Expert Risk Articles

Unusual liability claims

From rutting deer to strutting peacocks – when animals attack…

Liability losses can range from everyday occurrences to the major disaster events which make global headlines. However, they can also incorporate more unusual events as well. For example, almost 2% of liability claims analyzed involve incidents with animals…

Unusual Liability Claims Caused by Animals

When an American Airlines flight bound for Mississippi
from Charlotte declared an emergency after colliding
with a deer during take-off in February 2017, [1] it provided
further evidence of why deer can be particularly
dangerous animals (see below) for both members of the
public and insurers.

Although none of the passengers were injured in the collision, with the plane able to land safely on this occasion, according to AGCS analysis of liability claims, deer incidents (particularly involving collisions with cars) are already a notable cause of loss. On average they can cost in excess of €4,000 ($4,225) and account for over half of all animal-related liability claims received by insurers. The peak period for incidents (and claims) in the US is during October and November each year – otherwise known as the rutting season, which is when deer are engaging in fierce mating battles.

Bedbug/insect incidents account for almost 30% of
liability related claims received by insurers, with the number of bedbug incidents in particular on the rise in the US. According to the Bedbug Registry, a nationwide database of bedbug reports and complaints, bedbug sightings in New York hotels alone jumped more than 44% between 2014 and 2015 and this trend is reflected more widely in the insurance claims analysis, which reveals a gradual increase in the number of related claims received over the past five years. While bed bugs are found year-round, infestations and incidents peak during the warmer months of the year (April to August). The number of claims received in May for example is over double that received in February.

Other unusual animal-related liability claims include one from a hotel guest whose room was invaded by a flying squirrel, another hotel guest whose hearing aid and slippers were destroyed by a rodent, while at least two members of the public have been attacked by aggressive peacocks.

[1] Plane collides with deer in Charlotte, NC, CBS News, February 15, 2017.



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