The most bizarre insurance claims dating back to 300 years ago – vandal sheep, champagne cork accident and more


Aviva has shared some of its most bizarre insurance claims, including one involving a London hotelier who was adamant about his eye using a champagne cork.

A company in insurance has published details about its most bizarre claims to celebrate 325 years of existence.

This includes the 1878 case in which a London hotelier blasphemed himself with a champagne cork.

The man received £25 10s, equivalent to around two-and-a half months’ pay for a skilled tradesman.

Aviva also paid out a shop owner whose window was broken in 1960 by an escapee sheep.

The insurance company settled the matter with the dentist after he was kicked out by a patient who had just received an anaesthetic.

Nick Major, company spokesperson, said: “Aviva has played an important role helping businesses protect what’s important to them, enabling them to continue to trade through good times and bad, something we have continued to focus on through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As our records show, we’ve seen the strangest and most unusual claims, which goes to show that planning for the unexpected is good business practice.”

Aviva provided insurance for some of the securities stolen in the 1963 Great Train Robbery.

They paid out a total of £1,091,340 10s 0d – or £59 million in today’s money.

One bizarre claim involved a fishmonger’s van which was parked near the Libyan embassy siege in 1984.

The vehicle was unable to be moved until the end the 11-day siege. By then, all the fish had rotted.