Car insurance is a huge expense for the average driver or business, with most of us paying an average of £471 a year for comprehensive cover according to Association of British Insurers.
But when the disastrous, dangerous or downright ridiculous strikes, we’re glad we shelled out for the costly cover.
Shopping around for the best deals and setting up that monthly direct debit for the biggest grudge purchase is no laughing matter. Except when it comes to the wildest and weirdest claims that seem so unbelievable that they just have to be true.
While most insurance claims are mildly mundane – from car park bumps and scrapes to freak weather conditions causing sun glare or slippery surfaces, others are so far-fetched they can sound like a scene from a sitcom farce.
Insurance company call handlers must take great delight in getting the call that starts with “You won’t believe this but…”. This must have been the case when 69 cars were encased in concrete following a cement mixer mishap, literally bringing traffic to a standstill. Yes, that really did happen.
Freak incidents involving animals tend to top the list when it comes to big and bizarre motor claims. From frozen squirrels crashing through windscreens to flying cows, zebras colliding into cars in safari parks to mice with a penchant for leather and a stallion with a penchant for well erm… cars.
Here are our top 5 craziest claims to top the car insurance charts:
An amorous stallion mistook a customer’s car for a potential mate and his loving advances rearranged the bodywork leaving a red-faced claimant to explain just how desirable his car actually was – but not to thieves.
Small creatures cause big problems
After storing his car under a protective cover for the winter, the owner of a £30k classic sports car found that a family of mice had taken up residence and feasted on the leather surfaces and electric cables.
Cows might fly
One unlucky motorist claimed on his insurance after a flying cow landed on his car while he was attending a wedding. It had been caught by the updraft from a helicopter as the bride and groom made their grand aerial departure – the crash landing caused damage to the bonnet and windscreen – but most importantly the cow was fine.
Another motorist had a huge shock (as did the insurance company) when a flat-bed lorry with a carnival float on the back (carrying a giant fibreglass Smurf and a wooden house) took a corner too quickly and the float came detached, rolling off the lorry and onto his parked car while he was still inside it. This resulted in a very unique, one-off insurance claim but a successful one nonetheless!
In the wrong job?
A valet driver was left with his head in his hands and no doubt jobless after cleaning a brand new £150,000 sports car, only to accelerate the vehicle into the rear of another £130,000 sports car.
However, the accolade for biggest blunder involving a luxury sports car goes to the actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson who put in a claim for a staggering £910,000 after he crashed his McLaren F1. The damage was so severe that it took McLaren a year to repair and rebuild the car. Although the car wasn’t a write-off, his no claims bonus most certainly was!
From the sublime to the ridiculous it certainly seems true that wherever there’s blame, there’s a claim – even if the culprit is a flying cow.