If you think Jennifer Lopez insuring her derrière to the tune of $27 million was extreme then you really ain’t seen/heard nothing yet. Although pound-for-pound J-Lo’s bottom line is far and away one of the most expensive insurance covers anywhere on planet superstar, back in the (supposed) real world there are more far-fetched and downright strange insurance policies that have been arranged by all sorts of asset-guarding folk; hell-bent on preserving what they perceive to be their best features, whether they are the key to their fortunes or simply their sanity.
OK, nobody knows for sure what fate befalls us around every corner, nor what destiny truly calls, and who’s to say that we won’t be randomly selected/entrusted to raise the next son of God, assaulted by a ghost or sucked into a flying saucer after a great shaft of light grabs us by our chests and elevates us ever-skyward. But really, what are the chances? Anyway, hereabouts is our Top 10 Weirdest Insurance Policy countdown (at least, what we’ve been privy to), which simply goes to prove that we all like to protect what we’ve got/been given; be it a great behind or indeed, our very lives.
Anyone in the Market for an Alien Abduction, Zombie Apocalypse Or Naff Christmas Present Insurance Policy?
- Immaculate Conception Insurance – In the event of a second visitation from a (much) higher deity – and therein the outside possibility of another virgin birth – some may feel the need to protect themselves for this eventuality. Which explains precisely why an unnamed UK insurance provider underwrote a (and it’s fair to say, rather niche) insurance policy on the bequest of three Scottish sisters who believed that this scenario might well play out at some point in their lifetime. Although withdrawing the policy agreement at a later juncture (probably having something to do with invoking the ire of the Catholic church), the insurers claim that until then it had been donating the £100 per annum premium to charity. Which is a shame really, as the virginity-securing Murphy sisters would have pocketed a cool £1 million in a pay-out had the impossible happened.
- UFO Insurance – Don’t snigger at the back, as our American cousins take this potential risk very seriously indeed. Hence why there are insurance companies out there (with the truth) that offer dedicated alien abduction policies; which concerned parties can arrange to safeguard themselves against the threat of alien probing up to $1.5 million in coverage. And what about farmers who wish to protect their extensive crops from intergalactic transportation crash landing on their property? In all seriousness there supposedly in excess of 20,000 people in the US alone who pay a premium for insurance against alien abduction, with one policyholder said to have himself insured against ‘abduction, impregnation and consumption by aliens’ for a pay-out value of some $1.5 million. For any forward-thinking would-be alien abduction insurance policyholder hoping to safeguard against this very circumstance playing out, bear in mind that it will be necessary to prove that you were abducted by little green men before you collect any potential settlement.
- Zombie Apocalypse Insurance – With the soaring popularity of the undead directly resulting from zombie’s re-entering our televisual culture – courtesy of Fox Channel’s ‘The Walking Dead’ and Hollywood blockbuster, ‘World War Z’ – society’s thoughts obviously drift towards the ‘what if’ scenario. What if zombies were actually real and the world as we knew it suddenly ceased to exist (in the way we previously knew it). In this admittedly Armageddon situation the existence of zombie apocalypse insurance policies would really come into their own. That is of course if representatives from your insurance providers survived to action your claim/subsequent pay-out, if they hadn’t succumbed to the advances of the undead. Elsewhere and both werewolf and vampire insurance policies are proving fashionable/imperative too. No lesser bastion of corporate sensibilities than Lloyd’s of London has reportedly tailored and sold specific policies to customers worried about the possibilities of these sort of attacks.
- Rubbish Christmas Present Insurance – In 2001 – which incidentally turned out to be a vintage one for weird insurance policies being ratified – a chap going by the name of Andrew Areoff instigated what many of us perhaps thought we would like to do in the annual aftermath of unwrapping dodgy socks and even dodgier jumpers every December. That being insuring himself for the sum of £500 against the risk of, and we quote here, ‘receiving naff Christmas presents’. The pay-out he was due to get if and when a successful claim was forthcoming was set to be £1 million.
- Asteroid/Meteor Insurance – Despite sounding preposterous at first, the more you think about it the more probable it might be. Well, that’s the view shared by scientists (proper ones, not the sort that employ the services of Bruce Willis), who still tell us that the likelihood of the earth being obliterated by a rogue meteor or asteroid shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. But then we have a little problem, because echoing our thoughts on the logistics of a zombie apocalypse, the chances are that if a large lump of errant moon rock strikes the planet, there probably isn’t going to be any insurance company left to pay out any coverage, much less anyone left in any shape to collect. Still, anyone deliberating taking out an asteroid or meteor insurance policy probably lives in a place called Hope (which is almost certainly located in America) and in such a case holds on to the belief that such a strike wouldn’t necessarily result in the apocalyptic destruction of the entire world. In such an instance, then this type of insurance may indeed be some use to the survivors.
