By: Gokul Menon November, 18, 2019
Insurance companies seem to constantly push boundaries to go where no man has gone before. While providing insurance coverages that adhere to the norm, they also bring out innovative policies to cover the “out of the ordinary.” Here is a list of insurance coverages provided by insurance companies that are anything but usual. The basic idea is to insure oneself against one’s worst fears regardless of the scientific validity of the subject.
Ghosts, Werewolves, and Vampires:
While safeguarding one’s life is a common practice, insurers are pushing boundaries by offering coverage against paranormal activity. Being attacked by ghosts or werewolves can never be a pleasant experience. Insurance companies seem to cover not just the medical aspect of such an attack, but also the mental trauma that comes with it. One such insurance claim is the Spooksafe Insurance.
It claims to cover injuries and death caused by paranormal activities. Spooksafe Insurance also covers damages to personal effects caused by elements beyond the normal. Some reports suggest that insurance firms even pay up to $1 million on insurance claims in the event of a paranormal attack. This covers permanent disability and death in the wake of such an attack. Although Spooksafe is a type of insurance provided by Ultraviolet Insurance in the UK, there have been similar claims in the U.S. as well. Lloyd’s is another example of an insurance company that offers ghost insurance. Some reports suggest that over 40,000 individuals have been insured by Lloyd’s under this insurance policy. Moreover, it has also insured over 60,000 people under vampire and werewolf insurance.
Alien Abduction Insurance:
Alien abduction insurance generally covers medical expenses, which includes psychiatric care. There could be possible cash settlements in the event of alien abduction, as well. Forbes had earlier reported that the U.K. based firm Goodfellow Rebecca Ingram Pearson had sold over 30,000 alien abduction policies. Other than alien abduction insurance, coverage has also been provided to protect oneself from asteroid attacks. Though how this can be claimed in the event of damage-causing asteroid strike is yet to be seen.
CELEBRITIES AND SPORTS PERSONS:
Santander Bank, back in 2010, decided to insure former F1 world champion Alonso’s thumbs for a massive $13.3 million. They stressed the importance of thumbs for a Formula 1 driver and wanted to assure fans that everything was under control and well protected.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu had his hair insured back in 2010 for around $1 million by Lloyd’s, London. His hair was over 3-feet in length, as a tribute to his Samoan heritage.
In 2006, former English professional footballer and LA Galaxy star, David Beckham, had his legs insured for a whopping $195 million. This was the largest personal insurance policy in the history of sports at that time. The coverage was so large that it had to be split among several insurance companies.
Hungarian-born food critic and restaurateur, Egon Ronay, insured his taste buds for around $400,000 with Lloyd’s, London.
Former Aussie cricketer, Merv Hughes, insured his trademark, handlebar moustache for $370,000.
The singer who gave us the memorable “Streets of Philadelphia,” insured his voice with Lloyd’s London for $6 million.
Teeth-whitening product, Aquafresh White Trays, insured Ugly Betty star, America Ferrera’s smile for $10 million. It was also part of a promotion to raise money for a U.S. charity program called “Smiles for Success.”
The rock band Kiss’ bassist, had his tongue insured for $1 million.
Immaculate Conception Insurance:
According to Forbes, a particular insurance company seemed to have decided to cover the cost of raising a child born out of a virgin birth. This endeavor was put to a halt thanks to opposition by churches and the public. The premium was around $100, and the sisters who had insured themselves against such an event were set to get around $1 million if they secured a payout.
This insurance is tightly bound with insurance against abduction by UFOs. Reports suggest that insurance was taken out against the possibility of being abducted and later resurrected by aliens.
COLD FEET INSURANCE:
Now, insuring oneself against the possibility of divorce is also plausible. Coverage ranges from $20,000 to $2 million.
SPORTS FAN INSURANCE:
Any die-hard sports fan can relate to the sorrow of seeing one’s team get eliminated from a major tournament. An innovative insurance company decided to cover an English football fan from the “severe trauma” s/he would have to undergo if England were eliminated from the early rounds of the 2006 Fifa World Cup. However, no claim was made since England made it to the quarterfinals, where Portugal eliminated them.
TACO BELL’S PROMOTIONAL STUNT:
Taco Bell promised all of its customers in America free Tacos if the Mir Space Station crashed inside a specific 40 by 40 perimeter in the Pacific Ocean. If the space station had crashed inside this area (which it did not), Taco Bell would have been down by $272 million. But, they had this covered through a prize indemnity insurance.
It would be a grave injustice to not talk about Loyd’s while writing about wacky insurance policies. Over the years, Lloyd’s seems to be at the forefront of dealing with unique insurance coverage. In 1926, a young American woman named Gertrude Ederle swam across the English channel, beating the then men’s record. Lloyd’s Insurance covered her journey. Lloyd’s were also the first ones to write an aviation insurance policy, way back in 1911.
It is quite interesting to note the various ways in which insurance companies seem to innovate and improvise. Although one might deem the above ideas as outlandish, it is also essential to carefully weigh the cost and risk associated before buying such insurance coverage.
Gokul works as a writer at Gavop. He holds an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Hyderabad and a Bachelor’s in English from Madras Christian College. He has been a part of a couple of theatre groups, like Masquerade Youth Theatre and Theatre No. 59 and enjoyed being a part of Literary and Debating circles in Chennai. Gokul is an avid reader and has presented a few academic papers. He spends more time on Goodreads, than on any other social media platform.