Most people who agents speak with are usually looking for standard home, vehicle, life or health insurance, but there are plenty of other things customers may be looking to insure and sometimes they can be very specific or even strange. Maybe your prospect is singer who wants to insure her voice, or a model whose legs are her bread and butter. Though not common, there are specialty lines of insurance available that you just might be able to help them with or even offer them.
Here's a collection of some of the less common and even strange insurance policies that have been written over the years:
15 Strange Insurance Policies
- Multiple birth coverage. This is a policy that provides couples with the means they need to take care of their family if the woman gets pregnant with multiples. A Michigan couple actually collected twice on their policy. They now have two sets of twins.
- Special store promotions. To attract customers into their store during the holiday season, a jewelry store owner in Wilmington, N.C. offered to refund a half million dollars worth of purchases if Ashville, N.C. got 3-inches of snow on Christmas Day. Eight inches fell that day and they had to pay up.
- Tongue insurance. In 2009, Costa Rica Coffee’s chief taster, Gennaro Pelliccia, insured his tongue for $14 million. Given that the tongue has 14,000 taste buds, that comes to $1,400 per bud.
- Mustache insurance. Merv Hughes, an Australian cricket player, took out a $370,000 insurance policy on his mustache. The facial hair is a big part of his image.
- Alien abduction insurance. Over the years there have been many claims of alien abductions, and some 30,000 policies have been sold. According to Wikipedia, the very first company to offer UFO abduction insurance was the St. Lawrence Agency in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The company says that it has paid out at least two claims. The “victims” receive $1 per year until their death or for 1 million years, whichever comes first.
- Key person insurance. If a company’s lead programmer were to die tomorrow they’d be in big trouble, so many companies take out life insurance policies on their key personnel to protect themselves from loss. There is a catch, however. The company needs permission from the employee in order for the policy to be written.
- Insure the ability to perform. A lot of athletes take out policies that will pay out in case they get injured and are no longer able to compete and complete their contracts.
- Leg insurance. In the 1940s, executives at 20th Century Fox had the legs of actress Betty Grable insured for $1 million each. In more recent years, this has been an especially popular policy to take out for leg models.
- Voice insurance. This type of policy is especially popular among big name singers, like Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan. The insurance policy will pay out a lump sum if they lose their ability to sing.
- Hand insurance. The Cheerio Yo-Yo Company of Canada took out a $150,000 hand insurance policy on 13-year-old Harvey Lowe, winner of the 1932 World Yo-Yo championships in London. After his big win he toured Europe and taught hundreds of people, including Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales, how to yo-yo.
- Insurance on a person’s teeth. From 1967 to 1992, British comedian and singer Ken Dodd was in the Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest joke-telling session -- 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours. He is famous for his frizzy hair, ever-present feather duster, and extremely large buckteeth. His teeth are so important to his act that Dodd had them insured for $7.4 million.
- Comedy routine. At the height of their popularity, the famous comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello decided to take out a $250,000 policy in case an argument ended their career. The policy never paid out. They did split up in 1957 after more than 20 years together, not because of an argument but because the Internal Revenue Service got them for back taxes.
- Hair. Braun is one of former NFL star Troy Polamalu’s sponsors. When in his prime they had insured his hair for $1 million.
- Insurance for companies in case two or more employees win the lottery and decide not to return to work. This is a special policy that will cover the cost of replacing employees who decide to leave their jobs abruptly after winning the lottery.
- Finger insurance. If Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards jams a finger and can’t perform the opening riff to “Start Me Up,” he has a $1.5 million disability insurance policy to back him up.
What about Paint Insurance?
With all of these strange insurance policies out there it got me thinking of all the times I wish I had insurance for a poor decision or purchases I’ve made. I’m really hoping to find “paint insurance” on my next house should I decide to change the color. One thing that has cost me a night or two on the couch is picking a paint color that my wife and I agree on. I should mention that we’re convinced the other is color blind! I have to imagine this is a fairly common occurrence, enough to warrant insurance, especially if you can insure someone for the possibility of having twins. My chances of having a paint color I can't stand has to be WAY higher. It might cost me a relatively high premium considering the cost of painting but the couch hurts my back and the cost of paint samples are beginning to cut into the kids already meager college fund.