Most Americans insure their homes, cars, health, jewelry, and even their phones. Only a select few have their legs insured or are covered in case the star quarterback on their fantasy football roster tears his ACL in the first game of the season.
These strange insurance policies exist, usually backed by specialist insurance company Lloyd’s of London or by insurance groups fretting over close encounters of the third kind. Here are some of the strangest insurance policies out there:
There are plenty of high-profile cases of celebrities taking out insurance policies to protect their assets—though usually it’s a company they’re working for that actually takes out the policy. After all, someone like Heidi Klum and her employers would lose a lot of money if she suddenly lost her amazing legs. One company had them insured for around $2 million, though not all legs are created equal—not even Heidi Klum’s. Her left leg sports a scar and therefore isn’t worth as much as the right leg.
Insuring legs is fairly common, starting with Betty Grable’s legs in the 1940s, when Twentieth Century Fox executives took out a $1 million policy on each leg. Since then other celebrities, including Mariah Carey and Riverdance star Michael Flatley, have insured their valuable legs.
Lloyd’s of London isn’t afraid to insure hair either. Long-locked Troy Polamalu, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ safety and spokesman for Head & Shoulders, had his wavy tresses insured for $1 million.
Fantasy sports insurance
For fantasy football fans out there, you might want to know that you can actually insure your fantasy roster, protecting you from the possibility of losing your star player to injury, dooming your team and leaving you to cough up big bucks at the end of the season. The policy, backed by Intermarket Insurance Agency Inc., was started when one of its employees lost Tom Brady to a knee injury in the first game of the 2008 season.
The lifestyles of the rich and famous
In his heyday, Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth took out a $1 million paternity insurance policy. This protected him against any claims from overzealous fans that he had fathered their child. He told Rolling Stone Magazine in 1985, “What happened was that, about four or five years ago, a guy in the band had a suit from a woman claiming her kid was his. All the tests proved conclusively that that never was his kid. So I took out insurance in order to make someone think six times before she does anything.”
Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, and Bob Dylan have all insured their vocal chords over the years, but it doesn’t stop there. World-famous food critic (in the 1950s) Egon Ronay insured his taste buds for about $400,000.
If only Agents Mulder and Scully knew about alien abduction insurance from the St. Lawrence Agency. The $10 million policy covers medical and psychiatric care if the policyholder is taken by aliens, and it covers up to $20 million if the policyholder’s alien hosts “come to regard [him or her] as a food source.” But of course, the burden of proving these abductions is on the policyholder.
Whiskey company Cutty Sark once offered a $1.5 million prize for capturing mythical Scottish beast the Loch Ness Monster alive. Concerned that it would actually have to pay out if Nessy was captured, the company took out an insurance policy to cover itself if that happened.
Standard insurance policies should cover most of the average person’s insurance needs, but in case you’re worried about freak alien encounters or happen to have very valuable facial hair, know that you can get coverage.
Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and at the Home Equity blog for CBS MoneyWatch.