Introducing the (Under)Writer in Residence:
Red line

In a move that sees two very different writing worlds collide, we are delighted to introduce John Cooper Clarke, aka the bard of Salford, as our new ‘(Under)Writer in Residence’. In his inimitable style, John has composed five new original poems, each inspired by extraordinary claims from our customers. The poems, like the claims that inspired them, are varied and diverse. From thieving baboons and a light-fingered poltergeist to a claim against a customer for the loss of prize bull’s semen … they have to be read – or listened to – to be believed.

In creating the poems, John was determined to confound perceptions that insurance is staid and boring, and at the same time remind small business owners that anything, literally, can happen. We think he’s done a fine job on both fronts…

Claim #1 - Poltergeist and the jewellery
Red line

A few years ago a jewellery heist
was carried out by a poltergeist
gone was the gelt and away went the ice
Then the items returned
Lessons were learned
And the compo refunded all legal and nice.
When precious jewellery disappears it’s always upsetting, but when the perpetrator is a resident poltergeist it adds an extra layer of frustration. During their son’s wedding, a customer found several valuable pieces of jewellery had gone missing. The resident poltergeist was apparently unhappy with the amount of people in attendance and had swiped the stones by way of retribution. When the sneaky spectre showed no signs of returning the items we settled the claim for accidental loss. But the story doesn’t end there…

Poltergeist and the jewellery

Claim #2 - Electric fence
Red line

For a citizen in the countryside
It could have been worse he might have died
Most people would rather suspend their suspense
Than put to the test an electric fence
This one guy however had no common sense
He sued the landowner who claimed recompense
and was fortunately covered for just such events
A nasty shock then a pleasant surprise
for no one is, at all times, wise. 
A customer who had a bucolic farm in the British countryside installed an electric fence to keep the horses safe. Whilst the fillies and stallions stayed well away, one wayward dog walker didn’t, and an injury compensation claim quickly surfaced…

The electric fence

Claim #3 - Cat and cat
Red line

They fought like cat and cat - who's that?
This client’s two kittens in a spat
A cup of coffee got spilt - evidence of their destructive guilt
There disabled on the kitchen table
His laptop sabotaged it can't be rebuilt
Hiscox responded with admirable haste
And instantly the machine replaced
So put this on your blog
It wouldn't have happened with a dog. 
Amid a busy working day, one of our customers couldn’t get to their laptop as their two mischievous kittens engaged in play fight on the keyboard. Before they could intervene, the playful duo knocked coffee all over the laptop and it was rendered useless in a matter of seconds…

Kitten Laptop

Claim #4 - The baboon and the photographer
Red line

A wildlife snapper in the Kenyan greenery
Figured baboons were just part of the scenery
Until they swiped all the fella’s machinery
Cheeky monkeys or what?
Still Hiscox paid on the spot. 
A wildlife photographer was enjoying the trip of a lifetime in Kenya, during a deforestation shoot in the jungle. Unfortunately for said snapper, a gang of light-fingered baboons grabbed his equipment and ran. Given the isolated surroundings, this could never have been foreseen. Talk about monkey business…

The baboon and the photographer

Claim #5 - The bull and the farmer
Red line

A farmer whose prize bull suddenly dies
Must say his goodbye to next year's prize
The best in the biz
They were selling his fizz
Then everything went in the red
It's spermatazoa
Isn’t a goer
Now the poor animal's dead
But the farmer's earnings
May yet be returning
The insurance paid up instead. 
A farmer claimed that his prize bull had died after eating hedge cuttings from our customer’s garden which was next door. He was particularly distraught as he planned to sell the bull’s semen for breeding and was suddenly facing a considerable loss of earnings…


John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke is an English poet and author from Salford, Manchester. Often hailed as the “bard of Salford”, John rose to fame in the 1970s amidst the burgeoning punk rock scene.

His distinctive poetry style combines rapid-fire delivery, razor-sharp wit, and a keen observation of urban life. His poetry often explores themes of urban decay, working-class life, and the absurdities of modern society, delivered with a blend of cynicism and dark humour.

Over the years the Punk Poet has collaborated with various musicians and bands including the Arctic Monkeys, Joy Division and the Sex Pistols, and his influence extends far beyond the punk movement, inspiring generations of poets and performers with his approach to art and expression.

John continues to be a prominent figure in British culture and regularly appears on television and radio. Just last month he released his third book, WHAT, a collection of new, enchanting poems. 

Find out about business insurance from Hiscox

These poems are inspired by true claims stories but some details and identifiers have been changed.

John Cooper-Clark