13 Most Ridiculous Insurance Claims of All Time
If you’re in the insurance business long enough, you will come across one of those unbelievable moments where the insurance claim a customer is trying to file is so ridiculous, it belongs in the halls of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
But chances are pretty high that the Internet can do you one better. To test our theory, we’ve rounded up 13 of the most ridiculous insurance claims of all time. Feel free to share a few of these as your own when swapping stories in the break room.
13. A Victim of Circumstance
New York resident Nicholas DiPuma’s attempt to defraud his insurance company was stopped short when he realized that he didn’t have a very good story in place and just started making stuff up as he went along. Nicholas set his home and car afire, thinking he would just do a twofer and cash in on the policies at the same time.
His scheme hinged on a ridiculous story about cooking when the pans on the stovetop were set ablaze. After trying to snuff out the flames with rags, he threw the pans into the yard, conveniently into the open back seat of his convertible.
It didn’t take long for that story to unravel.
12. The Valet Joyrider
Car insurer Hagerty has a lot of great stories about epic moments in insurance fail history. One involved a young man barely old enough to work. His first job just so happened to be as the valet, and sensing an opportunity to show off for his buddies, he decided to showboat a little in his Maserati.
As you might expect, he lost control and smacked into another valet in the process of parking a Jeep. That, in turn, hit a classic Porsche 356SC Coupe and totaled it. Expensive joyride!
11. Fireworks Show
Mike Rowe, State Auto Insurance Co., submitted this claim to Claims Journal involving the fireworks accident from hell. The customer spent $2,000 a year to have a personal Fourth of July extravaganza.
During one year, however, the show started early — in the back of his truck, courtesy a cigarette he was smoking. After finishing up, he flicked the end of the cigarette out the window. Fate would have other ideas, however, catching the spark and blowing it into the truck bed. Rowe confirmed there was significant damage to the truck, but nothing as far as injuries go.
10. Melted Windshield
The UK’s Elephant Insurance has a number of bizarre claims they can add to this list, with one of the most ridiculous being a windshield that was supposedly melted by the crash landing of a Harrier jet.
It wasn’t clear if Elephant ended up paying out or if the science behind that situation is even possible, but it’s certainly unusual enough to deserve a mention.
9. Fill’er Up!
What happens when you fill up your gas tank with something other than gasoline? Well, everyone knows that sugar can be a killer, but did you know the same applies to hair care products?
One female driver in Britain managed to fill her tank with the wrong substance, mistaking shampoo for a container of gasoline. That’s why you should always go straight from the pump!
8. Rowdy Camel on the Loose
If you live in the United States, you’re probably used to hearing stories about crazed deer running out of the woods and hammering into a car. Well, in Australia, motorists have the same fears, but with different animals.
Such was the case when a camel passed by a parked car, kicked out, and smashed it up in the middle of a garden center. Video surveillance captured the attack, and the insurance company paid out, no further research necessary.
7. Take a Load Off!
Elephant Insurance again, this time with a situation where a tired horse decided to pull up and take a seat on the hood of a car. While you or I could probably do this and not leave a dent, an animal that weighs several hundred pounds — much of it muscle — is a completely different story.
6. When Naked Pedestrians Attack
Okay, so maybe a human can do a lot of damage to a car by jumping on it and raising a ruckus. That’s what one motorist reported to Elephant when a naked pedestrian jumped on the hood of his car, leapt up to the roof and used the top like a trampoline before running off never to be heard from again.
5. Sue Ellen Mischke Alert!
Ever see the Seinfeld where Jerry and Kramer become distracted by Sue Ellen Mischke as she walks down the street using a bra as a top and end up wrecking George’s car? That situation wasn’t far off from reality for one Elephant Insurance customer, who found himself gawking at four women in mini-skirts as they walked down the street.
He ended up running into a bus shelter and being admitted to the hospital. The company paid, proving once again that insurance is there when you need it, even after the dumbest of mistakes.
4. Decomposing Carrots
There is nothing quite so embarrassing as seeing an obstruction on the road that turns out to be a piece of paper or something, but not having enough time to realize it isn’t dangerous and freaking out. That’s what happened to one man, who swerved and wrecked his car to avoid what turned out to be a batch of decomposing carrots.
3. Cow Lick
Car paint jobs are expensive, so when one couple found theirs the victim of a herd of cows, who ganged up on it and gave it a tongue bath, they turned that claim over to insurance.
This particular claim was filed through Elephant in southern France, so be careful if you find yourself out in rural areas.
2. Flop Artist
Isabel Parker staged a number of slip-and-fall accidents at businesses throughout the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas from 1993 to 2000. Altogether she earned an astounding $500,000+ in settlements before the long arm of the law caught up with her.
1. Monkeys on the Move
Lots of strange things can happen to you when you go to a foreign country filled with creatures that you’re not used to dealing with on a day-to-day basis. One vacationing couple found this out the hard way when they had their clothes stolen by a band of scheming monkeys, who proceeded to scatter their things around the jungle. They ended up filing an insurance claim and getting a payout.
We hope that you guys had as much fun reading through these as we did. Feel free to share with your friends at work.