Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto
Most of us have some insurance policies, whether it is to cover unexpected problems or losses with buildings or treasured possessions or pets.Some people have a different view on guarding against what might happen in a worst case scenario and take out policies on some very strange things.
Your usual web search might not find a company willing to take on your own unique risk. Many of the unusual cases are taken on by Lloyd’s of London, which isn’t strictly an insurance company at all (they do insurance market tools for insurance professionals!), but a society of syndicates and individuals that insure many of the world’s riskiest ventures.
Here are 10 of the weirdest we found:
1. Silent film actor Ben Turpin was the first celebrity to insure a body part when he took out a 20 five thousand dollar policy that would pay if his eyes ever uncrossed.
2. Supermodel Heidi Klum had her legs insured for over two million dollars by Braun when she was employed to promote their products. These policies, although headline catching, rarely have to pay out.
3. Space Ship One was the first commercial venture non-government space plane to leave the earth’s atmosphere and had a hundred million dollar Lloyd’s liability policy in 2004. Risks from space don’t only cover travelling – some policies have been taken out to include possible injury by falling space debris.
4. Dutch winemaker Ilja Gort who owns a famous winery in France, insured his nose for eight million dollars. As a condition of the policy, Gort isn’t allowed to take part in winter sports, boxing or, rather more strangely, fire breathing.
5. An Australian cricket player called Merv Hughes took out a large insurance policy on his moustache, as he claimed it forms a large part of his recognisable celebrity image.
6. Paul Hucker insured himself in 2002 against the possible severe physiological trauma he might be expected to suffer if the England football team were to be knocked out of that year’s World Cup competition early.
7. Back in 1999 a lady called Mary Muphy insured herself against immaculate conception happening to her in the following year. The policy payout would have been one million pounds, but she could have probably made a bit more than that if it had actually happened!
8. More than 30,000 alien abduction policies have been sold. Again, you could probably make more than the payout on the chat show circuit; that is if the military ever let you go!
9. Rich Hall, the well known comedian, had possibly one of the hardest to prove insurance policies of all – he insured himself against a permanent loss of humour for a sum of one million pounds.
10. Perhaps the strangest of all in the reported case of Nicola Jones, someone else worried about their popularity and who took out a policy against herself suddenly becoming ugly. Whether the potential payout would have been enough to console Ms Jones following the revelation that she had lost her looks remains unknown.