INSURANCE SHORTS

Insurers face both peculiar claims and requests

A BURNT Christmas tree, a triple burglary of the same building, and breaking one’s jaw on the way to bathroom. These were just several of the unusual cases in which insurance companies paid tens of thousands of Slovak crowns in insurance claims in 2008. And although Slovaks have not yet adopted the ‘American’ tradition of insuring everything from body parts to sunny weather for a wedding, requests for unconventional insurance policies were not unknown last year in Slovakia.

A golf course, illustrative stock photoA golf course, illustrative stock photo (Source: SITA)

A BURNT Christmas tree, a triple burglary of the same building, and breaking one’s jaw on the way to bathroom. These were just several of the unusual cases in which insurance companies paid tens of thousands of Slovak crowns in insurance claims in 2008. And although Slovaks have not yet adopted the ‘American’ tradition of insuring everything from body parts to sunny weather for a wedding, requests for unconventional insurance policies were not unknown last year in Slovakia.

“The situation in Slovakia has not changed much in this sphere, people rather pick ‘classical’ injury insurance or life insurance,” the head of the communications department of Generali Slovensko insurance company, Lenka Havlová, told the ČTK newswire. But for one of last year’s more curious claims, she mentioned a repeated burglary involving the same client.

“The offender broke into the same building three times, after he had drunk alcohol excessively and the owners always found him sleeping in bed,” Havlová said.

Kooperativa insurance company had a case of a client who lost phalanges of three fingers in a cowshed when chaining up a calf whose mother objected demonstrably by jerking the rope hard enough to sever the fingers. Another insured person allegedly broke vertebrae when he brought a sow and a boar together to breed.

“Another client reported a broken jaw, allegedly broken in the early hours when he got up and went to the toilet,” Zuzana Wagnerová, head of the marketing department of Kooperativa said, as cited by ČTK.

Insurance companies also honour some unusual requests for insurance.

“Our company has experience with insuring a pond against fire, and for insuring a balloon festival against windless weather,” ČTK was told by Petra Greksová from the department of external communication of the Allianz–Slovenská Poisťovňa insurance house.

She said they have insured a golf course against being furrowed by wild boars or wild animals in general, as requested by one client. They also received an insurance claim for a burnt Christmas tree.

A group with numerous applicants for unconventional insurance policies includes passionate collectors who have insured a diverse assortment of items such as football uniforms, alcohol and wines of various types, cigars and weapons, according to Havlová.

Among the most frequent requests are those to insure various works of art and artistic items, sometimes even those which are ‘self-made’.

“We also receive applications for additional insurance coverage for furniture of exceptional value, such as a bed made from ebony, trimmed with pure gold, and a chandelier of Bohemian glass with golden lamellae,” Havlová added.

Kooperativa has also recorded requests to insure an original Bible dating back to the 13th century and a swimming pool installed on a terrace of a panel house in Bratislava, Wagnerová said. The company refused to insure the latter.

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