Monkeys, coconuts and flying Christmas trees – 10 of the weirdest insurance claims

The great cliché about insurance is that you don’t need it until you need it, and that you’re only getting the most out of your cover if something goes wrong. In an ideal world you’d never need to make a claim on your insurance which is why buying it can sometimes feel like a bit of a thankless task.

Of course, time and time again people discover the hard way that having insurance in place can be very useful when they need to make a claim. Usually this is down to unfortunate but pedestrian situation – such as suffering an accident or a burglary. But every now and then people find themselves making a claim for something they could not possibly have anticipated. Here are 10 of the weirdest (and successful) insurance claims.

1. A Devon livestock owner made a claim after he managed to lose his phone inside the rear end of one of his cows while assisting calving on a dark and stormy night (he was using his phone as a torch). The phone eventually reappeared but no longer worked properly and his insurance company paid out in full.

2. Two holiday makers in Devon received a pay out from their car insurance when their paintwork was damaged by a herd of cows licking their car. What is it with Devon and cows?

3. An Italian woman’s wedding took an unexpected turn when her hand-made wedding dress went up in flames after she stood too close to a barbeque. Thankfully her quick-thinking husband threw her in the sea to put out the blaze but while the bride was fine, her dress was ruined and insurance company paid out 50% compensation.

4. A holiday maker was soaking up the sun, sea and sand in Sri Lanka when a coconut fell on their head. Around 150 people are killed by falling coconuts every year but thankfully this holidaymaker was ‘only’ knocked unconscious and sent to hospital. Her travel insurance actually covered her for falling coconuts and her insurance company paid out in full.

5. A pair of children thoughtfully buried their parent’s video camera in the sand to make sure it didn’t get stolen while they went for a swim. Unfortunately they did too good a job and forgot where they buried it. Good job this was covered by their parents’ insurance!

6. A Christmas shopper was driving home when an oncoming car with a Christmas tree badly tied to its roof took a turn too quickly, causing the tree to launch straight into his bonnet. This left a big dent and even more damage ensued as the driver hit a hedge while attempting evasive action. Not only did the victim of the flying tree receive a full pay out but they also got to keep the tree as its owners never came back for it.

7. It’s not just flying Christmas trees that can cause damage to cars – sometimes flying Smurfs are just as bad! Another motorist had a similar shock when a flat-bed lorry with a carnival float on the back (consisting of a giant fibreglass Smurf and a wooden house) took a corner too quickly and the float came detached, rolling off the lorry and onto his parked car while he was still inside it. This resulted in a very strange insurance claim but a successful one nonetheless!

8. A British holiday maker visiting Athens broke his nose after walking into a bus shelter. He claimed the cause of his accident was the unexpected appearance of a group of bikini-clad women and that this had distracted him. His insurers agreed that this was sufficiently distracting and paid out in full.

9. A pair of shoppers accidentally attempted to park their cars in the same parking space at the same time. While they just about pulled this off without causing an accident, they quickly discovered the hard way that two does not go into one when they realised that they were packed in so tightly that they couldn’t drive back out again, or open their doors to get out. The fire brigade had to rescue the hapless motorists in front of large crowd that had gathered but thankfully their insurance covered everything (except the embarrassment).

10. A couple on holiday in Malaysia got caught out by the local wildlife when some cheeky monkeys stole their clothes, leaving a trail of dresses, t-shirts and underpants all over the nearby rainforest. It might surprise you to know that ‘theft by Monkey’ was covered by their travel insurance and they were covered.

Whilst these insurance claims were very out of the ordinary they were all successful, which just goes to show how useful your insurance can be – you never know when a wild monkey might throw a coconut at you and bury your video camera!