Licking ponies cause £1200 in damage to car’s paintwork


stock-nose-fence_1490A British insurer has spilled the beans on animal-related claims against its over-50s car policies, including one in which a dozen licking ponies caused serious damage to a vehicle’s paintwork.

Saga Insurance said the pony claim resulted when one of its customers fancied a hike around Dartmoor National Park.

He left his vehicle in a car park and set off on his walk. When he got back he found 12 wild ponies licking his car’s paintwork. The resulting damage cost £1200 to repair.

Saga said analysis of its insurance claims data found that animals were responsible for about £1 million worth of damage to vehicles covered under its over-50s policies.

Last year, it handled about 500 car insurance claims involving animals.

It released a list of its most unusual animal claims:

  • Earlier this year one customer took his beloved cow to a cattle show to see if she could win a prize. He tied her to a post, but the cow got stagefright and made a run for it, uprooting the post and dragging it around the parking lot, causing £800 worth of damage to a parked vehicle.
  • One policyholder needed to nip to the shops for some milk, but when she started the car she heard a strange noise coming from the bonnet so went to investigate. When she got out of the car she saw a cat running away but not before causing almost £4000 worth of damage.
  • One customer 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 saying “oh deer” – or perhaps something stronger – as the stag caused £2000 of damage.
  • One policyholder was en route to a boat yard when he spotted a low flying duck. The driver quickly realised that the bird had misjudged its take-off, and as he swerved to miss the mallard he drove into a stone bridge. While the duck escaped with a few ruffled feathers, the car’s bang with the bridge caused more than £1500 worth of damage.

“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,” Saga Services chief executive Roger Ramsden said.

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