When I first started my job here at Andrew G. Gordon, Inc., I wasn’t much of an insurance expert. (I’m still not.) So, in order to know what all my co-workers were talking about, I started to educate myself by the easiest means possible- Google!
I found some pretty interesting stuff. I’m not talking about the regular policies- home insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, etc. The funny and weird stuff caught my attention.
Now, I understand how important all the “normal” insurance policies are. Without “normal” insurance, disaster could strike and keep on striking. However, I thought I might share with you some atypical insurance stories I found on my Google odyssey.
Much to my surprise, there are entire websites devoted to ridiculous insurance claims. Most of these claims try to reword the claim “cleverly” so the claimant looks innocent. Here are some of my favorites:
-“A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.” (Those darn pedestrians always get in the way.)
-“I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.” (It does?!)
-“I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.” (Stationary...?)
-“Windscreen broken. Cause unknown. Probably voodoo.” (This one is by far my favorite. Clearly, voodoo is the most reasonable explanation.)
While it might come as no surprise that celebrities insure the things (vocal chords, legs, smiles) that contribute to their fame, you might be surprised to hear that there are people that also cover mustaches, taste buds and even chest hair.
Even more fascinating, people can get insurance for alien abductions. We’re talking about people paying money so in case little green men ever take them off this planet, they’re covered. (The people, not the aliens.) To elaborate even further, if aliens impregnate the abductee, the claim is worth even more. Since we earthlings are uninformed about the capabilities of alien technology, men are also available to purchase this type of insurance. Astonishingly enough, there are insurance companies that have paid some of these alien claims.
I also stumbled upon some entertaining stories. Insurance can be a tricky thing, and these stories are prime examples of odd circumstances and loopholes.
For instance, a person had a washing machine that broke and the steam damaged the entire kitchen. When this person filed for a claim, the insurance company said that steam was not covered on the insurance policy. The case was brought to court and was won. Why? This person had a policy for water damage, and steam is just the gaseous form of water. (Looks like that insurance company needs to take a basic chemistry class.)
Another humorous story discusses a man who insured fancy cigars for fire damage. After he smoked those cigars, he filed a claim. The insurance company denied his claim, and this man brought the case to court. As surprising as it may sound, the judge ruled in favor of the case. However, the insurance company quickly responded back by suing the man for counts of arson. The man ended up being the loser in this situation; he was found guilty and went to jail.
Perhaps the most important thing I learned from this experience was that insurance can be complicated- the more you know the better. And, seeing as insurance can cover nearly everything under the sun, make sure you at least have the basics (home, auto, life, etc.) before you get your mustache insured.
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We tend to think of the more common types of Homeowners claims such as fire, theft, wind damage etc. My dad always called his Homeowners policy his “Fire policy”. “If it’s not a fire, I’m not putting in a claim”. Times have changed since then and homeowners look to their policy to help them share the burden of loss.
As an agent, one of my most memorable claims involved a pet pig. Hilarious- but true! My clients were awakened by lightning damage at their home. It seems that a lightning bolt hit the side of their car, knocking off both hub caps. According to the fire department, the lightning bolt then traveled underneath the paved driveway and knocked off the hub caps on the other side of the car. The bolt then proceeded to travel over to the gate of the Smith’s metal fence, hitting the electric lock and causing the gate to open. Fenced inside was the Smith’s pet pig. The pig became spooked and ran across the street and in the neighbor’s back yard. The pig then ran across the covered in ground pool and fell through the cover. The fire department successfully rescued the pig from drowning.
- Replacement of the damaged electric lock, replacement for the neighbor’s pool cover, and the fire department service charge were covered on the Homeowners policy.
- Replacement of damaged hub caps were covered on the auto policy.
- Rescued & consoled pig…………………Priceless!
Sometimes, it’s good to sit back and laugh at insurance, which is usually a serious matter. Check out our website for more insurance information and resources, like our whiteboard video series.