Friday, 28 March 2008

You couldn't make it up - Australian version

An elderly man was penalised for the twin crimes of failing to keep one’s savings in a secure bank and keeping secrets from one’s wife when the wad of cash he had secretly stashed in the couple’s rarely-used wood fire oven went up in smoke when she decided to prepare (an also rare) home-cooked meal.

All in a day’s work apparently for the chaps at Allianz Australia – according to a list the insurer released today of strange but true insurance claims.

“We hear quite a few interesting stories through our claims ..." says a spokesman for the company "… from a car crash caused by a ghost to horses eating car interiors.”

Perhaps, surprisingly, many of these claims are successful.

“You couldn’t make some of these stories up if you tried,” he said.

“It goes to show that truth really can be stranger than fiction.”

Some of the more unusual claims paid by Allianz in 2007 include an Adelaide-based woman who was robbed of her extensive (and apparently expensive) collection of sex toys, a rural NSW-based family whose home inside a hill was destroyed when a cow fell through their skylight and a northern Queensland-based man who’s car was written off when he swerved to avoid hitting the local celebrity ghost.

While Allianz were somewhat doubtful about the circumstances of the last claim, it was paid on the basis that it could not be proven that ghosts do not exist.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

DIY fans expected to cause up to £25 million damage this Easter

DIY enthusiasts could cause up to £25million worth of damage in British homes this Easter weekend - one of the most popular periods for taking on home improvements.

Research suggests that a clumsy 16 per cent of people have damaged their homes or their property carrying out a DIY improvement and the industry expects to pay out anything up to £25 million for DIY-related damage this Easter.

A survey of 2,000 householders by Allianz Insurance also found that nearly 30 per cent of people admit they have injured themselves or someone else while carrying out a DIY job. This figure is supported by the fact that an estimated 200,000 DIY enthusiasts turn up at hospital each year.

Worryingly, 55 per cent admitted to starting a DIY job without the correct tools and almost 50 per cent said that they had started a DIY job without really knowing how to do it - including electrical and plumbing jobs.

So if you're looking to start those long-awaited home improvements this weekend - you just mind how you go!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Earthquake could result in 3,250 home insurance claims

The insurance industry is bracing itself fro as many as 3,250 home insurance claims as a result of last week’s earthquake, which reached 5.2 on the Richter Scale.

It estimates that collectively these could run into tens of millions of pounds. However, with one in 20 households without buildings insurance, the bank warns that there will be a number of homeowners who will find themselves having to foot significant repair bills themselves.

Those who think that earthquakes are rare and that it won't happen to them should consider this.

There are more earthquakes in the UK than in any other European country – so there!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Barking Mad

An estimated 1.8 million pet insurance claims are made in the UK against veterinary treatment for cats and dogs every year. A further 18,000 claims are also made for other reasons including when the animal is lost or stolen. However around 75% of uninsured cat and dog owners pay out for an estimated 5.5 million veterinary treatments annually.

According to a supermarket insurance company who shall remain nameless but would be better employed making sure they had enough bread and milk on the shelves of my local one, the most common pet insurance claim is for skin tumours, followed by general poor health where the cat or dog is said to be "just not his/herself".