It stands to reason that when you’re filing an insurance claim, something out of the ordinary has happened. That’s what insurance is for, after all. To be there when life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
The following real, verified cases are more than just unexpected, however. They are downright absurd.
This Is Not Santa’s Coal
Delaware’s Nicolas DiPuma thought he had a brilliant plan to commit insurance fraud: he’d toss buckets of burning coals into his car, claim it was an accident, and collect a payday.
Unfortunately for DiPuma, the police saw through his ridiculous plan almost immediately. It didn’t help that he concocted an absurd story that included tripping with his bucket of coals and accidentally tossing it into his open convertible, torching his car. He got five year’s probation for fraud.
Bumper Lickin’ Good
According to The National Underwriter magazine, a fisherman who had recently returned from a lengthy fishing trip to the coast filed a claim when his herd of cattle licked his vehicle so much they caused it damage, including chewing up the rubber.
As the story goes, the cows were attracted to salt buildup on the car from the ocean air. If true, that’s as absurd as they come!
…But You Can’t Hide
The northwest is known for being a bit quirky, but this was a little weird even for Seattle. In December 2011, a couple driving an SUV had strapped a mattress to the roof of their vehicle when (predictably) the mattress came flying loose and caused an accident.
After multiple cars stopped to help, the SUV driver fled the scene – without the passenger. The onlookers left the scene as well, but when one got a few miles down the road, they noticed someone in their back seat: the missing passenger from the SUV! Turns out the SUV was uninsured and both were trying to flee.
Yes, they were caught.
At Least The Tank Was Clean
According to British insurer Elephant, they once had a claim from a woman who said she mistook a large container of shampoo for gasoline. She proceeded to pour it into her tank and ruined her car.
Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em
Block and Hyland Inc. once got a pair of strange claims from one client that stretched credulity. First, after a hail storm, the client filed claiming that the auto had been damaged in the storm. The adjuster was skeptical, though, since all the dents were perfectly symmetrical and were all the same size – the same size as a ball peen hammer head.
Seemingly caught in the act of fraud, the client then filed a police report claiming an unknown man attacked his car with a ball peen hammer and, based on the report, filed a new claim!
Sure, the insurance industry is usually a pretty dry, by-the-book field devoted to giving people peace of mind, but as the above stories show, sometimes it gets a little weird.