Image courtesy of Tom Blackwell via Flickr.
There are many assets it would ludicrous not to insure — with health, home, and car insurance being amongst the most essential in case of emergencies.
But there’s a lot more that can be insured, though whether or not such measures are wise, paranoid, or completely silly is another story. After all, anything within or without reason could be possible, and there are individuals willing to prepare for the even the most fantastical of circumstances.
Here are 5 types of weird insurance policies that have been bought and sold for that moment when your life becomes a Hollywood film.
1. Body parts and talents
A regular person’s tongue, legs, or voice are certainly valuable for tasting, walking, and telling jokes — but are you likely to lose them, and if you were, would they be worth millions of dollars? Typically not.
For celebrities, however, the case is somewhat different. Many famed body parts and talents have (allegedly) been covered by rather weird insurance policies over the years, including:
- Hands: Yo yo champion Harvey Lowe insured his hands for $150,000 in 1930; Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards insured his finger for $1.5 million.
- Mouth: Gene Simmon’s of KISS insured his tongue for over a million US dollars; Julia Robert’s smile is insured for $30 million.
- Hair: Cricket player Merv insured his signature stache for $400,000; singer Tom Jones insured his chest hair for several million.
- Legs: Betty Grables’ legs were insured for $1 million each, equivalent to $1 billion in 1940. Other insured legs belong to Rihanna, Tina Turner, Jamie Lee Curtis, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mariah Carey — the latter, reportedly, for about a billion dollars.
- Voice: Bruce Springsteen’s voice is insured for $6 million.
- Butt: Jennifer Lopez has insured her “assets” for $300 million.
- Entire body: Daniel Craig, for $9.5 million.
The odds of these types of weird insurance being needed? It depends, but considering all have yet to file a claim, fairly unlikely.
2. Alien abduction insurance
This weird insurance policy, reportedly issued by the London insurer Grip to over 37,000 people before 2000, would in theory be redeemed after the insured person is returned to Earth and able to prove the abduction.
Unfortunately, the odds of being abducted and being able to prove it are slim to none, as of all abduction claimants (insured or not), none have had proof.
3. Haunted House insurance
Coincidentally, polls show almost half of Americans believe in ghosts, and 18 percent think they’ve seen one.
In this case, it’s haunted attractions that sometimes require weird insurance policies in case of any liabilities caused by actual ghosts, pretend ghosts, or fear itself. This way, if third parties are injured or injure employees out of fright, the risk can be covered.
In other news, haunted places can insure themselves in case guests are killed or permanently disabled by said ghost, and houses can be declared legally haunted in some states — meaning widely rumored hauntings may need to be disclosed to buyers, and could affect a home’s value.
4. Immaculate conception insurance
As Christianity is the world’s largest religious group, and one third of Americans believe the Bible is true in a literal sense, there are millions that say (as per the New Testament) that Jesus was conceived by his mother Mary through immaculate conception.
Statistically, this could only happen one more time, at Jesus’ return, so the chances of accidentally conceiving without intercourse are unfathomably narrow (though as CW sitcom Jane the Virgin shows, possible through other means). That didn’t stop three sisters from paying premiums between 2000 and 2006 on a policy that would make sure they could afford to raise him if it happened.
The policy, issued by a British insurance firm, was retracted after numerous complaints and the ire of the Catholic Church, but still.
5. Winning insurance
When chances of winning are slim, instead of keeping a money reserve for prizes, some opt to take out insurance policies that will cover the cost of the prize.
Examples of this include the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which actually is insured against the possibility of a contestant winning.
Then there’s hole-in-one insurance for golf tournaments (odds are about 1 in 12,500), and even weird insurance against the Cutty Sark Company’s $1.5 million reward for capturing the Loch Ness Monster.
Some companies also insure the chance of employees quitting due to lottery wins. As we’ve written, odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 175,223,510.00 — so the odds of two are more winning are even slimmer, despite this one British anomaly.