- You can buy insurance to protect yourself against bedbugs and even cold feet on your wedding day.
- Many celebrities insure the body parts that helped make them famous.
- While it’s fun to learn about unusual insurance policies, it’s more important to have the right coverage for your needs.
- Weigh the likelihood of any particular event happening, and assess whether you could handle the financial loss without insurance.
Insurance has been around for millennia, as everyone from the Babylonians to the Greeks and Romans recognized the value of having protection against financial losses. That was true then, and it’s true now. “Insurance is there to help people cover the costs associated with accidents or unexpected events,” says Randy VanderVaate, CEO and founder of Funeral Funds of America, a nationwide funeral and life insurance provider.
But while you’ve heard of health insurance, life insurance and other standard forms of coverage, you may be less familiar with some of the more unusual insurance policies that people have taken out to protect themselves from perils, both real and imagined.
Here are some of the most unusual insurance policies that people have bought to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property.
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Body part insurance
Many musicians, actors and other celebrities are well known for a specific body part. As a result, many have taken out insurance policies to provide significant payouts if something bad happens to their most noteworthy feature. Here are just a few reported examples:
Troy Polamalu’s hair
The retired professional football player once had his long, curly locks insured. The former safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers was endorsed by shampoo brand Head & Shoulders, which took out the policy from Lloyd’s of London to protect its investment.
America Ferrera’s smile
The star of TV shows Ugly Betty and Superstore had her iconic smile insured for $10 million by the makers of Aquafresh White Trays teeth-whitener. The company took out the policy during a promotion to raise money for the charity organization Smiles for Success.
David Beckham’s legs and face
The former soccer player took out a policy in 2006 that protected his legs, feet and toes to the tune of $195 million. It’s rumored that the policy also covered his face due to his work in advertising and modeling.
Other celebrities who have allegedly insured parts of their body include Gene Simmons, Jennifer Lopez, Tina Turner and Dolly Parton.[4, 5]
Ridding a home of bedbugs can be expensive and laborious, and bedbug infestations are typically excluded from renters, homeowners and landlord insurance policies. A separate policy to cover the cost of extermination can be pricey—the average premium is $1,750 a year and can go as high as $5,000.
Buying this insurance might make sense especially if you own short-term rental properties. In addition to cleaning costs, a policy may provide liability protection in the event that a guest sues you over bites. If you’re concerned about a visitor leaving behind bugs for the next guest, you can find bedbug coverage through companies like Proper Insurance and Fudge Insurance.[8, 9, 10]
Cold feet insurance
Getting married is a major long-term commitment, so it’s natural to feel some anxiety about the decision. One company, Wedsure, offers insurance for a variety of things that can go wrong on your wedding day and honeymoon, and that includes Change of Heart coverage.
This insurance protects you against financial losses in the event that you have to cancel the wedding because someone got cold feet. If you’re not planning on backing out of your wedding, the company also offers liability coverage, postponement coverage, property coverage and more.
Paranormal and extraterrestrials insurance
If you believe in ghosts or aliens, you may have come across insurance products online that claim to cover both. But beware: These policies are really just gag gifts.
You’ll find lots of sightings of a ghost insurance called Spooksafe on the internet, said to be offered by a U.K.-based provider called Ultraviolet. The story goes that this coverage can protect you in the case of death, injury or property damage caused by paranormal activity. It’s not just ghosts. The policy reportedly covers vampires, werewolves and other supernatural beings too.
Then there’s alien abduction insurance. Offered by the Saint Lawrence Agency in Florida, this policy claims to pay out $10 million in the event that you’re abducted by an alien. If you meet that unfortunate fate, the bar is high to collect. That $10 million is paid out in $1 increments over 10 million years, and you need a signature from the abducting alien for the claim to be approved.
Make sure you have the right insurance coverage for you
It’s fun to read about strange insurance policies, but these options cover some of the most unusual and unlikely things that can happen. It’s far more important to make sure you have the right type of insurance for your needs.
After all, a bedbug infestation isn’t likely to ruin you financially, but a short- or long-term disability, a death in the family or a major medical episode can do exactly that. More traditional forms of insurance coverage like disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance and auto insurance can give you the protection you need from more common calamities.
“It’s a good idea to have general insurance before getting nontraditional insurance because the latter won’t provide coverage for all of your assets and interests,” adds VanderVaate.
As you try to figure out what coverage you need and how much, VanderVaate recommends asking a few questions, such as:
What are the risks I want to insure against, and how likely are they to happen?
What would be the cost of repairing or replacing any losses, and how does it compare to the policy premium?
Is there a less expensive option that can provide some coverage for my risks?
Take your time to consider all of the insurance needs you may have and find the policies that best fit those needs.