- Paranormal Activity Insurance – An episode of a company insuring against the risk of something damaging/fateful occurring, as opposed to an individual, and in 2002 the Royal Falcon Hotel in Lowestoft, Suffolk went to the trouble (and expense) of insuring its employees and customers against ‘death and disability occasioned by poltergeists or other abnormal phenomena’ according to various sources. The sum insured said to have been £1 million. Truth be told not an insurance policy which normally flies off the shelves.
- Body Beautiful Insurance – As mentioned in our intro at the top, celebrities with great assets like J-Lo, Beyonce and Taylor Swift (legs recently valued at £27.5 million) have long extended their personal life insurance policies to cover the tools of their particular musical/entertainment trades; and rightly so. But dance divas like these are not alone, as increasing numbers of global megastars have started safeguarding the thing that they believe makes them who they are in the public eye. Like Real Madrid’s superstar, Ronaldo, whose legs would apparently fetch $144 million on an open market, with another leggy icon, Heidi Klum also having her money-making pins insured too.Bizarelly for $2.2 million, which equated to her right gam being valued at $1.2 million, yet her left one a mere $1 million. The discrepancy being on account of her displaying a little scar on the left leg apparently. Meanwhile Ugly Betty actress, America Ferrera who had her teeth insured for $10,000,000 (thanks to toothpaste manufacturer, Aquafresh) according to various sources; while Rolling Stones’ guitarist and acknowledged wild man of rock, Keith Richards middle finger was rumoured to be insured for $1.6 million.
This really isn’t something that new though, as we probably all heard about Dolly Parton’s amply insured cleavage ($300k per item) and Julia Roberts insuring her smile back in the day, whilst Bruce Springsteen famously took out an insurance policy just in case his voice failed him. But did you know that Tinsletown icons of yesteryear, Bette Davis and Betty Grable had their wastes and legs (respectively) insured, the latter by Twentieth Century Fox for a Heidi Klum-esque $1 million individually. Although during the 1940s a million dollars was more akin to a billion in today’s money. Or how about distinguished former Australian cricket legend, Merv Hughes, who insured his (albeit impressive) ‘tache for the sum of $370,000?? (against what we’re not entirely sure? An unforeseen shaving incident??) Speaking of hirsute sportsmen, and at the peak of his (football) earning powers, David Beckham was believed to be insured for $151 million against a career-threatening injury.
Our personal favourite body part insurance case has to be that of IljaGort though, the Dutch wine producer who had both his nose and acute sense of smell insured for £4 million by Lloyd’s of London. Bringing an immediate end to years of worry about compromising his most valuable business asset (and ensuring it remained in perfect working order),Gort was relieved to agree to a policy which naturally enough came with unique restrictions. Such as the policyholder NOT participating in any of the following pursuits; boxing, fire breathing, offering his services as a knife-thrower’s assistant nor pursuing winter sports. What’s more, Gort’s insurance policy also forbade him from becoming pregnant or committing suicide.
- England World Cup Penalty Shoot-Out Defeat Insurance – Lloyd’s of London’s name crops up on many occasions as we’ve already observed hereabouts as we’ve trawled the weird and wonderful insurance policy vaults to deliver our Top Ten Weirdest Insurance Policies. So therefore it’s no surprise that all the following eye-opening covers have been underwritten by one of the oldest insurers in the world. And eye-openers don’t come much more retina-stretching than the case of football fanatic, Paul Hucker, who in 2002 (and miraculously sensing the expected capitulation of Sven-Goran Erikson’s brave boys in Japan and South Korea) insured himself against ‘severe physiological trauma’ occasioned by England’s premature exit from the World Cup. The sum insured was £1m. Which subsequently gives ALL England football fans hope, surely.
- Death at SeaLife Centre Insurance – Albeit another company rather than an individual, but hey, weird and/or wonderful insurance policies are weird and/or wonderful insurance policies at the end of the day, and this case which made the headlines back in 2001 definitely falls into both categories. It was in that year that Birmingham’s National SeaLife Centre took the decision to insure its many tens of thousands of visitors against the risk of permanent disability and/or death posed by the presence/continued residency of the (well, potentially deadly it would seem) Japanese Giant Crab. That sum insured was in the region of £1 million.
- Being Unfunny Insurance – Again in 2001, and the TV comedian, Rich Hall – perhaps predicting going the way of many funny men and women before him (naming no names) – came to the conclusion that should his humour fail him at any point in the future, at least he’d be compensated by way of receiving £1 million, after insuring himself with Lloyd’s of London for this very sum. Quite how a claim would be rubber stamped is anyone’s guess.