The strangest things can happen at home. You may think the wildest home insurance claim most people could stretch to would be over-enthusiastic ketchup- related incidents or furniture-eating dogs, but you’d be underestimating the weird and wonderful things people can accidentally get embroiled in while they’re minding their own business at home.
Over the years there have been a number of odd claims submitted on home insurance policies, and we have rounded up ten of the weirdest.
It’s hard to imagine how this happened, but it makes more sense when you realize that the shed in question was down the bottom of a garden that backed onto a field. The field was slightly uphill, so all it took was for the cow to get sufficiently spooked to jump the fence, or crash through the hedge, and land on the shed. Unfortunately most shed roofs aren’t designed to survive a cow attack from above, so the insurer had to pick up the pieces.
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Every grandparent likes to show off their grandchildren at every available opportunity. However, if you choose to do so over Skype, you should be aware that it is fraught with potential danger. One elderly man held his baby grandson up to his laptop’s webcam for a close-up. Unfortunately, at that point, the baby promptly threw up - causing £400 worth of damage to the computer.
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Next time you’re tempted to watch One Man and His Dog, or Turner and Hooch, spare a thought for the family who made the foolish mistake of watching a dog-related TV show around their overly-enthusiastic dog. The family dog grew upset at hearing another dog barking in his lounge, so launched itself at the TV and successfully silenced it forever.
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One man in Surrey emerged from his house one morning to inspect his pool, and discovered that a local deer had popped in for a dip overnight. Unfortunately for both the man and the deer, the pool cover was on at the time, and after the deer’s efforts to get into the pool, it needed replacing entirely.
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One woman left her shed door open while she was gardening, and didn’t check it properly before closing the door and going inside. Unfortunately, a badger had crept inside while her back was turned, and found itself trapped. Fortunately badgers are equipped with impressive teeth and claws, so it was able to do enough damage to the back wall of the shed in order to make its escape.
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A dairy farmer in Devon was alerted to one his cows giving birth in the middle of the night. He needed to see what was going on, so used the torch on his iPhone for a closer look. Unfortunately, he got a bit too close. His claim to the insurance company detailed how his phone had been lost in the back end of a cow for a few hours, and hadn’t been working properly when it emerged.
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In an unusual chain of events, the owner of a bearded dragon was cleaning its vivarium, and got a little too close to their pet. The dragon bit him, and surprised him into staggering backwards. Unfortunately, the TV was just behind him, so took the full force of his recoil, and needed to be replaced.
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The owner of a cottage in Devon had rented it out to guests one summer. Unfortunately they didn’t get the BBQ weather they were expecting, and not wanting to waste the grilling opportunity, decided to move the event indoors. Their decision to bring the BBQ with them meant the kitchen needed complete redecoration.
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Anyone who bought a Nintendo Wii is likely to have had a near miss on this front at some stage. However, those with expensive TVs will wince at the news of the siblings who got carried away and threw their controllers through their £1,000 TV.
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A woman from Birmingham contacted her insurer to report a lost mobile phone. She then called back a few hours later - after she found it on the middle shelf of the fridge - next to the milk.
Clearly these kinds of mishaps are hardly the norm. It’s hard to imagine many people who would decide it was perfectly acceptable to bring a BBQ into a kitchen - quite aside from the toxic fumes it would produce in the confined space.
However, these bizarre claims demonstrate how difficult it is to take sensible precautions to cover all eventualities. You have to feel sorry, for example, for the sensible Surrey man who invested in a pool cover to protect his expensive pool and then had all his careful planning undone by a wayward deer.
It goes to how that alongside behaving sensibly in your own home, it’s essential to make sure you have sufficient home insurance from a provider you trust.
You should also check that your insurance covers you for the kinds of things that might happen. If, for example, you have an enthusiastic dog, or an aggressive bearded dragon, it may pay to have cover for damage done by your pets.
Meanwhile, if you have unpredictable babies, or children who can’t keep hold of a computer games console, it may well be a good idea to have accidental damage cover.
It’s also worth choosing a brand that will assign a claims manager to help deal with any claims – no matter how bizarre. That way, regardless of the best efforts of any cows, badgers, babies or guests, you know that you will get back on your feet again as quickly as possible.
For Home Insurance that gives you peace of mind, look to Legal & General for award winning cover*
* Voted Best Online Home Insurance provider by Your Money readers in 2015.