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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Weirdest Things That Have Ever Been Insured

 By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay

In this all too wild world there are many things that most of us need to protect from damage or destruction.  That's why insurance was invented, to take some of the risk off an individual's shoulders.  While everyone needs to protect major property investments as well as our own personal well-being, what many outside the insurance industry don't realize is that there are insurance products designed to mitigate the risk from some fairly outlandish potential calamities.  In today's blog, I'll explore ten of the weirdest things ever to be insured.

#1: Body Parts - While you may know that an accidental death or dismemberment policy will compensate you should you lose a limb, you many not be aware that individuals can procure insurance that will pay off if they lose the function of one of their appendages.  For instance, a Dutch winemaker took out an $8 million policy on his nose and food critic Egon Ronay had his taste buds insured for $393,000.  At the height of his singing career, Bruce Springsteen had his voice insured for $6 million.  Kiss lead singer Gene Simmons had his trademark tongue insured for a cool million during the band's heyday.  Supermodel Heidi Klum had her legs insured for $2.2 million.  Dolly Parton once had her chest insured for $600,000. 

#2: Love Insurance - They say you can't buy love, but apparently you can insure against it.  One of the more arcane insurance policies issued by Lloyd's of London was to a photographer who would have been paid $100,000 if his model got married while in his employ.  The kicker was she did eventually marry, but after the policy had expired.

#3: Lottery Insurance - If you're a business owner, do you lose sleep over the possibility that were your employees to pool their money and hit the lottery, you could wind up coming back to an empty office?  Well, there's an insurance product to cover such a possibility.  Lottery insurance offers to cover a business for loss of income should this event occur.  Does this scenario sound preposterous?  It actually occurred in Great Britain when seven employees of a firm there split a prize totaling $42 million pounds and promptly turned in their resignations.  Shortly thereafter, a UK insurer began offering Lottery Syndicate Insurance to compensate business owners should all or most of their staff resign due to a lottery jackpot win.

Image courtesy Pixabay

#4: Really Big Cigar - Measuring more than 12-feet long and weighing in at 242 pounds, what was then the world's largest cigar was insured by Lloyd's of London for 180,000 pounds when it was put on exhibition in London.  The gargantuan stogie was composed of more than 15,000 tobacco leaves.  The current Guinness world record for the world's longest cigar is held by Jose (Cueto) Cairo who managed to roll a 262-footer in 2011.  He previously held the world record with a 50-foot cigar in 2003, a 65-footer in 2005, and a 147-footer in 2008.  

#5 Game Show Insurance - The TV game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" that aired in the US from August 16, 1999 to March 21, 2021 was insured against the possibility that a contestant would actually win the grand prize.  During the course of the US variant of the popular game show, only two contestants won more than $1 million: John Carpenter and Kevin Olmstead.  The original producer of the series, on the other hand, walked away with much more when Sony Pictures Entertainment bought the worldwide rights to the show for a cool 137.5 million pounds in 2008.

#6: Falling Satellite Insurance - When the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957 people in the free world panicked, so much so that Lloyd's of London issued a policy worth $22,000 payable to any policyholder who was harmed by the satellite when it eventually fell from the sky.  Needless to say, since Sputnik was the only satellite orbiting the earth at the time, the odds of anyone being hit by it were astronomical.  With tens of thousands of satellites, spent boosters, and assorted pieces of space junk floating around in orbit, the odds of you or your property being struck by a falling satellite is still a long shot today.  To date, while spent pieces of space junk have been discovered on people's property, nobody has yet been injured by such an event.  Nor has there ever been a property damage claim caused by one.  So, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it if I were you.

#7: Thailand Riot Insurance - Here's another blast from the past.  Did you know that in 2010, Thailand offered to provide tourists with a $10,000 insurance policy should they be injured or killed in any riot that broke out while they were staying there?  The coverage even offered to reimburse tourists $100 per day for travel delays caused by riots or political demonstrations that were occurring at the time.

Image courtesy Pixabay

#8: Ghost Insurance - Can you protect your customers from things that go bump in the night?  Apparently you can in England.  In 2002, pub owner Terry Meggs started paying for a policy that promised to cover him should his employees or guests be harmed or killed by unseen entities that inhabited his establishment.  He took out a million pound policy after seeing beer glasses move eerily across the deserted bar late one night.  Afraid that the ghost might try to harm his patrons, he decided to insure his business against such an eventuality.  

#9:The Loch Ness Monster - In the 1970's Nessie-mania took hold, causing Scottish whiskey distiller Cutty Sark to offer one and a half million pounds to anyone who could produce the legendary beast alive and kicking.  After initially declining to insure the company should such an event actually occur, Lloyd's of London caved into public pressure before reluctantly issuing the policy.  To date, nobody has claimed the prize money.

#10: Alien Abduction Insurance - Worried about having a close encounter of the third kind?  If so, then you should look into acquiring alien abduction insurance.  I'm not joking.  While the rest of the planet worries if we're alone in the universe, to date more than 50,000 people worldwide have taken out policies that pay as much as $10 million if they should be kidnapped by aliens from another world.  The kicker is that in order to collect, you have to prove you were abducted by ET.  At least three agencies in the US, including one in Florida, offer such policies.  

Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida Insurance in Orange Park, Florida. To find out more about saving money on all your insurance needs, check out her website at

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