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Bizarre Insurance Claims and the importance of liability cover!

Bizarre Insurance Claims and the importance of liability cover!

Insurance fraud is no laughing matter, especially if your business is on the receiving end of a liability claim for personal injury. It has been said that the a ‘compensation culture’ exists in the UK and many would suggest that this is a relatively new phenomenon, and, like many other things in modern culture, imported from the US. However, there has been a long history of personal injury cases in the UK – Insurer Aviva published some of its more bizarre liability claims, dating back as long ago as 1860…

Where there’s blame…

  • In 1878 a grocer from Lancashire slipped and injured himself whilst playing Blind Man's Buff – He was paid £15 (a modern equivalent of £1250).
  • A merchant from Essex made a claim following an eye injury, sustained whilst throwing rice at a wedding! He was paid £50 in 1892 (modern equivalent: £4441).
  • A shipbuilder from Great Yarmouth would have been quite wealthy had he swallowed a fishbone now instead of in 1900 – his £1,000 payout then would have amounted to over £85,000 in today’s money.
  • The owners of the Turkish Bath where a pharmacist from Dublin slipped over were presumably liable for the £33 paid to him in 1885 (modern equivalent: £2964).
  • A travelling salesman from Belfast reported made a claim after he hit his head on a pole while watching an accident from the top of a tram – He received an award of £7 in 1904 (the modern equivalent is £595).
  • We are not sure who you would claim against for being blown over by a gust of wind! An artist from Swansea managed to claim £30 in 1886 for this weather related injury – a modern equivalent of £2726.
  • Another case of wondering who this claim would have been made against – this time an innkeeper from Handsworth, Birmingham, who mistook a poisonous potion for sleeping medicine and was awarded £1,000 paid in 1878 – a whopping £83,221 at today’s rate (perhaps he sued himself!)

Insurance is a serious business

Of course, these claims seem funny and illustrate that our so-called compensation culture is older than you think. There is a serious side to this however, especially if you run a business where you are in contact with the general public. As well as doing your best to minimise the opportunities for members of the public and employees to injure themselves, ensuring you have adequate liability cover is another very important factor.

From public liability to Directors and Officers cover, we can offer a range of business policies to suit your company’s specific risks. For more information on cover and to discuss your businesses liability insurance needs, get in touch with us.

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