Elephants, driving dogs and inebriated injuries: Norwich-based Aviva’s weirdest insurance claims

To celebrate its upcoming 325th anniversary, Norwich based insurance company Aviva has revealed some of its weirdest insurance claims. 

From elephants in vans to a man accidentally cooking his wife’s jewelry - three centuries of insurance claims has led to some quirky ones over time. 

Aviva was formed after Norwich Union merged with CGU plc at the start of the millennium. The company still has offices in the city.

From January 2020 in England the use of wild animals in circuses was banned Credit: PA

Eager elephant

A window panel of a Morris Minor van was broken in 1934 after a circus passed by. 

One of its elephants put its trunk through the window, discovered the driver's lunch and ate it, finishing it off with a loaf of bread. 

Unfortunately, the elephant was a tight fit in the van.

The leapfrogging vicar

In 1875 a vicar was awarded £120 after playing a game of… Leapfrog.

Although many old claims are light on detail, the big payout said the religious figure had ‘fallen’. 

Driving dogs

In 1975 a red setter dog climbed into a car for a nap. 

The dog accidentally knocked the car out of gear, making it roll down a slope backwards - before striking a brick gatepost. 

Corset catastrophe

In the same year Wilhelm I died, 1888, closer to home a man was busy saving a women’s life as she was drowning.

However, the moment of heroism led to him claiming for insurance after getting an injured finger, when it was caught in her corset.

Other claims:

  • £10 was awarded to someone who lost a toenail getting into bed;

  • A man turned on the stove, not realising his wife hid jewelry in there whilst on holiday;

  • £1 was given to an owner of a canary, that was stolen by a ‘burglar’ cat;

  • A London hotel keeper was awarded £25 after being hit in the eye with a cork after opening a bottle of champagne.