Just for laughs: 5 of the most bizarre insurance claims ever

Whether it’s car insurance, home insurance or life insurance, here at Old Mutual iWYZE we pride ourselves on quickly and efficiently taking care of our policyholders when they need us most… but this set us thinking about some of the weirdest and wackiest claims people have tried to get away with over the years. 

While we can’t verify the authenticity of each, we can’t help but smile at the legendary stories. Enjoy the read! 

#1 Falling for it 49 times
Isabel Parker is not your average granny… between 1993 and 2000 this elderly American collected over half a million dollars from various insurers for slip and trip “accidents” in various supermarkets and liquor stores in order to fuel her gambling addiction. 
She got away with it on 49 different occasions, using aliases, before a vigilant insurer finally picked up on the pattern. In 2002, at the age of 72, she was finally apprehended and sentenced.  

#2 Liar, liar house on fire!
Nicholas di Puma tried to sell one of the most bizarre double-doozy lies ever in an attempt to claim on both his car insurance and home insurance in one go. 
Di Puma claimed that while cooking on a wood stove, his pans caught on fire, which led to buckets of coal also igniting. He then “accidently” threw the first bucket of burning coals into the backseat of his convertible, after which he “fell” while trying to throw out the second bucket, which landed on the sofa and promptly burned down the house. 
Sound dodgy? The judge thought so too. Not only was he convicted of insurance fraud, but his car, house and everything in it was destroyed. Ouch! 

#3 Lend your buddies a hand
There were probably a few beers involved when this plan was hatched! Gerald Hardin and two of his buddies were in need of cash. Long story short, one of the amigos allowed Hardin to cut off his hand… with a chainsaw no less… in order for the third friend to submit a dismemberment claim worth over $670 000. 
While divorcing him, Hardin’s wife discovered the scheme and handed the evidence over to the authorities – but not before over a third of the money has already been spent. 

#4 Getting an “A” for arson
Teachers are expected to prepare the next generation of young minds to be productive members of society. Tramesha Fox, a teacher from Texas, had other ideas.
Fox was in financial difficulties and her car was about to repossessed. Instead of phoning the bank to make arrangements, she bribed two students who were failing her course with passing grades to “steal” and set her car alight in order to claim from her car insurance. She was caught and went to jail for arson… the worst type of detention.  

#5 Here comes the bride… all set alight
For most brides, a wedding day needs to be just perfect. Paula Catelli, an Italian bride, had plenty of reason to be upset. 
Catelli wore a beautiful handmade dress on her special day… but when walking a little close to a barbeque fire, the synthetic material of her dress caught alight and within seconds she was ablaze. Her new husband proved his marriage material status by picking her up and jumping into a lake. Luckily, although it had to take a lot of explaining, her insurance did cover 50% of the losses from her ruined wedding. 

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Insurance most certainly isn’t a way to get rich quick… but by making the wise insurance choice and getting a quote from Old Mutual iWYZE, you can insure that your losses are always covered with excellent value-added benefits. We offer homeowner’s insurance and home contents insurance to protect your home and everything in it, as well as comprehensive car insurance to keep your baby in showroom condition.  

 

Sources:
https://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/mag-newsbriefs/2004/04/19/41711.htm
https://listverse.com/2013/01/06/top-10-bizarre-insurance-claims/
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/despicable-act-gerald-hardin-iii-convicted-sawing-hand-mentally-disabled-man-insurance-scheme-article-1.1142258 
http://www.insurancefraud.org/article.htm?RecID=2768