Bizarre animal-based insurance claims

Bizarre animal-based insurance claims

The Mirror

Animals are blamed for almost £1m worth of damage to cars, a breakdown of insurance claims has revealed.

They range from horses licking paint off a car, a rampaging cow and a cat under the bonnet causing mayhem.

Data from Saga Car Insurance for the over 50s revealed some of the more bizarre cases in the last 12 months.

One driver fancied a hike round Dartmoor National Park , but when he returned to the car park he found 12 horses licking the paintwork off his car. The naughty nags caused £1,200 worth of damage.

Another took his favourite cow to a cattle show to see if she could win a prize. He tied her to a post, but she got stage fright and made a run for it.

The cow uprooted the post and dragged it around the car park causing £800 worth of damage to the parked vehicle.

A nip to the shops for some milk proved expensive for one driver. When she started the car she heard a strange noise coming from the bonnet so went to investigate.

As she got out of the car she saw a cat running away but not before causing almost £4,000 worth of damage.

A driver was on his way to a wedding when a stag appeared out of nowhere causing him to slam on his brakes.

However, it must have been a case of ‘fight or flight’ for the deer as another stag appeared moments later and ploughed straight into the stationary car. While both stags dashed off in a daze the driver was left staring at £2,000 worth of damage.

Another Saga driver was en route to a boat yard when he spotted a low flying duck and swerved to miss it. The duck escaped with ruffled feathers, but the car slammed into a stone bridge causing more than £1,500 worth of damage.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, said: “It seems that just about anything can send a road trip into turmoil and the over 50s have to have their wits about them when they’re in the driver’s seat.

“We understand that some things are out of our customers control and that they can’t predict when they may face low flying ducks or deers darting across the road.”

Beached orca kept alive for 6+ hours in rescue near Hartley Bay, BC

Beached orca kept alive for 6+ hours in rescue near Hartley Bay, BC

From Whale Point/Facebook page:

“Today was one of very high emotions. It started with a call from Eric on the Bangarang that he just spotted a beached orca.

The Guardians from Hartley Bay were soon on their way, as were we at Whale Point, with WWF also on board.

Eric put together a McGaver type water pump; we grabbed as many sheets as we could, and Hermann, Bunker and Nicole, Eric and myself went to shore and approached the whale as quietly as possible.

It was a team effort, and fortunately on some level this transient orca understood that we were trying to help.

She often cried, which tore at our hearts, but as the tide came up, there were many cheers as this whale was finally free after 6+ hours of being stuck on this rock.

The story of how she got there is amazing, we will write up a proper blog and already on getting a video organized. A giant thank you once again to this incredible community that comes together so quickly to protect what is sacred.”

Photo Credit: Whale Point | Stranded transient orca beached near Hartley Bay, BC

You’d think that everybody — and their dog — has heard how dangerous it is to leave pets in the car in the summer, right?

Read more

Fire in the sky: How pet-prepared are you for emergencies?


With Metro Vancouver and much of B.C. covered with a thick haze of forest fire smoke, the BC SPCA is encouraging animal guardians to refresh their emergency pet preparedness. Several new wildfires, as well as old ones, have caused evacuation orders and states of emergency in several B.C. communities, prompting people to leave their homes as quickly as possible.

“When you’re ordered to evacuate, you need to do it as soon as possible, and people don’t necessarily think about their pet in an emergency situation until it’s too late,” says BC SPCA general manager of community relations Lorie Chortyk. “You don’t have time to gather up everything you need if you have to get out of your home right away.”

Evacuations are usually a busy time for staff and volunteers at the province’s BC SPCA branches, as they provide extra shelter, pet food and pet-related equipment such as crates and leashes for pet guardians and animals.

 “When you’re in a hurry, it can be easy to forgot feeding bowls, food, leashes, everything,” Chortyk says. “That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared for any emergency. People love their pets, but it often doesn’t sink in that an emergency can happen at any time.”

Having an emergency pet kit handy is key, as well as ensuring your pet is already wearing a collar with up-to-date contact information, Chortyk notes. Keeping your pets inside the house so you don’t need to search for them is also a good idea, as is having emergency pet boarding plans in place.

