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Ten weird holiday home insurance claims

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23/05/2013
Do you rent out your holiday home? Be warned - the wrong guests could leave you with a big bill.

Data released by a holiday home insurer has revealed the ten strangest claims from the past 12 months.

Among the oddest was a claim made after young adult guests at one property created an indoor beach in their holiday home and a case where a cow destroyed a swimming pool.

Phil Schofield, spokesperson for Schofields Holiday Home Insurance, said:

“Insurance is, at heart, a fairly dry subject. However, some of the claims that come our way are strange, amusing and, at times, unfortunate. These ten claims are probably amongst the most bizarre and funny we have seen.”

The top ten were as follows…

1. The owner of a holiday home in Spain returned to inspect his property after he had let it to a group of young people in their 20s for two weeks, to find that they had created an indoor beach including sand and water to emulate the sea. The youngsters explained that the local beach “hadn’t lived up to their expectations”.

2. A slightly oblivious swan didn’t see what was coming his way. It was flying happily through the air, completely unaware of a set of high voltage power cables in its flight path which it duly hit. The swan had the shock of its life and dived straight for the roof of a holiday home underneath, crashing through the roof and leaving a massive hole in need of fixing.

3. At a holiday home in France, a cow walked over a swimming pool cover. As the cow was considerably heavier than the cover could hold, the cover broke and the unsuspecting cow took an involuntary dip in the pool; resulting in considerable damage to the pool and the need for a winch to rescue the distraught bovine.

4. Following a rental, a holiday home owner made a gory discovery; he found blood splattered all over carpets and walls. After further investigation, he discovered a makeshift cardboard coffin containing a pig’s head in the bin, suggesting that a sacrifice had taken place at his property.

5. Holiday guests staying in a Spanish property moved items of furniture from inside the holiday home they were renting, including a sofa, single bed and chest of drawers, into the shallow end of the swimming pool. The guests had been under the influence of alcohol when they’d decided to rearrange the furniture in such a way and claimed they ‘couldn’t remember’ why they had done it.

6. A particularly passionate couple managed to not only badly scratch the wooden floor of their bedroom by causing the bed to move vehemently, but also caused the bed to break, as well as the bedside lamp and bedside table. The couple explained that all damage had been caused during one session of lovemaking and they apologised profusely.

7. A young couple tried to pursue a claim against the owner of their holiday apartment in Spain on the basis that both bed sheets and towels were ‘too hard’ and caused scratches and irritations on the skin, which prevented them from using the pool and sunbathing comfortably.

8. A holiday cottage in Devon needed completely redecorating after the holiday guests had decided to have an indoor barbecue on the flagstone floor, as ‘the weather didn’t allow for having it outside’.

9. One unsuspecting holiday property owner in Italy was shocked to find out that his house had been turned into a brothel by his guests during a four week rental period, resulting in the need for a deep clean and replacement of soft furnishings.

10. A lady in her late 30s from Manchester sought compensation from the owner of her holiday home in Marbella as the gravel on the driveway ‘had wrecked’ four pairs of her designer stilettos and forced her to replace them with new ones.

While all of these cases were fully investigated, not all were successful.

Schofield said: “These claims show how important a good holiday home insurance policy is, particularly when you let your property to other people. Although most people would expect a certain amount of wear and tear and breakages, nobody would think that their guests would put all the furniture into the pool or create an indoor beach. You really never know what you might need to claim for!”

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