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Peacocks, puppies and pests behind unusual insurance claims

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Unprovoked attacks by peacocks, a puppy mistaken for a hand brake, mice with an expensive taste in upholstery and troublesome creepy crawlies are behind some of the strangest motor claims.

Car insurance specialist Admiral has released details of its most bizarre claims from the last two years revealing our furry and feathered friends are often the culprits.

For one unfortunate motorist their pride and joy was destroyed by a nest of mice who took a liking to its stylish leather interior.  Another motorist collided with a bollard after their front passenger pulled up the handbrake mistaking it for the puppy which had jumped down from their lap, and another drove into a telephone pole while trying to swat a fly inside their vehicle.

Peculiarly, peacocks seem to be particularly troublesome for many motorists and four out of the twelve most unusual animal claims involve the feathered poseurs attacking vehicles. These include a car clawed by a peacock after seeing its reflection in the paintwork and another damaged by a group of peacocks which had escaped from a neighbour’s garden.

Dave Halliday, Admiral managing director, said, “We asked our claims handlers to tell us about any unusual claims they had dealt with that really stood out for them and found that animals featured in the most memorable ones.

“Although amusing to read about now, any incident is distressing for those involved and our handlers are trained to be understanding and professional. However, it goes to show car insurance is not always as dull as you may think!”

The 12 most unusual animal claims Admiral has handled are:

1. The front seat passenger had a puppy on their lap which jumped down from the seat. The passenger reached down to pick up the puppy but accidently pulled up the handbrake causing the car to skid into another vehicle.

2. A car was damaged at a village fete when a miniature pony broke loose and climbed over the bonnet.

3. A car was damaged by a peacock which on seeing its reflection, clawed the car.
4. A driver was distracted by a camel and an elephant tethered at the side of the road and collided with a bollard.

5. A driver drove into a telephone pole while trying to swat a fly inside the vehicle.

6. A rare show car, a Lancia Delta Intergrale, was destroyed while in storage by a nest of mice which chewed through the leather and foam of the two front seats, partially devoured the rear seats and completely stripped the leather from all four door interiors.

7. A car was damaged by a group of peacocks which escaped from the owner’s neighbour’s garden.

8. While driving, a man leaned over to stroke his dog, got distracted and crashed his car.

9. A driver caused a multi car shunt after being startled by a spider dangling from the rear view mirror.

10. A car was parked in a woodland car park and was damaged by a male peacock which took a dislike to the vehicle.

11. A car was damaged by rats which entered the engine compartment and chewed through internal parts.

12. A car was damaged while parked in a hotel car park after it was attacked by a peacock owned by the hotel.

Dave Halliday continues, “From territorial peacocks, creepy crawlies and cute puppies, it seems it’s not just other road users motorists should be aware of. 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.

“Whilst it’s more difficult to protect your car exterior from a frantic peacock, if you are transporting pets, make sure they are safely secured so as not to cause any distraction.”

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