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Unusual Insurance Claims And Policies

Jun 2, 2008
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - working in discount travel insurance you hear of some pretty bizarre policies and claims being made. But of course, travel insurance is just scratching the very surface, and in fact other areas of insurance have even more strange insurance policies - and sometimes it's the companies and not the customers with the odd decisions!

Football Fever

At the last world cup, passions ran high, and weird insurance policies followed them. Dutch insurance company SEZ ran a policy offering companies in the Netherlands protection against staff 'pulling sickies' on the days surrounding big matches for the national team. The firm would pay out for the first two days of sickness, if any employee was absent from work on the days surrounding Holland's big matches.

But it wasn't just abroad that World Cup fever dominated the strange insurance policies. On these shores, Paul Hucker of Ipswich took out an elaborate 1,000,000 insurance policy against England going out of the competition early. British Insurance offered the 105 policy, which would pay out a seven digit sum if England were knocked out in the first round, if 5 sports commentators believed the exit was premature and if Mr Hucker could provide medical evidence indicating severe mental trauma! In the end, Mr Hucker was left disappointed - both with England and with the odd insurance policy after they went out to Portugal in the quarter finals.

Quirky Car Insurance

Car policies bring up their share of weird insurance scenarios too. For example, in Denmark, the Danish Automobile Association has two schemes to protect drivers from fines - the speeding insurance, which will cover drivers for up to four offences, of a total of 900 (90 per year) or parking ticket insurance, which covers four tickets or 182 worth of fines for 36 per year. Unsurprisingly, the Danish Council for Traffic Security is less happy about these strange insurance policies, believing it'll make fines less of a deterrent for some reason.

There some heart-warming scenarios behind the cynicism though - in Belgium, a car insurance premium has given one of its customers a heavily reduced rate thanks to 80 years of accident free driving! 100 year old Cyriel Delacauw still drives everyday and plans to continue for another 10 years yet - though never above 25mph!

The Winner, by a Nose

Lloyds of London made a weird insurance policy specifically for the nose - valuing it at 3,900,000! Not everyone's nose is worth that much though, this unusual insurance package was specifically designed for wine maker Ilja Gort of Bordeaux's Chateau de la Garde, and covers him against loss of both his nose and his sense of smell. He described his nose as "his most important asset", pointing out that the tongue only has fiver areas of taste, in contrast to the nose which can pick up millions of different scents.

Sex Costs Insurance Companies Dear!

Not so much an unusual insurance policy, as an interesting stat. According to a poll commissioned by Ann Summers, the British cause 350,000,000 worth of damage through energetic sex per year! How does this relate to insurance? Well, who do you think foots the bill for the 10% brave enough to make odd insurance claims after breaking items?

As well as damage to items, like lamps, cases, beds and pulled down curtains, 41% of people suffered carpet burns, 33% pulled their backs and 12% twisted their ankles or wrist. Most eye wateringly of all, 10th in the list of sex injuries was broken bones... the mind boggles!

When Absent Mindedness Costs You 180,000

We've all been in a situation where we've forgotten to take something with us when we leave it somewhere, but you'd have thought with an item worth 180,000 you'd be a little more careful! Not so, Robert Napier of Wiltshire, who last month managed to leave a 17th century violin on the train back from London - where he'd just had a valuation of the antique!

Insurance company Allianz have offered a 10,000 reward for the safe return of the item - which, after a thorough search of the carriage was declared missing at the next stop.

...And this is the stuff just appears in the news. Imagine the odd insurance packages that don't make the headlines!
About the Author
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Journey's Travel. Their commercial travel insurance website, Insuremore, offers discount travel insurance packages for families, singles, children and skiers with free cover against acts of terrorism and a quick and easy online claims feature.
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