Items to include in an emergency kit for your pet(s) include:

  • A seven-day supply of food and water
  • Identification tag and collar
  • Sturdy crate and/or carrier
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Blanket/plastic bags
  • Leash, harness
  • Food and water bowls (collapsible are great)
  • Litter box and litter for cats
  • Manual can opener
  • Copy of your pet’s current vaccination history
  • Any special medications and instructions

“No one likes to think an emergency like a wildfire or an earthquake will happen. But in the event it does, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared – for themselves and for their beloved family pets,” Chortyk says.

When dealing with livestock in the event of an emergency, the Horse Council of British Columbia and provincial government offer many helpful tips and advice as well.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

Sign up at for our free weekly Canadian insurance newsletter 

If a dog is injured in a car crash, does insurance cover vet costs?

Insurance companies treat your lap dog like a laptop. If man’s best friend is hurt in a collision, he’s considered damaged property.

“It sounds cold, but in the eyes of the law, your dog is your property — if you get hit carrying an expensive vase, you expect the vase to be covered” says State Farm Canada spokesman John Bordignon. “If the driver is 100 per cent at fault, then the driver’s auto insurance would cover the dog’s injuries.”

Pets medical expenses aren’t covered the same way peoples’ are. But, if a pet is killed or injured by a car, you can make a liability claim against the other driver’s policy to cover the expenses, the same way you’d make a claim for other property damage, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada (ICB).

“The success of the liability claim and possible damages the pet owner may be able to recover, would likely be based on negligence,” writes IBC spokesman Pete Karageorgos in an email. “For example, was the dog on a leash or was it running freely when struck by the vehicle?”

In other words, you could get less — or nothing at all — if your dog darts out into traffic.

If you’re driving with your pet

What if Rover’s in your car and you get into a crash? Generally, the same rules apply — you could try to make a liability claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.

In Ontario, your vet bills could also be covered under your own policy’s direct compensation property damage coverage, Karageorgos says. It’s required in Ontario and covers damage to your vehicle — and its contents — if the other driver was at fault for the accident.

If the insurance company decides you’re entirely at fault, then your car insurance policy won’t help you pay your vet bills. And the other driver’s insurance won’t either.

If you are at fault, it’s still possible your homeowner’s insurance could cover some vet or replacement costs, says State Farm Canada’s Bordignon.

“You have to look at your homeowners insurance — it can get a little complicated,” he says. “Call your agent and say “I have this dog, what will happen if he gets hit?”

You’ll notice we’re using the word could. That’s because insurance policies vary. Rules vary from province to province. And no two collisions are exactly the same.

In B.C., you can’t make a claim for pet injuries if you’re at fault in an accident, says the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

“However, if another motorist is at fault for the crash, then you may have the basis for a third-party tort claim against the at-fault motorist, in which you could try to recover your expenses to cover the pet’s vet and medication bills due to the car crash,” writes ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman in an email. “The same would apply if your pet was inside or outside your vehicle.”

Is Pet Insurance worth it?

Medical bills for a dog needing surgery after a car crash can cost $5,000 to $10,000 — or even more, says the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Dr. Bernhard Pukay.

“Just the first 24 hours can be $800 to $1,000, easily,” says Pukay, who’s also an unpaid advisor for Petsecure pet insurance. “You’ve got x-rays, blood work, lab work — it’s the same equipment and procedures that get used on people and the cost is about the same.”

A liability case may not get you all of that money back, and it could take months — or even years — before you see a penny.

If you have pet insurance, medical expenses will be covered — usually up to a limit — if your pet is injured in a collision, regardless of who was at fault.

“Our polices cover all veterinary costs associated with an accident up to the limit of the plan,” says Loraine Nyokong, director of sales with Petsecure. “Under comprehensive coverage we cover surgery and things like physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment and massage.”

Pet insurance can range from $20 to $120 a month, depending on the coverage, breed and where you live, Nyokong says.

Bur even with pet insurance, you’ll still likely have to pay bills up front. In most cases, owners pay vet bills and then get reimbursed, Nyokong says.

“Our target is five to seven days,” she says. “In peak times it can be 10 to 15 days.”

Sign up at for our free weekly Canadian insurance newsletter 

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest