Buildings insurance, contents insurance, car insurance, travel insurance… these are all things that most reasonable people would take out just in case of those ‘it’s alright, it’s insured’ moments.
There are a lot of things that aren’t covered by your standard insurance policies though, and a lot of people who aren’t covered by the term ‘reasonable’. From alien abduction to Immaculate Conception, here are our top 10 oddest insurance policies ever taken out.
10. Alien Abduction
There are a couple of issues with the prudence of taking out insurance against being abducted by aliens. The first is that there has never been a confirmed sighting of a UFO. Ever. The second is that even if aliens exist and are visiting our planet and abducting people, with the population of the Earth recently having passed 7 billion, the chances of being abducted are still very, very low.
However, there are still people who take out alien abduction insurance, 20,000 of them in the US alone. Raising logical arguments with those worried about becoming an abductee against the perspicaciousness of their insurance policy probably won’t achieve much though.
9. Asteroid Impact
Chances of a meteorite actually hitting you or any of your possessions are… pretty small. But if you really are concerned then you may want to invest in some asteroid insurance.
How insurance companies treat asteroids and meteorites varies depending on who you talk to. Some will tell you it’s covered by a standard home insurance policy as it’s unlikely to be listed under the ‘exclusions’; others will say it’s treated as an Act of God and therefore not covered at all.
Either way, if an Armageddon-sized meteor hits Earth you’re unlikely to be able to find your policy documentation to find out.
The ineffable and volatile nature of love makes it an unusual candidate for insurance but there are those out there who would try to ensure even the most powerful of human emotions.
The first instance of a ‘love’ insurance policy was taken out by a photographer. He wanted to be insured against loss of earnings if his model was to fall in love, get married and cease modelling for him.
The second type of ‘love’ insurance comes from China. More a name than an actual attempt to insure against heartbreak or romantic success, insurance companies in China offer life, accidents and medical policies that only pay out to the wife. This is so Chinese husbands can give their wife peace of mind in case the worst happens as Chinese law is often not the kindest to widowers.
7. Cold Feet
Considering a wedding is one of the biggest, one-off expenditures most people will have to cover it’s not exactly a surprise that there are insurance policies to cover losses. Most of the time these are taken out to cover freak events, such as flooding, that would force you to cancel the big day. However, there are policies and providers that will also refund your expenses if your bride or groom has a sudden change of heart.
While only time can heal a broken heart, a big fat check covering the costs of those violet tulips she insisted on or the Aston Martin he demanded he arrived in will make everything a little better. Plus you can go and spend it on finding yourself a lovely new partner.
6. Body Parts
Unsurprisingly, celebrities and sports stars dominate this area of insurance. The tales of million-dollar insurance policies taken out on everything from teeth to toenails are endless – let us try to separate the truth from the fiction.
The first thing to clear up is about Tom Jones. Long have there been rumours that the Welsh sex symbol took out an insurance policy on his chest hair that put a multi-million dollar value on it. There is no evidence to support this rumour.
Famous policies that are true however include:
- 20th Century Fox insuring Betty Grable’s legs for $1 million each (hence the phrase ‘million dollar legs’)
- Keith Richards insuring his middle finger (or his hands) for millions of dollars
- Merv Hughes (the Aussie cricketer) insured his might moustache for £200,000
- Mariah Carey took it a few notches higher and insured her legs for $1 Billion! (strange considering her talent is meant to be singing…)
There are plenty more of these stories – wise investments or conceited superstars? You can decide that for yourself.
5. The Loch Ness Monster
The legend surrounding this mythical (supposedly) monster has spread so far that it’s hard to find a weird and wonderful list where it doesn’t get a mention – and insurance is no different.
In 1971, Scottish whiskey brand Cutty Sark ran a competition, offer $1 million to anyone who was able to capture the legendary sea creature alive. Perhaps a legal obligation, but they felt compelled to take out an insurance policy – just in case the creature that has repeatedly been exposed as a hoax was captured.
4. Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Conception, according to Catholicism, involves God impregnating you with the Messiah. Whether you believe in the dogma of the Catholic faith or not, it might seem a bit grand to believe there’s a realistic chance that God will pick you as the carrier of his next child.
A group of Scottish nuns felt this was a very real possibility and so took out insurance to cover the cost of raising a child if their predictions came true. The policy was rescinded by the company that offered it shortly after due to public outcry.
There are golf courses and competitions across the land that will offer a big cash prize to anyone who manages to sink a hole-in-one. While the chances of this happening are pretty low in most cases, the financial reward offered is usually so large that it could bankrupt the organisation offering it. So a judicious competition manager will take out insurance in the event that a lucky golfer does strike the ball just right and sink the magic ball.
It’s not only golf competitions & hole-in-ones that this applies to though. From the half-time drop goal competitions now common at a lot of rugby matches to the prizes for making a 147 maximum break at golf contests, insurance is needed on all these offers. Although it’s a mystery whether anyone was insured for what the guy in the video below does…
2. Lottery Wins
Why would anyone take out an insurance policy to cover a lottery win? It might sound strange (which is why it’s on this list) but you need to think about whom a lottery win would affect negatively. In this case, it’s the employer of a winner.
You’ll hear stories and tales of lottery winners walking into their boss’s office and quitting in spectacular and rude ways. What you rarely hear is the other side of that story – a boss left with an important job role to fill. Often there are workplace syndicates where multiple employees will play the lottery. If one of these syndicates to win you’d suddenly have a lot of empty desks to fill.
1. Too Many Babies
That’s probably an odd and unfair title – it’s probably safe to assume every parent of multiple births was delighted. By ‘too many’ what is really meant is ‘more than expected’.
Luckily for those who perhaps aren’t prepared, there are policies available to cover the unexpected expenses involved in having more babies arrive on the special day then you expected. And while you might think it unlikely that a parent wouldn’t know how many children they were having there is the story of the couple who took out a policy and were surprised by a set of twins. They then renewed the policy during their second pregnancy and had another set of twins!