A badly-behaved monkey, a bungling burglar trapped in a shed and an amorous horse which mistook a customer’s car for a potential mate prompted some of the most unusual claims for damage to property which insurance giant Aviva dealt with last year.
The UK’s biggest insurer said it accepted 96% of the claims it received in 2018, amounting to 991,700 commercial and personal claims collectively worth more than £3.8 billion.
It said some of the most unusual cases it paid out on last year included arranging for the bodywork of a car to be repaired after a horse mistook it for another horse and proceeded to make amorous advances.
The insurer also replaced a customer’s mobile phone after a monkey snatched a customer’s bag during a holiday and smashed the phone after rifling through the person’s belongings.
Another successful claim involved a customer needing medical assistance after being bitten by a gorilla during a trek to see the animals in their natural habitat.
And in another case, Aviva paid out a claim for damage after a hapless burglar tried to hide in someone’s shed but accidentally locked himself in, making it easier for the police to apprehend him.
The insurer said it also paid out after fine cracks ruined waxwork heads created to look like actor Ben Affleck and singer Justin Bieber .
Aviva said it also accepted around 3,000 weather-related motor claims in the first half of 2018, mainly due to the adverse conditions from the Beast from the East.
And it also had around 7,000 home insurance claims due to storm, flood and freezing conditions in the first half of 2018.
The fire at a car park near the Liverpool Echo Arena on new year’s eve 2017 led to more than 120 fire claims, Aviva said.
It also said a combination of dry weather and high temperatures resulted in an increase in the number of road traffic accidents reported to it over the summer of 2018.
Factors such as sun glare and an increase in the number of cars on the road were thought to be contributing factors.
It said the reasons for some claims being logged but declined are common across the industry and include the value not meeting the policy excess (the first part of the claim that the customer pays), a pre-existing health condition or lifestyle choice not being declared when the policy was taken out, and claims falling outside the terms of the policy, such as for damage which is normal wear and tear.
Aviva’s most unusual claims
Mistaken identity: A horse mistook a customer’s car for a female horse, and proceeded to make amorous advances, including getting its front legs onto the vehicle. The damaged car got the hump, but Aviva put things right by arranging for the bodywork to be repaired.
The hapless burglar: A burglar who tried – and failed – to break in to a customer’s house hid in a garden shed when he was rumbled by the homeowner. The burglar accidentally locked himself in to the shed, making it easy for police to apprehend him. Aviva paid the claim for damage to the home (windows) and shed.
The cat in the car: A cat snuck into our customer’s car as he was unloading groceries. Later, noticing his hazards were on, the customer went outside to see the cat in his vehicle. The cat had tried to escape by clawing at the roof of the car, causing substantial interior damage! The customer opened the door and the cat hightailed it out. Aviva repaired the car – and the cat was not injured.
Don’t blame the gorilla: A customer was on a trek to see gorillas in their natural habitat. Their guide took them close to a group of gorillas and surprised one of them, who bit our customer on the arm and ran off. Aviva arranged for medical assistance for the customer, who said he didn’t blame the gorilla!.
The monkey did it: A customer was on holiday when a monkey snatched his bag, jumped on top of a wall and proceeded to rifle through the customer’s belongings. The monkey found the customer’s mobile phone and smashed it on the ground. Aviva replaced the customer’s phone.
Cracked Heads: Aviva received claims for damage to the heads of Ben Affleck and Justin Bieber – or, to be more specific, their wax likenesses. Fine cracks ruined the waxworks of our commercial customer and Aviva paid the business that created them.
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