The furry menace: How weasels cost car insurers thousands in Switzerland
While Switzerland may seem like a tranquil place, it is not without its problems. Drivers in Switzerland have been given a stoat warning that one furry creature could mean the difference between a fully functioning car and trying to weasel out of thousands of Swiss francs in damages.
8 million Swiss francs of damage caused by weasels
According to AXA insurance, the company dealt with around 17.000 damage claims because of weasels over the last year. The weasel causes damage when it tries to make its way into the warmth of the engine compartment of the car, biting its way through key wires and components before scampering away to its next victim.
Many families and individuals have awoken to find their car won’t start, with the insurance provider estimating that weasels alone caused 8 million Swiss francs' worth of damage in 2020. “Weasels like to eat automotive cables, pipes, insulating mats and rubber parts. This is why Swiss vehicles suffer damage estimated at several million francs every year,” according to the Swiss Professional Automobile Association (UPSA).
Make sure you have weasel damage on your Swiss car insurance
Not only do the weasels eat components, but the evil minks also like to let you know that they were there. According to the UPSA, the weasel likes to mark its territory with odorous secretions. When a weasel senses the scent of another in the engine compartment, the animal becomes aggressive and bites most things in sight.
So what is to be done? According to the UPSA, it pays to wash your car and engine regularly to avoid any aggressive scents that might set off the beast in every weasel. AXA said that the cost of repairing weasel damage without car insurance is around 450 Swiss francs, so they advise people living in Switzerland to make sure it is included in their car or private insurance.