While this blog focuses almost exclusively on significant issues and cases involving Florida insurance claims, we have decided to take a more humorous approach in this two-part blog. There are many insurance claims that are unjustifiably denied, but sometimes claims border on the ludicrous. These types of claims potentially harm policyholders who have legitimate claims because they drive up premiums and can result in insurance companies forcing an insured to jump through more hoops to get paid. Most policyholders would be shocked to learn that anyone would actually file a claim in the cases discussed in this blog, but every one of these claims is real. In no particularly order, we provide some of the most unusual insurance claims of all time, which come to us courtesy of the website Listverse.com:
Flying Christmas Tree: A driver was traveling down the road when a motorist approached in the opposite direction driving at a high rate of speed. The speeding motorist had a Christmas tree affixed to the roof of his vehicle, but it was not tied securely. As the speeding vehicle approached the insured, the tree flew off the vehicle and slammed through the windshield of the insured. The insurance company paid the full value of the claim for the “flying Christmas tree.”
Fire Damage to Cigars: The insured purchased a box of expensive cigars and purchased insurance that included fire damage. After smoking the box of cigars, the insured filed a claim with the insurer, indicating the cigars were destroyed in a “series of small fires.” When the insurance company denied coverage based on the premise the insured smoked the cigars, the judge saw the situation differently. The judge ruled that the policy was ambiguous in terms of what constituted an “unacceptable” fire. The judge ordered the insurer to pay the claim in the amount of $15,000. The insurance company had the final word, however, when it brought criminal charges for insurance fraud. The insured was sentenced to 2 years in jail and a $25,000 fine for 24 counts of arson.
Damage to Phone Functioning as an Adult Toy: The insured filed an insurance claim based on the fact that her Blackberry phone’s vibration function no longer worked. The phone had apparently stopped working while she was using it as – an adult toy. There was no amount paid out on the claim, but the insurance company probably should have paid her something for the amusement she provided in the carrier’s office.
The Real Girl on Fire: A bride was in the middle of a beautiful wedding celebration when her handmade dress burst into flames as she stood near a barbecue. The bride was carried into a lake, and there were apparently no serious injuries. The insurance company reportedly paid 50% of the disaster-possibility.
Rodent Soup: A patron at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant pursued an insurance settlement for $500,000 after allegedly finding a rat floating in her soup. An investigation revealed that the rat had no soup in its lungs which supported the position that the rat had not been cooked. The insured was sentenced to one year in jail after a jury believed the Cracker Barrel’s version of the incident.
While these claims may seem outlandish, many policyholders with legitimate claims have their claims denied, delayed or underpaid. My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.