Sydney, 26 February 2009
A dairy farmer in South-East Queensland has learned first hand the importance of being insured for the strangest of incidents after waiting, literally, for the cows to come home.
His herd of bovine behemoths ran amok in the games room of his property at East Haldon, near Toowoomba, Queensland, leaving a $3000 damage bill. The unwelcome visitors, weighing in at more than 400kg each, destroyed his prized pool table and ruined carpets, floorboards and doorways during their rampage.
The incident tops a list of the most unusual insurance claims received last year by Allianz, one of Australia’s largest general insurers.
While most insurance claims are a result of storm damage, theft or motor vehicle accidents, Allianz has compiled a list of wacky claims as a reminder of the importance of being covered against even the strangest events.
Allianz paid more than $2 billion to policyholders, for claims ranging from the serious to the downright outrageous.
Allianz General Manager Corporate Affairs, Nicholas Scofield, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the bizarre variety of claims we receive, many involving animals.
“Some of these incidents might raise a few eyebrows, but reality can be stranger than fiction. It just highlights that you never really know what is around the corner, so it pays to ensure that you are adequately covered.
“Insurance really is a safety net; not only to protect you and your belongings from routine losses, but for unusual and unexpected events as well.”
Some of the strangest claims received by Allianz Australia last year involved animals and cars, including a suburban cat burglar and a pampered pooch that bit off more than it could chew.
- A NSW policyholder took a valuable emerald ring off her injured finger while babysitting her small granddaughter. However, the child decided the emerald green stone perfectly matched her cat’s eyes and decided to tie it to the feline’s collar. Unfortunately, the woman’s house backed onto a nature reserve where the cat often played. The ring was never seen again.
- We all know dogs like to chew just about anything, but this one might be a little hard to swallow. A pet poodle from Mount Waverley in Victoria somehow swallowed its owner’s false teeth over dinner one night. We’re not sure what the poodle thought of its unusual meal, but it was an expensive bite, costing $1500.
- The festive season can have its fair share of ups and downs, as a Queensland driver discovered while patrolling a school ground on Christmas night. The driver took a wrong exit and came to rest on a flight of stairs. The car’s undercarriage and front-end was damaged and Allianz paid the total repair costs of $3268.
- Although lightning-related insurance claims are rare, a Honda dealership at Nundah in Brisbane wasn’t taking any chances when it came to Mother Nature. As its insurance covered against most random “Acts of God”, the dealership was able to make a claim worth $20,000 when one of its vehicles was struck by lightning.
Despite the far-fetched nature of some of these claims, all were accepted by Allianz after investigation. Despite popular misconceptions, the Australian insurance industry continues to pay out on more than 98 per cent of claims received each year.
Best General Insurance Company 2006*
Best General Insurance Company 2007*
Allianz Australia operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and also provides life insurance.
Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. AAL is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.
Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance
, home insurance
and Life insurance
Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.
The Allianz Group’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised Allianz as the most sustainable general insurer in the world in 2007. In Australia, Allianz is a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus program, which is a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
*Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards