The Five Strangest Insured Items
Thursday, July 17, 2014
While most of us have home and auto insurance, there are many more adventurous people who obtain insurance for stranger items. Here is a list of the strangest items that have been insured.
- Alien abduction insurance. Some insurers offer insurance policies against alien abduction. The policy holder must be able to prove that she/he was abducted by an alien before the insurer pays out. If their policy includes specific events related to alien abduction, such as being impregnated by an alien or being killed by one, she/he must prove that too. And since aliens may have interesting technologies of which we are unaware, men also qualify for the alien pregnancy insurance. Tens of thousands of people around the world have bought this, and there have oddly been a few pay-outs too. Hardly surprisingly, the cost varies wildly, from a once-off $10 lifetime fee to an annual premium of $100. Along this same line, people can also insure themselves against being changed into zombies, werewolves and vampires. Whether these creatures can or will want to claim the money is not known, since no one has ever submitted a successful claim.
- Body part insurance. This seems to have started with 20th Century Fox in the 1940s. Its executives insured the legs of actress Betty Grable for one million dollars each. Model Heidi Klum made news not too long ago for insuring her legs for $2.2 million, and actress America Ferrera has insured her smile for $10 million. Musicians and yo-yo champions, to name only two, sometimes take out finger or hand insurance. Jennifer Lopez has insured her bottom for an impressive $1 billion, and singers usually have their voices insured. Even comedians, like Rich Hall, insure themselves against a permanent loss of humor.
- Image insurance. This is even stranger than body part insurance. The latter at least provides coverage against the loss of a body part that generates some income. But image insurance covers policy holders against the loss of something that contributes to their image. Some men associate a thick moustache with masculinity, so they insure their moustaches. Australian cricketer Merv Hughes, for example, argued that the manly image bestowed by his moustache contributed to his earnings and consequently insured it for 370,000 American dollars. Buckteeth, thick mohawks and very long nails have also been insured.
- Lottery insurance. With all the real expenses companies have, it is amazing to think some want to take out insurance against an employee sudden departure due to having won the lottery. But the concern is probably quite real. If it is a valuable employee, and she/he is suddenly in a position to leave immediately without having to worry about paying legal fines for her refusal to work out a notice period, a company could be in some trouble.
- Trauma insurance. Paul Hucker is known to have insured himself against a poor performance by his beloved British football team at the 2002 soccer world cup. Its qualification for the quarter finals may have saved his insurer from having to pay that out, but this is not definitely known. Ordinary people can also cover themselves against the psychologically traumatic event of "becoming ugly", which must typically be judged by at least ten independent persons.