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Most peculiar claims of 2023: State Insurance reveals

The State Insurance team has discovered there is no claim too quirky after reviewing 2023’s most peculiar claims.

Dogs driving vans, stolen false teeth and speeding jandals were among the most memorable claim stories of the year.

State Insurance Executive General Manager Claims, Wayne Tippet says, “It seemed that wild animals and pets were up to no good last year. We received several claims where animals had let loose in our customers’ homes, causing unbelievable damage.”

Here’s the rewind:

Flip-flops & repair shops

Jandals are a Kiwi staple come summertime – some even brave cold toes for the beloved iconic footwear in winter!

It has been debatable for some time now though whether jandals are the right fit for the driver’s seat. They led one customer’s mother astray getting caught on the accelerator pedal.

The vehicle came to a stop after hitting the garage of a stranger’s property.

The protective peacock

A surprising find in the insurer’s data suggests guard dogs could quite possibly be replaced by the protective peacock.

“Our customer’s pet peacock managed to get into their bathroom. Upon seeing itself in the mirror, the peacock attacked the “intruder”, causing significant damage to our customer’s bathroom,” reveals Wayne.


State’s policies often cover damage caused by pets or other animals depending on the circumstance, like chewing or tampering with parts of your vehicle. Handbrakes, gear sticks and seatbelts are some of the most common occurrences.

One customer’s vehicle was hit by a dog driving a van. The pup was sitting in a van and somehow managed to release the handbrake.

The van rolled backwards down the driveway it was parked in, crashing into our customer’s vehicle parked on the other side of the road.

The jacket that bites

Out for brunch one morning at a café, a customer took out their false teeth, putting them in their jacket pocket while they enjoyed their meal.

Before leaving, a quick bathroom break was had, but upon returning to the table, the customer noticed the jacket was gone! It had been stolen… along with their teeth.

In hopes of finding a wallet, the jacket thief might’ve been bitten after reaching into the pocket.

Ready, set, check the tailgate

One customer was working out in the country for the day. They had packed an assortment of tools including a few chainsaws to tackle the job. At the end of the long day, they loaded everything onto the back of their ute.

Their cell phone rung so they answered accordingly, forgetting to close the tailgate.

While it was a peaceful drive home, after pulling into the driveway, the customer was shocked to find an open tailgate and most of their tools and saws missing.

A trip back along the road in the ute, they managed to find a few tools sitting on the side of the road looking a bit worse for wear.

Sadly though, most of their tools had been lost to the bush, trailing both sides of the long road.

Cover for the quirky

“We’re here to help, no matter how peculiar or unusual the claim is. Sometimes how the damage occurred makes a great story – but it doesn’t change how the cover works and the item or damage can still be replaced or repaired.

“Providing insurance cover options for the expected and the unexpected things that can occur in the life of every busy New Zealander, is what we do,” says Wayne.


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