Auto & General talks about South Africa's strangest insurance claims

27 October 2006 The Mail Room

Did you hear the one about the frozen squirrel that fell out of a tree?  Sounds like the start of a hilarious joke right?  Only the punch line is a bit more serious - the squirrel actually crashed through the windscreen and onto the passenger seat resulting in an insurance claim for the driver.  This peculiar situation topped the list of the strangest insurance claims received last year by British insurance company, Norwich Union. 

So bizarre were these claims, Auto & General Insurance decided to do a bit of humour digging of their own to see how South African insurance claims compare. 
Auto & Generals top five strange insurance claims are as follows:

1. A client collided with a buck.  When asked if he hit the buck, he replied - "I don"t know if I hit the buck or if the buck hit me - we were both running.

2. "All of a sudden the car jumped out of the ground and grabbed me, but a tree stopped it. "

3. The client was driving at 04.30 in the morning, note is was still dark, he felt something soft and furry at his feet and freaked out, took his hands off the steering wheel and drove into a tree. The client then jumped out and is convinced he saw a cat jump out of his car!

4. "The vehicle was parked in front of my home last night at about 19h00 and my next door neighbours just saw the car starting to roll about 20 meters down the mountain . It doesnt look as if its drivable and its still stuck in the tree, and its in a 45 degree angle. I havent phoned anyone as yet..."

5. "When I was about to pass the parked cars I could not see the horse but  I heard a big bump and the car just went over the horse..."

"Insurance and humour do not usually go hand in hand but having spent 18 years in the short-term insurance industry, you come across some pretty out of the ordinary claim explanations.  Whilst the claims on our top 5 list certainly hit the mark, my all time strangest claim that was submitted a few years back has to be when a client reported that he was admiring a lady in the next car, when all of a sudden an "invisible" car crashed into his and then "suddenly disappeared".  As they say, strange but true!" concludes Angelo Haggiyannes, director of Auto & General Insurance.


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