Amorous horses and hapless burglars: Insurer reveals strangest claims of 2018

Some of the most unusual cases Aviva paid out on last year
Some of the most unusual cases Aviva paid out on last year
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The UK's biggest insurer said it accepted 96% of the claims it received in 2018, amounting to 991,700 commercial and personal claims collectively worth more than £3.8 billion.

A badly-behaved monkey, a bungling burglar trapped in a shed, and an amorous horse which mistook a customer's car for a potential mate prompted some of the most unusual claims for damage to property which insurance giant Aviva dealt with last year.

It said some of the most unusual cases it paid out on last year included arranging for the bodywork of a car to be repaired after a horse mistook it for another horse and proceeded to make amorous advances.

The insurer also replaced a mobile phone after a monkey snatched a customer's bag during a holiday and smashed the handset after rifling through the person's belongings.

Another successful claim involved a customer needing medical assistance after being bitten by a gorilla during a trek to see the animals in their natural habitat.

And in another case, Aviva settled a claim for damage after a hapless burglar tried to hide in someone's shed but accidentally locked himself in, making it easier for the police to apprehend him.

The insurer said it also paid out after fine cracks ruined waxwork heads created to look like actor Ben Affleck and singer Justin Bieber.

Aviva said it accepted around 3,000 weather-related motor claims in the first half of 2018, mainly due to the adverse conditions from the Beast from the East.

It also had around 7,000 home insurance claims due to storms, flooding and freezing conditions in the first half of 2018.

The fire at a car park near the Liverpool Echo Arena on New Year's Eve 2017 led to more than 120 fire claims, Aviva said.

It also said a combination of dry weather and high temperatures resulted in a rise in the number of road accidents reported to it over the summer of 2018.

Factors such as sun glare and an increase in the number of cars on the road were thought to be contributing factors.

Aviva said the reasons for some claims being logged but declined are common across the industry and include the value not meeting the policy excess (the first part of the claim that the customer pays), a pre-existing health condition or lifestyle choice not being declared when the policy was taken out, and claims falling outside the terms of the policy, such as for damage which is normal wear and tear.