1. The bug bomb

Dead cockroaches and paper house.
Mouse family / Shutterstock

Creepy crawlies can do a surprising amount of damage, but it wasn’t the infestation itself that prompted this homeowner to call their insurance company.

Stacey Giulianti, chief legal officer at Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, recounted a mishap involving “bug bombs”: cans that release an insect-exterminating fog into the home.

The client should have used three cans for his 3,000-square-foot home. He decided to use 32. And to make matters worse, he forgot to unplug his refrigerator before leaving his house.

“When it kicked on, it created a spark which ignited the dense cloud of bug gas and — you guessed it — the house basically exploded,” Giulianti said.

2. Oh no, guano

Pipistrelle bat flying in the house in darkness
Rudmer Zwerver / Shutterstock

The rustic, 150-year-old farmhouse seemed like a dream home, but the Canadian family moving in was not prepared to deal with the many occupants living out of sight.

Bats. Dozens of bats that had been living in the attic and walls for decades. The Dewan-Arcand family told CTV News the infestation got so bad that the droppings dripped through the ceiling when things got moist.

Even though standard home insurance policies don’t protect against pests, the family managed to get its insurer to cover the cost of rebuilding the home and pay for lodgings while the work was done.

3. Still falling for you

Brick chimney stack on modern contemporary house roof top.
Ian Dyball / Shutterstock

Home insurance can’t repair your broken heart, but it can cover the damage a failed relationship does to your property.

A homeowner in Southern Carolina woke at the sound of his ex-girlfriend yelling his name in the middle of the night. Initially, he thought she was playing a prank on him from outside, but upon further inspection, he realized her voice was coming from his living room — and up the chimney.

Firefighters arrived to extract the woman, damaging the chimney in the process. Farmers Insurance covered all the repairs.

4. Feline floods

small kitten drinking water from kitchen sink faucet
Cynthia Valdez / Shutterstock

Those hands-free motion-activated faucets are super convenient, but factor in a playful feline and you could have a flood on your hands.

At a 2018 conference for the Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association, adjuster Mazen Habash said he worked on two flooding claims pinned on curious cats waving their paws underneath the sensor.

In one case, a stray dishcloth left in the sink was the fatal mistake that allowed the water to overflow.

5. Eaten by the Earth

House falling through sinkhole
Sheryl Chapman / Shutterstock

Imagine your home getting swallowed up by the ground in a matter of minutes, like something out of a disaster movie. That really happened in Florida in 2013.

More recently, in 2019, a family in Lutz, Florida heard strange popping sounds and found the kitchen falling apart due to a depression below. The family was quickly evacuated and had plans to start on repairs with the help of their insurance company, Fox 13 reported.

The problem is so common that home insurance companies in Florida and Tennessee are required to provide coverage for sinkhole damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

6. Shotgun shenanigans

Young man pointing shotgun to the side
Arthiti Kholoet / Shutterstock

Try not to get too fired up when you get a gun on Christmas morning, even if the damage might be covered.

Brent Thurman, president of Keystone Insurance Services, said one of his company’s clients was trying out his present — a cowboy-action shotgun — when things went south.

The shotgun accidentally discharged in his living room and blew a hole right through his sofa and the drywall behind.

“The shotgun BBs eventually stopped their path of destruction when they came to rest in the exterior brick wall,” Thurman recalled.

Although the client ended up getting the damage repaired for less than his deductible, the insurer was prepared to pay for the stray shot.

7. Air droppings

Big Passenger airplane flying over cloudy sky
IM_photo / Shutterstock

Nobody appreciates a sudden hole in their roof, but it’s even worse when a chunk of “blue ice” is to blame.

The innocent-sounding name actually refers to a dangerous lavatory leak. When planes inadvertently scatter their sewage mid-flight, the high altitudes freeze the liquid — tinted blue from the disinfectant — into rock-hard chunks hurtling toward the Earth.

In 2016, CBC News reported on a suspected case of blue ice damaging an Ontario home. Stephanie Moore, the homeowner’s daughter, expected the cost of repairs to land “in the thousands” but said the insurance company would likely foot the bill. Standard policies do, in fact, offer protection for “falling objects.”

8. Moose on the loose

Wild Bull Moose in autumn,
Jan Miko / Shutterstock

A moose got its antlers entangled in a homeowner’s swing set, but it wasn’t a tough case to unravel.

The panicked animal dragged the swing set all over the Alaskan property, scratching and denting the home and leaving traces of red paint — making it look like a crime scene. The good news is that the moose managed to free itself and escape before more harm was done.

Although the owner didn’t actually catch the moose in the act, Farmers Insurance covered the home repairs anyway as an accidental loss due to “contact with a bird or animal.”

9. Birthday saved

A group of teenagers at a birthday party holding the cake
Tatyana Vyc / Shutterstock

The party don’t stop, so long as your insurance company has your back.

A pipe burst in a policyholder’s home, causing major water damage the day before her daughter’s 15th birthday. The homeowner was frantic on the phone, telling the claims specialist that she’d need to cancel or postpone the party since the basement was out of commission.

But AIG didn’t just help with home repairs; the company offered to cover the cost of a new party venue as well. Call it a gift to the birthday girl, if you will.

10. The recurring car crash

Car crash scene after auto has plowed into a fence next to a house.
RomanPDX / Shutterstock

Cars crash into homes more often than you might think, but it’s pretty unusual for one home to get hit nine times.

Terry and Maureen Noble of New Brunswick, Canada, moved into their home in the 1970s. Over the years, cars have ripped through the far side of the house so often the couple simply avoids that section entirely.

The most recent crash, which occurred in 2016, saw the rogue vehicle smash through two walls and plow their freezer into their yard.

While the Nobles can’t prevent the accidents from occurring, CBC said the couple’s insurance companies were paying for yet another rebuild.

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Staff Writer

Serah Louis is a staff writer with MoneyWise. She loves storytelling and research and was published in Ricepaper Magazine's 2019 anthology, Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction.

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