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Local insurance claim turns into national commercial

Katy Lindberg is pictured with the real "Hot Dog," Skyler, and the boy who had his first birthday the day Skyler accidentally set the kitchen on fire. (Submitted photo)

It was a boy's first birthday party. After the memorable party, the family left the decorations, the presents and the cake on top of the stove so that they could visit a relative. The house was empty, except for Skyler, the dog. Skyler stood up on his hind legs to reach above the stove and get a taste of the cake. His front paws accidentally turned on the stove, which ignited the cake box and started a fire.

That very real insurance claim turned into a Farmers Insurance commercial. The commercial, based on an incident in Hastings, was submitted by insurance agent Katy Lindberg.

Lindberg said that she submitted the claim to Farmer's Insurance after Farmers sent out a request to agents to send in any unusual claims they had received. Lindberg said she immediately thought of this particular claim.

"I initially thought of this one because just the visual of the dog trying to pull food towards him from the stove and having it catch on fire was just kind of funny," Lindberg said.

After she submitted the claim, she was informed that Farmers was going to make a commercial based on it.

The actual commercial resulted in a small dog jumping up and down to try and reach a slice of pizza on top of the stove. The dog reached the pizza slice, accidentally turned on the gas stove, which then ignited the pizza box. Then it shows a shot of dog with the pizza slice running outside and the kitchen explodes.

Lindberg said that the commercial did embellish the claim a little, but it was a fun way to communicate the message that anything could happen and insurance can help. The fact that the actual claim took place in Hastings brings the overall idea of the campaign close to home.

"It just makes it more real that it was local, it happened here in town and we were able to take care of them," she said.

As for the family who placed the claim, Lindberg said that they think the whole commercial is really fun.

"It's the good relationships with my customers that we can laugh about things once we get them put back where they belong," Lindberg said.

More unusual real life claims can be found on the Farmers Insurance Hall of Claims website at www.farmers.com/hall-of-claims. Look for the claim titled "Hot Dog" to see the local Hastings claim.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

(651) 319-4503
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