the prospect of a white Christmas. A jewellery store in North Carolina, USA, was one, taking out specialist insurance to cover snowfall. Just as well because they promised to refund sales worth $500,000 to customers if three inches or more of snow fell in the city of Wilmington on Christmas day. Eight inches fell, and the policy paid out.
- What are the chances of a couple having more than one set of twins? Quite good for one couple who collected from a Lloyds syndicate when they had twins and again when they had a second set.
- A court awarded a burglar $1 million for his mental suffering after he robbed a house while the owner was on holiday. The erstwhile crook locked himself in the garage for a week. All he could find to eat was cold dog food.
- A 71-year-old pensioner from Bath, UK, picked up a payout after she locked a badger in her garden shed. The creature promptly ate through the wall and escaped.
- Grandparents can never relax with children around. One boy, left alone for a minute, spilt a glass of fizzy drink on his grandad’s laptop. The problem was made worse when grandad tried to dry out the device with a hairdryer that melted the keyboard.
In a separate incident in Guildford, UK, a proud grandparent picked up his grandson to show him off in an online video call. The toddler was sick over the laptop, ruining the device.
- Married couples have fond memories of their wedding days, but one bride in Australia has nightmares. Not only did her wedding dress catch fire when she stood too close to a barbeque, but her new husband picked her up and threw her into the sea to put the flames out.
These stories may be funny, but they go to show the importance of taking out the right insurance cover. After all, you never know what will happen – and however bad you think things are, they can always get worse.
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