Fighting magpies among bizarre insurance claims

A DISAGREEMENT between two magpies in Kilmarnock which resulted in hundreds of pounds worth of damage to a conservatory has been listed as one of the most bizarre home insurance claims of 2014.

A man ruined his barbecue after trying to cook a whole goose, rather than the more standard burgers and sausages. Picture: Getty Images
A man ruined his barbecue after trying to cook a whole goose, rather than the more standard burgers and sausages. Picture: Getty Images

The fight between the two birds saw them crash through a window of the conservatory, smashing the glass – and running up a £400 bill.

Also on the list was a claim for significant damage to a TV caused when a dog tried to dive into a pool of water shown on the screen, and an incident when a man in Enfield, England, ruined his luxury barbecue by trying to use it to cook a whole goose – this melted the appliance, creating £1,300 worth of damage.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The list, compiled by home insurance provider RIAS, was generated from thousands of home insurance claims made to the firm last year.

Magpies: 400 pound insurance claim. Picture: Contributed

Many of the top ten claims were incidents involving animals, while a large proportion of them were based on claims for damaged TVs, following a variety of bizarre accidents.

Other incidents included a man in Rochester, Kent who was brushing his teeth when a wasp flew through the window. In a panicked attempt to shoo it away, he inadvertently caused more than £1,000 worth of damage when he knocked over a glass that cracked the basin.

Another was a Belfast resident who incurred the wrath of his pet bearded dragon after receiving a nasty bite while cleaning its tank. The bite caused the man to jump backwards into his TV, causing nearly £400 worth of damage.



A second Scottish incident – when a brother in Motherwell threw his shoe at his sister and instead hit the TV – also made the top ten. And in another, in July, a rogue pigeon in Northampton knocked a vase off a bathroom shelf and cracked the toilet bowl, costing nearly £200.

Peter Corfield, managing director at RIAS, said: “Not every claim we receive is straightforward and it is interesting to see what unusual scenarios cropped up in the last year, with animals often proving to be the chief culprits.

“It seems that pretty much anything can happen to cause catastrophe in the home and the best way to deal with it is to make sure you have the right level of protection.”

Previously, insurance companies have reported weird and wacky cases such as a pensioner who put in a “lost baggage” claim after he lost his false teeth while leaning over the side of a ship during a bout of sea sickness and a pair of holidaymakers in Devon who filed a claim for damage to the paintwork of their car after it was licked by a herd of cows.

Other strange claims from previous years include a snail which ate £78 worth of carpets and a deer which caused damage when it fell into a swimming pool.