April Fool’s Day is a great day for pranks, gags and – when the jokes go too far – for brokers to brush up on their clients’ personal and commercial insurance liability policies.
For example, Shannon Castillo in California thought that she had won a new Hummer as part of a radio contest organized by KBDS-FM on April 1, 2005.
But when she showed up to collect her prize, she was handed a toy replica.
After Castillo realized the whole thing had been a joke, she turned around and sued the radio station for $60,000 – exactly the cost of a new Hummer.
Taking things too far can also be a risk to your health, if not your employer’s liability policy.
One senior manager was on vacation when he received a memo from work. The message said he needed to finish a report two weeks earlier than planned.
He cut short his holiday and got so stressed about it, he suffered from heart palpitations.
When he found out it was all a big hoax, he filed for early retirement and sued for damages.
Speaking of damages, no insurance policy in the world will cover ‘wilful’ damage caused by a prank gone too far. Some young pals from Scotland found this out the hard way after a series of pranks escalated to the point when one of them woke up on his birthday to find his front door bricked up.
The merry pranksters picked on the same man the following year. The die-hard fan of the Scottish football team, Glasgow Rangers FC, woke on his birthday to find his lawn, hedge, wheelie bin and car painted in the colours of rival football team Celtic.
So after going after the young man’s home and painting his car green, the pranksters likely have his employer checking its commercial liability policy.
But yes, even insurers can have a laugh on April Fool’s Day. (continued...)