In a previous blog, Hammond’s insurance experts enlightened you with some of the strangest insurance claims in history. There’s a lot more where that came from.
The Flying Mattress
In December 2011, a Seattle couple moving a mattress with their car failed to securely attach it to the roof of the SUV—and we bet you know how this ends. The mattress flew off the top of the SUV while cruising down I-5, causing a three-car crash.
The couple hopped out of the SUV to deal with the accident, and one good samaritan stopped to assist with the situation. But right as the parties were about to meet, the female of the couple hopped back into the SUV and drove away, evading the scene and leaving her male companion behind. The good samaritan removed the mattress from the road, and hopped back into his car right before the police arrived on the scene—but a few miles down the road, he heard a sound coming from the back seat of his car. It was the male mattress owner, curled up on the floor of the car in an attempt to evade police.
The good samaritan ordered the man to leave his vehicle, but he refused—and that’s when the bare-knuckle fist fight began. The man punched the good samaritan and attempted to drive away in his car, but he was foiled by two new good samaritans who saw the fight pulled over, and pinned the man down until police arrived. Good samaritans helping good samaritans—it doesn’t get much better than that.
The man/mattress owner/failed car thief suffered a broken nose in the scuffle—and to add insult to injury, he was booked for attempted theft of a motorized vehicle at the county jail. We hear the mattresses aren’t very comfy there.
You might ask—why did the woman drive away? Why did the man hide? Turns out the couple didn’t have any insurance, and those whose cars were damaged had to file claims with their own insurance companies.
The lesson here: always invest in uninsured motorist coverage.
Yet Another Bad, Bad Boy
In Slough, England, a very, very bad dog almost had one of his biggest dreams realized: a refreshing dip in beautiful, spacious swimming pool. The only problem? The pool was just an image on the homeowner’s television. The dog “dove in,” shattering the television and eliminating his chance of receiving a good boy treat. As for the homeowner, he filed a claim with his insurance company. The homeowner did not receive a payout, and the insurance company had quite the laugh.
Two Cats, One Television, No Winners
It’s not just the dogs causing TV damage. Two cats in nearby Norwich, with lots of angst and a score to settle, went paw-for-paw in a feline fight for the ages—only to lose control and barrell into the homeowner’s television. The cats continued their fisticuffs, and caused over £380 of home damage (that could buy a lot of catnip). No insurance payout, and no justice for the damage done. Cats always win.
What The Hail? A Story of Company vs. Client
Tom Hyland, president of Block & Hyland Insurance Company, remembers a hailstorm in the 90s that caused a firestorm of controversy. Hailstorms tend to create a lot of insurance claims, but one claim was very suspicious: when the adjuster came to evaluate the vehicle, it had suspiciously symmetrical, round divots all across the car. The insurance company did not approve the claim, and accused the man of creating the divots himself with a ball-peen hammer—and in response, the man filed another claim, stating that some unknown assailant hammered his car into submission. With no proof of who did the crime, the insurance company had to pay out for the claim. Insurance fraud (maybe) at its finest.
The Shotgun That Rode Shotgun
One man, one pickup truck, one shotgun sitting in the passenger’s seat—we think you know what happens next. Once the man stopped the truck and grabbed his gun to, we don’t know, shoot stuff, the man lost his grip of the gun, blasting the entire interior of his car with buckshot. Luckily, he had comprehensive vehicle coverage, and his insurance company paid out for the damages, even though he basically shot his own truck.
An Unexpected Hippie Van Trip
In 1974, a woman filed an insurance claim for her beloved VW Minibus, which was mysteriously stolen off the lot of a VW Minibus Restoration company. She received a $600 payout for the stolen vehicle. 35 years later, a beautifully restored Minibus was found in a shipping container headed to the Netherlands, and seized by US Customs and Border Protection. Once they ran the VIN of the vehicle, they confirmed it was the woman’s beloved minibus. The van is now owned by AllState, and at a current value of $25,000, the woman is still working to get it back.
A Hairy Situation
A mustache can be the essence of a man’s personality—and that essence is insurable, apparently. Professional cricket player Merv Hughes recently insured his mustache for a whopping $370,000 in case of, we don’t know, mustache fires or snot-mop sabotage? This policy is nothing compared to that of Welsh singer Tom Jones, who insured his mouth brow for an unbelievable $7,000,000. No claims here… yet.
An Explosive Payout
Every Fourth of July, the nation’s greatest pyromaniacs and rednecks legally (?) acquire fireworks to light up the night and celebrate American independence. But when you pack the bed of your truck with thousands of dollars worth of fireworks, smoke a cig, and throw that cig butt out the window, the show will start a little earlier than expected. He got a full insurance payout for the damage to his vehicle, but the fireworks show was priceless.