Squirrel causes 5500 insurance claim
A squirrel triggered a £5,500 insurance claim by dropping into an open-top car unannounced, an insurer has revealed.
The female driver was so shocked by her unexpected guest that she lost control of the car and swerved into a tree.
While the UK is undoubtedly a nation of pet lovers, most drivers are understandably not so keen on sharing their roads - or, indeed, their vehicles - with the animal kingdom.
However, the squirrel case was far from an isolated incident, with AA insurance reporting 112 "animal strike" cases in October and November alone.
In November there were 30 claims relating to incidents with deer, five involving foxes and three with badgers, as well as 11 canine-inspired crashes.
The number of lethal accidents involving animals registered a steep increase in 2011, with eight deaths last year compared to only one in 2010, the Department for Transport said.
"Deer are by far the biggest culprit and this time of the year is the rutting season," an AA spokesman said.
"Also deer tend to move at dusk or very early in the morning and, during the winter, this puts their movements right in the time when people are commuting."
published: 07/12/2012 17:00:00