The insurance business is a funny one. Experiences for insurance professionals can range from the incredibly serious to the incredibly hilarious. The serious situations often stem from claims being made by people – in times when their business is on the line or their income threatened. Likewise, the hilarious experiences tend to come from the claims side of the business, too. As any claims officer will tell you, people get themselves into tremendous pickles, and it’s the job of the insurer to try and lift some of their stress by paying the claim amount. Here’s a selection of some of the weirdest claims that have been received by insurers over the years.
- A clever lawyer bought a pack of cigars and had them insured against all sorts of catastrophes including floods, storms, and of course fire. A few months later he filed a claim saying his cigars had all disappeared in a series of “small fires”. The insurance company correctly assumed that he had smoked them and told him to get lost. The judge however forced the insurance company to pay up because they didn’t specify the type or size of fire in the contract.
- When a bride’s dress caught on fire the future husband grabbed her and threw her into the Caribbean water. Although the wedding didn’t really go as planned, at least the insurance company was willing to dish out for the dress.
- A man on vacation in Australia put in a claim on his car after a wild camel supposedly kicked in the door. The insurance company was understandably wary but after video evidence was produced, they forked over the cash.
- A British tourist in Athens ended up running into a bus shelter after supposedly being distracted by a group of females. In spite of his embarrassing mistake the insurance company still covered the hospital bill.
- A claimant had collided with a cow. The questions and answers on the claim form were:
Question: What warning was given by you?
Question: What warning was given by the other party?
- People were falling off their chairs laughing when British travel agency Club Direct began issuing policies to cover injuries caused by falling coconuts. Their managing director cited statistics which show that 150 people – or ten times the number of victims from shark attacks – are killed every year by falling coconuts. There was some perception that perhaps the manager had been struck on the head himself. That same year in Sri Lanka, a Club Direct customer was calmly sitting under a palm tree reading a book when a coconut fell on her head, knocking her out cold. She was duly hospitalized. Lucky. The insurance company paid the claim in full.
- A claimant was driving home from Christmas shopping when he saw a car coming the other way with a Christmas tree badly tied to its roof. This must have been a split second observation: no sooner had he seen it than the tree launched itself straight at him.“He was driving too fast around a sharp bend and I saw the tree lift off and it flew straight at me. The trunk made a great dent in my bonnet and caused me to swerve off the road into a hedge.” The claimant added: “The chap didn’t stop and he never came back for his tree, so the Police said we might as well have it. It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back it was like a comedy sketch!” Nice. The insurance company paid all the damages – and the man received a free Christmas tree for the festive season.
Our favourite has got to be the 5th claimant’s brilliant re-enactment of the cow collision. We don’t know whether this claim was paid or not, but we strongly suspect that the inclusion of the cow’s reaction to an impending collision would have sparked some laughs around the office. Moo.