50 Most Ridiculous Insurance Claims

Burning Down The House, Garage, And Of Course – The Car

It’s crazy how much people are willing to go through just to attempt insurance fraud, and even more surprising is how easily things go from bad to worse. Such is the case of Delaware resident, Nicolas DiPuma.

DiPuma claimed that a fire started on his wood stove while he was cooking because nearby coals caught on fire. He claimed that he panicked and threw the bucket of coals out the door, which landed on the backseat of his convertible. He added that in his rush, he also accidentally threw coals on his sofa. Needless to say, the police didn’t have a hard time charging him with insurance fraud.

Snake In The Gas Tank

Snakes on the plane got nothing on this insurance claim. It’s seems like something out of the movie, but unfortunately for a driver of a 1971 Jaguar E-Type, it was all real life.

He found that his luxury car wasn’t performing as well as the usual, with the engine overheating after only a short drive. It got to the point that the car couldn’t start at all. It was then towed to a service station where a mechanic discovered that a snake had wrapped itself around the drive-belt pulleys, causing the car to overheat. Credit goes to the mechanic for keeping his cool!

Valet Excuse

You’d think with all the 80s comedies depicting young teens taking cars that are not their own will already make for a good cautionary tale. Unfortunately, it seems like a young valet didn’t learn this lesson when he decided to take a Maserati parked in a parking garage out for a test drive.

Unfortunately, his teenage dreams came to a halt when he crashed into a Jeep, which then crashed into a parked Porsche 365sc Coupe. Imagine parking your luxury car in one piece only to come back to it totaled. It’s almost a sure thing that lawyers got involved.

Smokey Drive

It’s almost common sense to know that smoking and fireworks don’t go well together. Unfortunately, it seems that State Insurance Co. representative, Mike Rowe’s client failed to get the memo. Ever since getting a client who loved fireworks, Rowe always kept his phone close during July the 4th, bracing himself for a costly insurance claim.

Unfortunately, the phone came after his client placed thousand dollars’ worth of fireworks in his trunk to set it off in a field. He never made it to the field after he tossed his lit cigarette out his car window, only for it to ignite the fireworks in his trunk.

Gasoline And Beauty Products

Gasoline and shampoo have very little in common. Sure, they’re both liquids but that’s just about it. They smell different, the look different – even their packaging are so far from each other! However, this doesn’t keep people from “accidentally” switching it out.

Elephant, a British insurer, released a list of the most ridiculous insurance claims they’ve encountered. The list includes a woman who mistook her bottle of shampoo for a container of gasoline. She loaded her gas tank with premium grade Herbal Essence. Well, at least the car smelled good? Though good luck trying to drive your car after that.

One-Way Lying

Blaming one’s fault and pawning off responsibility to other people is one of the most “popular” ways people attempt insurance fraud. Such is the case with a UK motorist. After driving the wrong way down a one-way street, he accidentally wedged himself between two parked cars, causing damage and scratches to both cars.

Instead of owning up to it, he called his insurance company claiming that the cars scratched his vehicle while he was parked. Needless to say, with a quick and brief investigation, he was charged with insurance fraud. Lesson learned: follow the traffic rules and read the signs.

Kangaroo Jacked

The Land Down Under has its own unique insurance claims. After all, where else can you find insurance claims that involve kangaroos?

British comedian Jasper Carrot found a number of Australian claims that stemmed from the action of mischievous kangaroos. One case involves a kangaroo flying through a driver’s windshield. When assistance arrived, they found the kangaroo sitting on the driver’s seat next to the dazed owner.

Another case involves a kangaroo bounding over a man’s car, thus damaging it and requiring him to call his insurance company again. Carrot’s right, that’s a gold mine of insurance jokes right there.

Cow vs Car

Animal instincts are very interesting to observe. Sometimes, it could also be very amusing. However that’s not the case for this one fisherman some years ago. Published in The National Underwriter, a fisherman recounted how he went on a trip to the coast and found cows unusually attracted to his car.

It got to the point that they were licking and biting at it! Apparently salt from the ocean air stuck to his car and attracted the herd, mistaking it for a salt lick. While it’s humorous and a good conversation starter, it definitely was a shock to his insurance company.

