Britain's most bizarre insurance claims
There are some things we are well aware we ought to protect our home against - from opportunist burglars to storms and floods. However, one specialist insurer reveals that sometimes it's the things we'd never expect that sneak up on us and damage our properties.25 May 2014
1. The most expensive damage on the list, from RIAS, was caused by a pigeon, which fell down one homeowner's chimney. In a sooty panic the bird managed to damage the carpet, sofa and ornaments - leading to a £8,000 insurance claim.
2. The next most expensive was thanks to a naughty puppy in Cardiff, which managed to cause £953 of damage in a matter of moments. Just as his owners must have been wondering why he was being so contented and quiet, he was stealing a litre bottle of vegetable oil and retreating to the comfort of the sofa, where he chewed a hole in it - with predictable results.
3. A dog was also behind the damage claimed for in one home in Galashields. Apparently after seeing a dog barking on the screen, the family dog decided the only solution was to overpower the dog - smashing the TV in the process.
4. Wild animals also caused their fair share of destruction. A 71 year old woman from Bath apparently accidentally locked a badger in her shed - which managed to bash a hole in the wall to escape.
5. Meanwhile a trapped squirrel in the garage of an 86 year old woman from Exeter managed to crack a window and escape
6. And a deer fell into the swimming pool of a 74 year old man from Guildford, damaging the cover.
7. Perhaps even more unexpectedly a snail ate £78 worth of carpet in the home of a 73 year old man from Preston.
8. Computer damage also took on some unusual forms. In one claim, a small child spilt a glass of coke on his Grandad's laptop. He decided the best solution would be to dry it with a hairdryer - an approach that ended up melting the keys and causing £239 worth of damage.
9. Meanwhile another grandfather in Guildford took to Skype to show off his new baby grandson. Unfortunately as he held him up to the screen for a better view, the boy threw up on the laptop - causing £437 worth of damage
10. And finally, there was storm damage of an unusual kind. Gusty winds blew a 62 year old's glasses off his face, which were then immediately run over by a car, resulting in £469 worth of damage.
As Peter Corfield, Managing Director at RIAS says: "While we go out of our way to ensure that our homes and gardens are safe and secure, sometimes it's the most unlikely events that can end up causing real damage."
It seems that it's not enough to be on our guard against high winds, floods, and criminals: we also need to beware squirrels, snails, puppies, grandchildren, and grandparents wielding hairdryers.