People go on holiday worrying if their house or car might get broken into. But one unsuspecting Surrey family were shocked to discover that their driveway had been stolen when they got home from their hols. Thieves had taken the expensive paving slab by slab, leaving a muddy dirt track and a rather bizarre claim for the insurers to handle.
A robber burgled a house in Pennsylvania, but came a cropper when he got trapped in the garage. Stuck for a week, the intruder was forced to live on dog food. He successfully sued the homeowners for undue mental anguish, winning an astonishing $500,000. It's a dog eat dog food world out there...
Newton might have discovered the theory of gravity after seeing a falling apple, but for this entry’s hapless victim, the only thing she discovered was how frustrating insurance documents can be after a fork-lift truck tipped a whole pallet of apples over her car. She must have been be-CIDER-self with anger. (Sorry).
Of course some claims can be a bit dubious. One example is the guy who claimed damages for the removal of his appendix while holidaying in Cyprus. He was about to receive payment when investigators discovered he had made 17 previous claims for the same operation.
After purchasing a box of expensive cigars, a lawyer had them insured against fire damage. He proceeded to smoke every cigar before claiming that they were destroyed by a series of small fires. The insurance company naturally refused to pay out, but the lawyer took them to court and astonishingly won $15,000. But the insurance company didn't lie down, instead having him arrested for 24 counts of arson. The evidence from the earlier case was used against him and he received a 24 month term in prison and a $24,000 fine.
Gibraltar's rather playful Barbary apes have come to the attention of a few travel insurers. For instance, one British tourist felt so traumatised by his ape encounter that he claimed for the full cost of the holiday. They didn’t pay out, but did reimburse him for his laptop which an ape had taken away.
It may seem like a scene from a Carry On film, but a holidaymaker got more than an eyeful while on holiday in Athens. The young traveller, distracted by the appearance of a couple of bikini clad beauties, walked into a bus shelter, breaking his nose in the process. Luckily for him, the insurance company managed to stop laughing long enough to pay the hospital bills.
Some holidaymakers in Devon buried their camcorder in the sand to prevent it from being stolen while they went swimming. Seems sensible. The only problem was they couldn't remember where they’d buried it. The insurers obviously had a sense of humour, paying out £600 to the squirrel-brained claimants.
When you gotta go, you gotta go. One man discovered this the hard way after being ‘caught short’ at a bus station, destroying both his dignity and his trousers. He blamed the authorities for shutting down the toilets, but his claim went down the pan.
And finally here's a gem from a driver who obviously lacked due care and attention:
While going forward I smashed the rear light of the car in front of me. So I backed up, and in doing so smashed the bumper of the car behind me. That's when I stepped out of the car, but in doing so I knocked down a bicyclist with my door. That's all I have to declare for today."
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