Riding Shotgun… Literally

Ron Hettler of Hettler insurance recounted an act of negligence that can be covered by comprehensive insurance. In his story, he settled a claim for a man who had accidentally shot his shotgun through his car’s windshield. While most people wouldn’t even attempt filing for a claim after such negligence, thinking no one will believe them, Hettler encouraged the man to do so.

Such instances are covered by the company only if it’s proven to be done accidentally. So if ever shooting’s the way you cope with your stress, best do it out of your car and in a shooting range instead.

Hail and a Hammer

The lengths people will go through to get an insurance claim is absurd. Back in the 90s, the car insurance company, Block and Hyland, dealt with a lot of claims after a huge hail storm. Car after car were damaged and pelted by the hail, most of them genuine.

However, as matters go, there was a ballsy crook who tried to file a false insurance claim after the storm. Already sensing that something was amiss, the company sent a claims adjuster to inspect the hail damage. Turns out the owner itself dented his own car with a hammer to get insurance.

Isabel Parker’s Slip and Fall

Sometimes, the amount of dedication to a ruse will impress you. Such is the case with Isabel Parker. For 7 years, between 1993 and 2000 Isabel Parker went around pretending to slip and fall in various locations. After doing it nearly 49 times, she filed insurance claims for her injuries amounting to nearly millions of dollars.

Unfortunately for her, her insurance company didn’t fall for it. Good thing she didn’t really injure herself too badly while keeping up the ruse. And honestly, with all the CCTV footages that captured her numerous falls in groceries and shops, did she really think they’d fall for it?

Colorful dogs

Pets are a mischievous bunch! Especially man’s best friend! Dogs of every breed and sizes have their own unique personalities. They also get in all types of trouble but it doesn’t stop fur parents from loving every bit of them.

However, one fur mom’s patience was tested when her dog left a colorful mess for her to clean up. Her dog accidentally dipped its tail in an open can of paint and proceeded to run around the house, shaking and wagging its tail, leaving a Picasso-inspired mess.

Good thing she has comprehensive insurance and she got two-legged painters to fix the mess.

Monkey Business

Not that kind of monkey business. Traveling is a huge industry and many people from all over the world make it their life goal to visit a certain number of countries, if not all. Asia is always a part of travel enthusiasts’ bucket list, including Malaysia.

However, you might think twice once you hear about this insurance claim. A travelling couple had their clothes stolen and scattered around the jungle by a thieving band of monkeys. Luckily, their insurance company graciously agreed to cover their losses. That’s one travel story to write home about, or use as an icebreaker at a party.

Lost Coat

Similar to the case of the missing boat, a woman filed a $10k claim for a lost fur coat. Authentic fur garments can be really expensive due to its material and how it’s made, thus it was understandable to have it insured for a great amount of money.

However, the woman’s plans were foiled when the coat was found sitting in storage with her name monogrammed on the inside. The kicker was that it also came with a $1k receipt for the coat! You’d think she would’ve done a better job at hiding the evidence with the amount of money involved with her insurance claim.

Sleeping and Driving

Known as the Great Heck rail crash or the Selby rail crash, a high speed train accident occurred in England back in 2001. It resulted in 10 deaths and 82 people injured. The crash was said to have been caused by Gary Hart falling asleep behind the wheel. Fortis insurance paid a whopping $44 million to cover the losses.

Learn your lesson from this case. If you’re ever feeling sleepy, pull up and stop driving. It’s better to arrive late than not to arrive at your destination at all. Even worse if you’re in charge of other people’s well-being and lives.

Parachute Problems

Extreme sports are popular to adrenaline junkies. Bungee jumping, sports diving, paragliding, and of course, sky diving. All of which requires people to sign waivers and insurance documents before they partake in it, given the danger involved.

It was all fun and games for a family on vacation in England when, out of nowhere, a parachutist landed on their equipment and destroyed most of it. Although they weren’t at fault, the insurance company refused to honor their claim and pay for the damages. Looks like they had to settle it with the parachutist or their own set of lawyers. What a memorable vacation.

