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OFF BEAT: Animals dominate on list of bizarre car insurance claims


Upholstery-munching mice, bothersome bugs and roving gangs of malcontent peacocks were the unlikely culprits highlighted in a Welsh automobile insurer’s roundup of the 12 most bizarre damage claims it has received in the past two years.

One policyholder reported his or her car had been destroyed by a nest of mice that had gnawed their way into the vehicle’s upholstery, Cardiff, Wales-based Admiral Group P.L.C. said in a recent statement. Another driver claimed he was being pestered by a fly when he slammed his car into a telephone pole.

Curiously, the company noted, one-quarter of its 12 strangest insurance claims were caused by peacocks. One car was gouged by a peacock picking a fight with its own reflection, while another was damaged by a fugitive band of peacocks that escaped from a neighboring garden.

“Although amusing to read about now, any incident is distressing for those involved and our handlers are trained to be understanding and professional,” Admiral Managing Director Dave Halliday said in a statement from the insurer. “However, it goes to show car insurance is not always as dull as you may think."

Most of the auto damage claims the company detailed involved animals in some way, from a stampeding miniature pony that escaped from a local fair, to a motorist so overwhelmed with the urge to lean over and pet his dog that he forgot he was driving.

"From territorial peacocks, creepy crawlies and cute puppies, it seems it's not just other road users motorists should be aware of,” Mr. Halliday said. “These unusual incidents illustrate how important it is to remain focused on the road ahead at all times and not to get distracted by animals whether they’re inside or outside your vehicle.”