From phones dropped in custard, to cars pelted by potatoes, to deer in swimming pools, insurance claim handlers have seen it all.
Insurer Aviva has revealed some of the more unusual claims settled for its UK general insurance customers.
For example, one motor insurance customer claimed to have encountered an oncoming tractor pulling a trailer of potatoes.
The potatoes “flew off the trailer” and the policyholder’s car was bombarded, the firm explained.
When reporting the incident, the customer said: “There are no injuries, but there are some chips from where the potatoes hit the car.”
Other freak accidents include when a drone hit a customer’s house, knocking off a roof-tile. Both the roof-tile and the drone then fell onto the customer’s car, which was parked in the drive, damaging the vehicle’s door and roof, the insurer explained.
Aviva also assisted one customer after his car was struck by a toilet cistern, which fell from a passing tipper truck.
And, one policyholder was waiting in their vehicle outside a cricket club when a cricket ball flew out of the ground and dented the bonnet. The club advised it was the third time that week such an incident had happened.
Animals are to blame for some of Brits' biggest accidents — be they wild, domesticated or creepy crawlies.
For example, one policyholder had a “fowl” day when she braked to avoid a hen in the highway — only to be hit in the rear bumper by another car.
In another case, a deer fell into one customer’s outdoor swimming pool, damaging the cover and tearing the pool lining, causing it to leak.
Thankfully, a local animal charity was able to look after the deer, and Aviva settled the claim.
The nation's pets aren't any easier on owners. One customer was decorating when he tripped over the family kitten, spilling paint on the living room carpet and furniture.
Meanwhile, another customer's excitable dog wagged its tail into a can of beer that then spilled over its owner’s laptop.
Brits also don't like bugs. One customer spilt a can of cola in her car boot after being startled by a wasp. The sticky liquid unfortunately “seeped into the vehicle’s electrics, causing damage to the audio and sat-nav system,” Aviva said.
And, one customer panicked when a spider ran up their leg while driving, causing her to bump into a parked vehicle.
However, Brits are equally a danger to themselves — and they really can't be trusted around food, according to the insurer.
One home insurance customer was about to eat his lunch while resting on the sofa. He sneezed just at the point of sitting and “catapulted soup all over the carpet and couch.”
Another customer was making a carrot cake when her oven door suddenly exploded.
One policyholder put her grocery shopping bags on her sofa in her kitchen-diner and didn't realise that a couple of bananas had fallen behind the scatter cushions until they started to smell a few days later — staining the sofa as they rotted.
And, one home insurance customer claimed for a replacement phone when it suddenly stopped working... after she had dropped it in a bowl of custard.
“From the everyday unusual to the downright bizarre, we encounter all sorts of claims from our customers — the kinds where people say ‘you had to be there!’,” said Gareth Hemming at Aviva.
“Insurance is designed in case of the unforeseen and unexpected — and as our claims experience shows, we see plenty of situations which couldn’t have been predicted.”
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