Slippery Slope

Snow sports may look serene and calm due to the whiteness of the landscape on which it’s played. However, it’s not really known for being safe. Every winter, insurance companies dish out over $100 million to cover various types of injuries and collateral damage from snow sports accidents.

It’s not just injuries that enthusiasts and athletes need to worry about. Downhill skiing is one of the most popular winter sports. It also causes the most injuries and number of deaths. According to statistics, 20 to 30 deaths occur each year from downhill skiing, due to excessive speed and loss of control.

IPhone Issues

How many times have you dropped your phone? How many times have you lost it? Or sat on it, cracking its screen? Do you remember how frustrated and annoyed you were?

Well, imagine that feeling and multiply it by a hundred. That’s probably close to what a farmer in Minnesota felt when he lost his iPhone… inside a cow. The details are not fleshed out but it’s said that he lost it in the rear end of one of his cows while he was helping with calving in the middle of the night. Wonder what the insurance company said about that.

Mouse Soup

There’s nothing more nauseating than finding an insect or worse, a small animal, in your food. This is exactly what a Virginian woman claimed to feel when she filed a case against Cracker Barrel after allegedly finding a mouse in her soup.

Cracker Barrel, being a fairly large restaurant, launched their own investigation and determined that there was no cheese inside the rodent’s lungs. Through this, they learned that the mouse was not cooked with the food. The woman is now in jail for attempted extortion.

Lesson learned: choose your insurance claims wisely. And don’t try to lie your way into getting cash!

Out of Time

There’s a slight anxiety involved when it comes to leaving a prized possession in the hands of a stranger, even though they’re professional jewelers. It’s understandable, but have you ever thought of what it felt for the other side?

Unfortunately, a jeweler mixed up two different watches that ended up costing him over 9,200 pounds. He tried to file an insurance claim when a customer brought him a 200-pound watch to fix, and he accidentally gave said customer a 10,000-pound watch when it was claimed.

Unfortunately, his claim was dismissed and the insurance company decided that he was on his own.

Up in Smoke

Never argue with a lawyer. Or at least double-check a contract that you’re signing with them, lest you find yourself thousands of dollars poorer.

A clever lawyer once bought a pack of cigars and had them insured against all sorts of catastrophes like floods, storms, and fire. A few months down the road, he filed a claim saying that the insured cigars disappeared due to “small fires”, meaning he smoked them. The insurance company refused to pay for it but a judge ruled that they’re bound by law to do so because they didn’t specify the type or size of the fire in the contract.

A Wedding on Fire

A person’s wedding has to be perfect. From the flowers to the venue, food, music, and ambiance. And of course, the bride’s wedding dress. After all, it’s the most anticipated reveal during the ceremony.

However, one couple’s wedding got a little “too much fun” and the bride’s dress caught on fire before the ceremony even started. Luckily, her fiancé dragged her immediately through the Caribbean waters and put out the fire.

It’s definitely not ideal but at least the insurance company was willing to dish out for her dress. And, she knows that her fiancé’s got her back—even through fire and water.

Merry Christmas!

There’s always something different when it comes to using real pine trees during the Christmas season. They just really perfect the vibe, so it’s no surprise that people are always rushing and paying absurd amounts of money to get the best ones.

However, an Indiana man found himself with a free Christmas tree and a new windshield after the tree slipped off the roof of the car he was following. Unfortunately, the other driver sped off without checking on him or the tree. Since it was Christmas season, the police just let him keep the tree and his insurance company covered the damages to his car.

Camel Kick

Some claims just seem too crazy to be true but then again, we live in a world where everything’s possible so it’s best to keep an open mind. Such is the case when an insurance company initially refused to acknowledge and pay for an Australian man’s claim for his car.

In the report, he claimed that a wild camel kicked his car door and damaged it. Sounds unbelievable right? However, when video evidence was retrieved and produced, the insurance company had no choice but to hand over the cash for his car repair. He should probably thank the CCTV operators.

Elevator Experience

Ironically, safety training can be really dangerous, especially if you’re dealing with heavy machinery and repair. Once, a safety training instructor was working with trainees when the elevator they were using for demonstrations got stuck. If you have anxiety in closed spaces you’ll know how difficult this could be.

