Body Parts – The Wild and Wacky World of Insurance
Here at McDougall Insurance, we keep our products and services pretty traditional. We will insure your car, home, business, even your life. But every now and then, we get a request that falls outside of the scope of our normal operations. And this request inevitably leads us to one place – Lloyd’s of London, where the wackiest and most interesting insurance policies on the planet have been drawn up. It’s always an experience for us, but makes for great stories and expands our viewpoint on what exactly is insurable.
It’s in this spirit that we’ve compiled a short list of the craziest insurance policies we’ve heard of, not all of which are necessarily true. McDougall Insurance provides auto insurance in Kingston, commercial insurance in Trenton, life insurance across Ontario, but you won’t find us selling foot insurance anywhere. Of course, if you feel you need it, we can look into it. But I can guarantee it won’t be cheap.
#1 America Ferrera’s smile is really worth a million
She may have become famous playing Betty Suarez on ABC’s Ugly Betty, but America Ferrera’s looks tell quite a different story. This star’s charm, and particularly her beautiful smile, caught the eye of Aquafresh, who decided to take out a policy on her pearly whites, as she began working with them and the U.S. charity Smiles for Success. The total limit? $10 million. I think if we had an insurance policy worth $10 million, we would all be smiling too!
#2 Merv Hughes REALLY liked his Mustache
Merv Hughes is 6’4 and must weigh over 350 lbs if you include the weight of his gigantic moustache. Nicknamed “The Fruitfly” (Australia’s biggest pest), Merv terrorized Australia’s opponents as a bowler in cricket, and developed a cult following not only for his reputation for “sledging” (trash talking), but also his monstrous moustache, which quickly became synonymous for him as a player. This lead big Merv to protect his livelihood by taking out an insurance policy on his moustache, for almost $400,000. If he ever lost the bushy thing we aren’t sure what he’d do with the money – but I betting he’d shave it for later (that was a horrible pun).
#3 Mariah Carey gets a policy with 9 zeros
Yup, thats $1,000,000,000. Mariah Carey has an insurance policy for a preposterous billion dollars on her legs (not her face or vocal cords). Apparently it’s not taken out by her, but rather by Gillette as part of their “Legs of a Goddess” campaign, as they selected Mariah and her two towers to be their spokewomen (spokeslegs?). In any case, the policy appears to be largely for additional publicity rather than a functional policy (which makes it the same as pretty much all of these items except Merv’s moustache, for his moustache is clearly a matter of life and death). I’m not sure why Mariah’s legs are worth a billion, but Merv Hughes’ moustache is only $400,000. It’s a strange world we live in.
#4 Tom Jones insuring his chest hair actually seems reasonable
If you were Tom Jones, you would insure your chest hair as well. Don’t deny it. This romantic singer was known to boast a full chest of curly hair, and with his looks providing a major attraction, who could blame the guy for taking out a policy to protect his livelihood!
Unfortunately for the insurance world, Tom Jones never actually did take out a policy on his chest hair, despite how interesting it sounds (and honestly most of these insurance claims are pretty unbelievable, excepting $400,000 moustache of course).
#5 Rod Stewart protects his voice
Rod Stewart is no spring chicken. This 68 year old singing star of the early 70s is still on tour, regularly exercising his raspy voice and making a killing while doing it. However, the older he gets the higher the risk of losing his voice becomes, so Rod took out a $6 million policy on his throat and vocal cords. Hasn’t needed to exercise it yet!
#6 Michael Flatley foots the bill
Michael Flatley dances. It’s what he does, has done and will do, if this picture is any indication. And with an estimated net worth of $650 million, dancing has paid of really well for the man behind Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger. So how does a dancer protect himself? By taking out a $40 million insurance policy on your feet. Although to be honest, I think Michael is pretty well set financially, even without the insurance policy.
#7 David Beckham’s legs aren’t worth as much as Mariah Carey’s
David Beckham relies on his body to make money (pretty common theme for the people on this list), so it should come to no surprise that the football/soccer player has his legs insured for a staggering $70 million. But does it make sense for a soccer player, who plays a sport that only allows you to use your legs, to have his legs insured for less then 10% of what a singer has? We will let you ponder that one yourself.
#8 Daniel Craig does it all
What is more valuable to Daniel Craig than Daniel Craig himself? The 007 Actor has steadfastly refused a body double for any of his stunts in his action packed movies, stating that audience members pay to see him, not some imposter. Recognizing that some of the stunts (including this crazy motorcycle chase) are fairly dangerous and that he relies totally on his body to generate money, Daniel purchased a $9.5 million insurance policy on his torso. Although the policy won’t help fans if Daniel can’t do a 007 movie due to an injury, at least it will allow him to live the life to which he has become accustomed. That is to say, he will still be very, very rich.
#9 Troy Polamalu’s Insurance gets hairy
You’ve probably seen at least one of Head and Shoulder’s advertisements featuring this stupendously maned Pittsburgh Steeler, and Proctor & Gamble (Head and Shoulder’s owner) decided it should protect that media investment. They took out a policy with Lloyd’s of London for $1 million, to protect against Troy somehow losing his hair. As a player in a violent sport where a player has literally tried to pull out his hair, this doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
#10 Ilja Gort nose his insurance (another horrible pun)
Ilja Gort is a Dutch wine producer, who relies on his nose to help discern the quality & content of the wine he produces. He reportedly insured his nose for a whopping $7.1 million, to reimburse him and his chateaux (The long winded Chateau la Tulipe de la Garde in the Bordeaux region of France) if something happened to it. Reported conditions include him forgoing skiing and boxing. A small sacrifice, to have your livelihood protected from catastrophe.