Revealed – strangest claims of 2023

Peacock mishaps, dogs trying to drive, and other peculiar events revealed

Revealed – strangest claims of 2023


By Kenneth Araullo

The State Insurance team highlighted the most extraordinary claims of 2023, showcasing the unpredictable nature of accidents and incidents. These claims ranged from unusual animal interactions to unexpected driving mishaps, underscoring the diverse challenges faced by policyholders.

Among the notable claims were incidents involving animals causing havoc in unusual ways. Wayne Tippet, State Insurance's executive general manager of claims, noted that both wild animals and pets were responsible for a surprising amount of damage in customers' homes.

Most peculiar claims cases of 2023

One peculiar case involved a pair of flip-flops, or “jandals” as they are commonly known in New Zealand, leading to a driving mishap. A customer's mother, wearing these flip-flops, found them entangled with the accelerator pedal of her car, resulting in the vehicle crashing into a garage on a stranger's property.

In another unusual incident, a customer's pet peacock caused significant damage in a bathroom. Mistaking its reflection in a mirror for an intruder, the peacock attacked, leading to an unexpected insurance claim.

Pets were also at the centre of a bizarre vehicular accident. A dog, left unattended in a van, accidentally released the handbrake, causing the van to roll backward and collide with a parked vehicle across the street.

Theft also made its way into the list of peculiar claims. In one instance, a customer's jacket, containing their false teeth, was stolen while they were dining at a café. The thief, presumably expecting to find a wallet, instead encountered the false teeth.

Work-related incidents had their share of oddities as well. A customer, after a long day working in the countryside with various tools, inadvertently left the tailgate of their utility vehicle open. The oversight resulted in the loss of most of the tools along the drive home, with only a few being recoverable from the roadside.

Tippet emphasised the commitment of State Insurance to provide coverage for both the ordinary and the extraordinary.

“We’re here to help, no matter how peculiar or unusual the claim is. Sometimes how the damage occurred makes a great story – but it doesn’t change how the cover works and the item or damage can still be replaced or repaired. Providing insurance cover options for the expected and the unexpected things that can occur in the life of every busy New Zealander, is what we do,” Tippet said.

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