Aviva opens the archives on unusual insurance claims


Foreign truckers, learner drivers, meandering geriatric motorists – there's a lot to watch out for on Britain's roads if you want to avoid a scrape.

But insurance company Aviva has highlighted just how much times have changed by rewinding through its archives to share some of the more unusual claims on its books from the last 100 years.

Back in 1911 when life was altogether more sedate, there were 3.2 million horses in the UK – outnumbering cars by 36 to 1.

Unsurprisingly, the unhappy interface of four wheels and four legs was frequent – giving rise to some pretty unusual insurance claims.

In one animal vs. car incident, a well-polished van attracted the attention of a rutting ram, which on mistaking its reflection for a rival male then butted the side of the vehicle causing significant damage.

Then there was a case in 1957 when a hungry horse lunched a car's soft-top – to be found later chewing it nearby, reportedly with a 'very satisfied look on his face'.

In another claim, a delivery van driver noticed a mouse making its way up his leg. The ensuing panic brought on by the unwanted trouser guest caused him to swerve off the road and into a ditch.

As if that wasn't an eccentric enough claim, that notoriously violent vegetable – the turnip – even wreaked some car havoc north of the border. Back in 1965, a Scottish car was damaged by a runaway 'tide' of neeps (turnips) which, when loaded into a trailer on a sloping field, careered down the hill, over a wall and into the side of a car.

Rob Townend, director of motor claims at Aviva, said: "The motor industry has undergone a huge change in the past century, from a time when owning a car was the preserve of the very rich and seeing one would be a rarity, to the modern day where there is almost one car for every two people.

"While there were fewer cars on the road back then, fewer road laws and less experienced drivers meant the chances of being involved in an accident were much higher."

Have you heard of any strange insurance claims? Let us know by posting your comments.