Most of the time, car insurance claims are fairly routine affairs involving fender benders or storm damage. Truly bizarre claims, however, are rare and elusive. If you Google “weird auto insurance claim,” you’ll find multiple improbable rumors involving wrecks caused by drivers ogling naked pedestrians, windshields damaged in squirrel nut attacks, and even one report by a driver who claimed his windscreen melted when a plane crash-landed nearby and burst into flames.
Actually verifiable claims are much harder to come by; however, we’ve been able to track down 5 truly off-the-wall auto insurance claims that are just as strange as they are improbable. Below are the associated stories for each of the claims.
Also, please remember that you can always contact our office for any auto insurance accident or claim you encounter—no matter how strange it may be. Our office will be glad to assist.
Claim 1: In December 2011, Seattle news outlets reported a bizarre story involving a mattress and a three-car pile-up. A couple had failed to tie their mattress securely to the top of their SUV. As they were driving, the mattress loosed itself from its moorings and landed in the middle of the highway, causing a three-way crash.
As two good Samaritans stopped to help, the female driver hopped back into her vehicle and fled the scene, leaving her male passenger to deal with the aftermath. Shortly thereafter, one of the good Samaritans also left. A few miles down the road, however, he spied a man’s head “bobbing around in the backseat.” It turned out to be the male passenger had stowed away, hoping to escape the accident scene undetected.
Claim 2: A driver was involved in a minor rear-end collision in which he smashed the taillight of a car ahead. He then reversed slightly so that he could survey the damage, but in a stroke of ill luck, he hit the front bumper of the driver behind him. Then, when he opened his door to exit his vehicle, he knocked down a passing cyclist, resulting in three insurance claims!
Claim 3: An insurance agent received a rather suspicious claim for heavy hail damage to a car. When the adjuster inspected the damage, he was skeptical that hail could have caused the perfectly symmetrical, round divots that peppered the entire surface of the damaged car.
The insurance company rejected the claim as the vehicle had been purposefully damaged, not by hail, but by a ball-peen hammer. The company figured the client would be so embarrassed at being caught in an obvious attempt at insurance fraud that he would simply drop the entire matter. Instead, the man filed a police report claiming that an unknown assailant had beaten his car with a ball-peen hammer! The client then filed a new insurance claim, and this time, because they couldn’t prove that the client had inflicted the damage himself, the insurance company was forced to pay the claim.
Claim 4: A farmer was driving around in his pickup truck and had his shotgun riding, well, shotgun. Arriving at his destination, the man grabbed his gun and hopped out of the cab. Unfortunately, he lost his grip and the gun discharged. He wasn’t sure if he’d fired the gun while grabbing for it or if it went off by itself as it hit the ground.
The gun was loaded with buckshot and while thankfully, the man was uninjured, the truck’s interior wasn’t as fortunate. The entire cab of the truck — headliner, seat covers and dashboard — had suffered extensive damage. Luckily, the client had comprehensive insurance and the claim was paid.
Claim 5: In 1974, a young woman drove her beloved “hippie van” to an upholstery shop to have a fold-down bed installed in the back. The van then disappeared from the shop’s lot and a claim was filed with her insurance company. The woman was reimbursed roughly $600 for the vehicle, which was about what she’d paid for it.
Fast-forward 35 years when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Los Angeles recovered a perfectly restored, still-running VW minibus from a shipping container bound for the Netherlands. They ran the VIN (vehicle identification) number and discovered it was the same vehicle that had been stolen from back in 1974.
Now owned by here insurance company, the minibus is worth about $25,000. The individual is hopeful that she can come to terms with her insurer and get her minibus back. One can only imagine the stories it would tell if it could talk!