The bright side is, the trainees got some real hands-on experience for the job, but the bad side is they suffered “mental anguish” which they promptly asked the insurance company to pay for. They accepted the claim and gave them their money.

Nokia Cake

Sometimes, you look at some situations and just ask, “How?”

Such is the case when a North Carolina woman somehow baked her Nokia phone into her daughter’s birthday cake. There are so many questions to be asked in this situation. How did the phone get there? How come it didn’t explode inside the oven? Does it still work? Was it supposed to be a surprise gift?

The good thing is, reportedly, nobody got hurt or poisoned due to the incident. Understandably, the insurance company declined to pay damages. This is due to the situation stemming from gross negligence on the woman’s part.

Snow Where’d You Go?

Traveling for specific activities in the locality you’ll be visiting often requires a great amount of foresight and planning. Both of which a British woman lacked when she visited the Alps, only to find that there was no snow during her visit. She was very disappointed as she bought brand new skis to go skiing only to find greenery instead of sheets of white.

She was so upset that she filed an insurance claim that was promptly denied by her insurance company citing that she landed herself in the situation due to her lack of foresight. Maybe next time, she’ll check Google.

What’s Up, Coconut?

Vacations by the beach are always a win. It’s the perfect getaway with its cool breeze, pristine waters, and peaceful ambiance. It also doesn’t hurt that they look good on the ‘gram! If you’re a great swimmer, the only thing left to worry about is what poses you’d use for your photos by the coconut trees.

However, you might want to be more careful hanging out under those trees next time. A woman in Sri Lanka was knocked out cold when a coconut fell on her head as she was reading under its shade. Luckily the insurance company paid in full.

Lost Loose Teeth

You’d think it’s hard to lose something that’s constantly attached to you, right? Like a watch, glasses, or even earrings. But they still happen, especially since they can easily be removed. However, for a man on an Alaskan cruise, he didn’t lose any accessories but rather his own teeth!

Well, his dentures, to be precise. He lost his dentures overboard while surveying the ocean. To compensate for his loss, he filed a lost baggage claim for his dentures. However, the insurance company denied his claim. We hope he had a spare or it would’ve been an interesting time at the cruise buffet.

Buried Treasure

Kids have an amazing imagination, not limited by laws of nature, and encouraged by educational television shows and cartoons. It’s always fun to see what they’re up to whether it’s an artwork or a pretend-play with their playmates. However, if left unattended it could lead to injuries or collateral damage.

Such is the case for the parents of a couple of children, and their camera. The children ended up burying their parents’ camera in the sand, perhaps while playing pirate. Needless to say, it was damaged but the insurance company came to the rescue and honored their claim for insurance.

A Romantic Loss

Titanic remains to be one of the most romantic movies of all time. The story of the ship’s demise and the love story between Jack and Rose has become as legendary as the actual ship itself. There are a lot of memorable scenes in the film, specifically the moment between the two character at the ship’s head.

Many people attempt to recreate the iconic scene despite its danger. A couple tried to do so, but ended up losing their camera to the sea. They filed an insurance claim to cover the loss. At least it wasn’t them that fell!

Car vs Deer

In some parts of the world, deer and other wild animals regularly cross their roads. This is not limited to roads in rural areas, but can also be found in roads within the city. Sometimes, their appearance makes for a good story to tell at dinner but other times, it can cause accidents.

Such is the case with a Virginian man who claimed that an angry deer head butted his car’s windshield on his way to work. While it was plausible, the insurance company launched a short investigation to make sure of his claim. Unfortunately, they found the evidence to be lacking.

The Global Financial Crisis

The first global financial crisis after the Great Depression happened back in 2007 and lasted until 2008. It was propelled by excessive risk-taking by banks and made worse by the bursting of US’ housing bubble. It lead to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and was then followed by the European debt crisis, and tail-ended by the Icelandic financial crisis.

With the amount of money lost and institutions bankrupted, insurance companies dished out over $100 billion to cover people’s losses. This also includes those who had to cash in on their policies due to being laid off from their old jobs.

A Goose and a Diamond

Farming, animals, and expensive jewelry are never a good mix. You’d think people would’ve learned their lesson by now from movies and avoid wearing expensive jewelries around animals, but it seems some people haven’t.

