Unusual Insurance Claims

Flying Christmas trees and falling sheep – we've heard it all before!

Do you remember those old Jasper Carrot stories about the odd claims that supposedly appeared on car insurance claims? Well daft as some of them might seem, AA Insurance gets its own fair share of strange claims.

The days of filling in claim forms are pretty much gone nowadays and making a claim couldn't be easier. But our staff are there to help, 24 hours a day and as a result they're often told more than the straight facts.

Here are a few that have raised a smile, even though, of course, each and every one of them have been dealt with professionally and seriously. We have changed the names to protect the embarrassed, by the way!

  • Struck by a flying Christmas tree

    Mr Fairclough was driving home from Christmas shopping when, on a bend, a car coming the other way had a large Christmas tree badly tied to the roof. "He was driving too fast and I saw the tree lift off and it flew straight at me. The trunk made a great dent in my bonnet and caused me to run off the road and into a hedge." Mr Fairclough added: "The chap didn't stop and he never came back for his tree so the Police said we might as well have it. It wasn't funny at the time, but looking back it was like a comedy sketch!"

  • Cat and run

    A cat ran across the road and Mrs Carr did an emergency stop. Our claims handler explains: "As she stopped a Transit van hit her from behind and she thought she had run the cat over. She told me there was a terrible crash that did an awful lot of damage to the back. The van driver got out but didn't believe the story about the cat until amazingly, it ran out from under the car and disappeared – still with eight lives left!"

  • Pulling the wool

    That's just what our claims handler thought when Mr Carlton said he was driving home from the pub with a friend and passing under the by-pass a sheep landed on the bonnet of the car. "It had come from a lorry that had overturned on the by-pass and in fright it jumped over the parapet," Mr Carlton told her. He also kept telling her he hadn't been drinking! The car was a write-off, but Mr Carlton didn't say what happened to the sheep!

  • One for sorrow

    Miss Pownall, a nurse, was on her way to work when a magpie flew in front of her. Says the claims specialist who took the call: "She started telling me about the saying about magpies – you know, 'one for sorrow, two for joy' and wondered where this was going! But she explained that saw one and was looking out for the second – and promptly ran into the back of the car in front. She didn't say whether she ever did see the second magpie, so perhaps there is some truth in the old story!"

  • Concertina carols!

    Mr Woodford was involved in a multiple accident in 'sleety snow' on the M62. "I was in the middle of about a dozen cars and my car was bashed front and rear," he told the AA. "The cars all crunched up like a concertina. While we waited the chap from the car in front took out, of all things, a concertina! He was supposed to be playing at a carol concert so he started playing Christmas carols for us instead!"

  • Family misfortune

    Mr McGuinness was following his son who was about to trade in his car for a new one. He made an emergency stop and unfortunately Mr McGuinness ran into the back of his son's car. "I caused a lot of damage," he told our claims handler ruefully. "It meant the part exchange deal was off and my son couldn't buy the car he wanted after all. I wasn't very popular."

  • Crowd puller

    This story really did raise a smile. Miss Simpson discovered two into one won't go the hard way at her local Asda car park. She told our incredulous call handler – who ended up laughing with our customer who could see the funny side: "We both went into a space at the same time and got jammed against the cars on either side. We were stuck fast and couldn't open the doors and the fire brigade had to rescue us. It was very embarrassing – we had about a hundred people laughing at us."

While stories like these raise a smile – and sometimes embarrassment for our customers – it underlines the importance of insurance cover.

"Our claims team do a wonderful job, reassuring people at the scene of an accident and helping them through the claims process," says Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance. "It doesn't matter how bizarre the incident, you may be sure we've heard it all before and will still give a professional and helpful service."