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EditorialsUp Front 09/10

Up Front 09/10

There have been many bizarre situations for which insurance policyholders have filed claims, but what is often most bizarre is the outcome. One well known story is about a burgler who, upon breaking into a house, locked himself into the homeowner’s garage. As the owners were away on holiday he was stuck there for a week and only managed to survive by eating dogfood. He consequentially sued the homeowners for having a faulty door lock which caused him, ‘undue mental anguish’, and apparently got himself a payout of half a million dollars. Some may find it hard to decide who to feel sorry for in that situation but one American pet insurance company is using their clients stories as part of it’s marketing strategy. The Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (VPI) set up the VPI Hambone Award, which they named after a dog that managed to open a fridge and eat a whole ham. This year dozens of entries included a dog that attacked a chainsaw; a cat that snuck into a tumble drier for a nap and a young Labrador retriever that ate a whole beehive. One of the recent entries for the award still makes me cringe when I think of it. A border collie named Aubie wasn’t normally a huge fan of his local postman but one day when he arrived nearly three hours late the dog decided to lunge at him through the window. However the poor dog failed to notice that the window was closed. The result doesn’t bear thinking about but pet lovers will be pleased to know that Aubie survived and is doing well. He now takes anti-anxiety medication, paid for by the insurance company. There are, as yet, no reports of the postman suing the dog’s owner for ‘mental anguish’.

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