Such is the case when a Texan woman lost her precious and very expensive diamond ring to her goose. Her goose accidentally swallowed it and she tried everything to get it back – even resorting to sifting through goose poop for several weeks.

She filed for a claim with her insurance company but they refused to cover it. The lady never recovered her precious ring again.

Birthday Blast

Dogs are a lovable and mischievous bunch with lots of energy to burn. They’re like little toddlers that have to be watched over from time to time, especially when they’re indoors and surrounded by different appliances.

A family learned this the hard way when their dog, Skyler, accidentally turned the stove on when he reached for the family’s one-year-old’s birthday cake sitting by the burner. Instead of getting to munch on the sweet treat, he set it on fire.

Fortunately, no dogs or humans were injured. The fire was put out very quickly thus leaving no damage on the house’s flooring.

Goats vs Car

Man versus nature is always an interesting conflict in literature, who would’ve thought it’ll also make a funny insurance claim story?

The story in this case is that of a red sports car versus a herd of goats. While driving on country roads with his fancy sports car, one man attempted to shoo away a herd of goats from the middle of the road by honking at them.

Bad move. The honking startled the goats so much they jumped on top of his car! Nobody was injured, luckily. Lesson learned: don’t honk at a herd of goats and always get comprehensive auto insurance.

Motivation No-tivation

Motivation speakers have a way of, impacting an audience. It’s their job after all. They use different techniques and word play to get in touch with their audience’s mindset and emotions, pulling on their courage to spark their determination.

One motivational speaker went beyond and encouraged an audience member to break a board with their hands. Had it gone well, it would’ve been a winner but unfortunately, the volunteer sustained injuries due to the stunt. The speaker had to get their insurance company involved in order to cover the volunteer’s medical bills.

Hopefully it didn’t put him off from trying new things.

Snakes in the Toilet

Going to the toilet and doing your business is one of the most vulnerable situations you could find yourself in. Imagine adding snakes to your trip and you’ve got yourself a dangerous situation. It might be surprising to others, but Southerners know how likely this can happen, given that snakes love cool and dark places.

A Texan family had to have a rattlesnake removed from their plumbing after seeing its head peak out of their toilet. Shockingly, 23 rattlesnakes were discovered under their home and around their plumbing afterwards. We hope they filed a claim for their home insurance to cover the costs.

All Fun and Games

It’s all fun and games for a pair of brothers as they played an interactive video game until one of them got frustrated and launched his handheld controller into the screen, destroying it. Their 60” smart TV never recovered and the worst part is – it was brand new!

Everyone gets carried away from time to time, but the boy’s temper caused their family their new television when their insurance claim of $1.1k was denied. We hope they learned their lesson and found other ways through which they can channel anger. We hope their parents weren’t too upset with their children’s costly mistake, too.

Hardwood Excuses

Some excuses and claims are too ridiculous to even take seriously, but it doesn’t stop people from attempting them. Such is the case when a policy holder attempted to cash in on her homeowner’s insurance with a claim that the damages on her floor was due to the floor not being “hard enough”.

Completely ludicrous, right? Add the fact that she turned her hardwood floor into a bowling alley, which is the real cause of the damages. Sometimes some people’s audacity will not annoy you, but rather impress you grudgingly as well. However, we bet her insurance company was not amused at all.

Not-so Happy Hour

Wine enthusiasts know that rare, properly aged bottles of wine can be very expensive. The best can’t be measured by money. Some are completely invaluable. Imagine the anger and disappointment of a homeowner after a sewage pipe backed up and overflowed in their neighborhood, pouring into their basement.

Unfortunately, his wine collection was in the cellar and got affected. Needless to say, the wine had been spoiled by the heat due to the overflown water. He filed for a claim with his insurance company. Whether it was approved or not, the whole situation was the embodiment of a not-so happy happy hour.

Home Sweet Home?

After a long vacation, nothing beats the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately for one couple, their excitement to go home turned into dread after what they found. The couple had a month-long vacation in Greece but during their time away, the power went off in their home.

