UK Car Insurance Claims: Nothing to Laugh About?

From paperwork mountains to the millions in damages claims, the car insurance business can seem like a manically undecided pendulum, swinging relentlessly from the monotonous to the macabre; a bit of wry contemplation of the industries' oddest moments just makes the "big picture" a little more cinematic. At the very least, a little more entertaining.


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In some cases, ghastly deeds of scammers and who instigate fraudulent claims can be too easily classified as some kind of disturbance at worst and excessive greed at best. Other kinds of banal and garden-variety fraudsters' antics hardly warrant any deep gut reaction, unless you are laboring in the insurance profession in some capacity.

Who Can Claim Comprehension?

But what about those more fantastic -- and obscure -- events that would make you blink and look twice to make sure you got it right. The things that make you wonder what the world is coming to. The things that make the police give you a polygraph? Things that can scarcely be believed -- things which on occasion involve -- camels.

Yes, camels. A unique claim was filed against a camel, and it was filled out to the company -- doesn't it figure? Apparently, the camel came within kicking distance of a vehicle in a garden centre car park. The incident provoked the driver to fill out a claim report demanding compensation. The camel's attack was not spotted by pedestrians, but by a camera instead. It is not known if the camel was questioned by authorities. It was considered to be a kick-and-run."

In a related incident, a mad squirrel seemed to have reached its boiling point one fine summer. Eye witnesses claim that the squirrel hurled an acorn at a vehicle with such vehemence that it cracked the car's windscreen upon impact. The squirrel is expected to claim self-defense.

Deception or Slapstick?

In other areas, a claims department allegedly received a request for compensation for an incident in which a man stepped in some dog leftovers, failed to clean the shoe, and the messy shoe slipped as he pressed on the accelerator of his vehicle, causing the car to crash. Although the results of the claim were never made public, rumour has it that the insurance company may have attempted to award the man with a year's supply of dog litter.

Car bonnets have been reportedly assaulted by both a tired horse in need of a place to sit, also by a naked pedestrian who needed a place to flip. Even the gentle magpie has been known to hide out from a claimant seeking damages while trying to fill her adage order of 'one for sorrow, two for joy.' The wanted magpie has been sited; unfortunately, everywhere.

Deer have jumped in and out of the picture, causing up to 59 million pounds of damage to insurers, and weakening the public trust in the animal kingdom. No diplomatic efforts have been initiated thus far. Although driving can certainly be an adventure under the most placid conditions, the ordinary hazards of road life are equaled only by the extraordinary hazards of renegade wildlife.

Odd insurance cases range from the unbelievable to the hysterical. As early as 1976, one of the most expensive claims, totalling about 40 million pounds, was brought about by a very ordinary school teacher who caused a train to wreck by stalling on the crossing. The cargo included beer and powdered soap which overturned, pouring into the canal. The victims of the incident were the fish in the canal, who may have been dead drunk.

Copyright the UK Alternative Olympics Committee (ie, Sid and Doris Loonie) 2010.