This caused the contents of their freezer to defrost, coagulate, and spill out of their garage flooring. You can’t imagine the stench. However, it gets worse. Their home was infested with mice scavenging for food after being attracted by the smell. We hope their home insurance came through for their extermination and repairs.

UFO Drone

The stories of appearing and disappearing objects in the sky is nothing new. What’s new, however, is the disappearance of a drone during a sunny day. After all, how can someone lose something that they can control?

One woman claimed that it’s possible after she brought out her pricey brand-new drone for a test run on a particularly sunny day. It only took a split-second for her to lose it. She turned away to avoid the glare of the sun and when she looked back, her drone has disappeared!

Hopefully she’ll reconsider her investments in the future, or at least learn how to handle them.

The Bat Cave

Bats get such a bad reputation due to pop culture associating them with blood-sucking vampires for decades. However, the truth is, most of them don’t even drink blood! Their diet consists mainly of fruits and smaller insects. The only downside to them is their smelly poop. It can accumulate in their habitat for years!

Such is the case of one family when they found a cluster of bats flying from their 150-year-old farmhouse. Turns out, the bats have been living in their attic for years and have left almost two feet of bat poop.

Thank goodness for homeowner’s insurance, right?

Horses and Bananas

A hunter in southwest Missouri learned his lesson about fruit-scented car wax after a fairly interesting hunting trip. It started when he polished his prized 4WD pickup truck with a carnauba car wax with a distinct banana scent. It was all well and good until he got back from hunting and found a group of horses crowding his truck.

The horses were attracted to the scent and were licking it off the car. Unfortunately, it wasn’t only saliva that he found but also large bite marks. Talk about a treat. That’s why it’s always better to have comprehensive car insurance.

The Missing Boat

Insurance fraud and false claims are rampant but usually, people get smart when they try to trick their insurance companies. Such is not a case when a policy holder filed a claim saying that their boat was stolen from a closed garage. It’s a promising and believable backstory, sure, but something was off. The problem with their story?

The boat was 30ft long and the garage was only 24 feet. It was impossible to fit inside such space, let alone be stolen from it. Instead of having their claim paid out, the policy holder received a fine from attempting fraud.

Broken Nose for the Ladies

In old cartoons, it’s the male’s neck that get twisted and injured when their eyes follow a beautiful woman. In real life, it’s not the case. A British tourist in Athens ended up with a bloody broken nose after running into a bus shelter. Supposedly, he was distracted by a passing group of beautiful females.

We doubt it impressed the ladies but at least he got his insurance company to cover his hospital bill. Maybe next time he’d be more careful checking out ladies at an unfamiliar terrain, lest he breaks something more important than his nose, like his legs.

Insured Taste Buds

If you think insurance policies are only applicable for houses, cars, and other physical items, you couldn’t be more wrong. Of course, there’s the existence of health and life insurance but did you know that you can insure specific parts of your body?

It’s a usual occurrence with celebrities, models, and athletes. They do this to protect their money-makers and signature features. Models insure their legs, athletes insure their arms, and so on. Similarly, a known food critic decided to insure his taste buds for $393k!

This is a good decision given that it is the source of his income.

Marc Thompson’s Arson

There’s a reason why availing insurance policy for somebody else can be really suspicious. Usually it happens between spouses, but in Marc Thompson, it’s between him and his mother. As a former commodities firm executive, Thompson isn’t what you’d think an arsonist would be like.

However, to get his mother’s insurance, he burned down their home with his 90-year old mother still in it. Thompson used to earn $1 million a year but due to debts, he went bankrupt. He tried to pass off his crime by saying that his mother committed suicide. He was sentenced to 190 years in prison.

Out of this World

Did you know that there’s hundreds of alien abduction claims all over the world every year? Whether or not you believe in the existence of intelligent life outside Earth, alien abduction claims still pour in every year.

In response to this seemingly far-fetched and yet seemingly possible occurrence, people have turned up in droves wanting to purchase alien abduction insurance. Yes, it’s a real policy. Lloyd’s of London is the most popular provider of alien abduction insurance, selling over 30,000 policies to date.

It’s going to be a difficult process of providing alien abduction though. Best of luck for every policy holder!

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