Who says insurance is boring?
Insurance is designed to give you peace of mind — and if you’re worried about something happening to you, chances are you can find an insurer who will issue a policy for it!
Speciality insurers like Lloyd’s of London have been making headlines for years about the types of unique scenarios they cover. But when I was researching the weirdest types of insurance on offer, I was surprised to learn about two policies in particular. Multiple birth insurance pays out if you give birth to one or more children than expected — though that’s rare, with all the advances in medical technology. It has one major caveat: It isn’t available to couples who have undergone fertility treatments like IVF, as there’s a higher likelihood of having twins or triplets.
I was also surprised that fantasy football insurance exists. But I don’t play, so I guess I’ll never understand how high the stakes are!
While these policies are interesting, they’re not essential. You want to protect the people and assets that are most important to you, so prioritize life, car and home or renters insurance. As always, make sure you compare policies to get the best possible deal.
Health, home, car and life insurance are the most popular types of insurance, but the list is limited only by your imagination. Insurance is a “just in case” coverage, and it turns out that people around the world are worried about a range of crazy scenarios happening to them.
These are eleven of the weirdest insurance policies we’ve come across, and believe us when we say there’s a lot more where they came from…
Alien abduction insurance
Paranoid about being abducted by aliens or UFOs? There’s an insurance policy to protect against that — and the St. Lawrence Agency in Florida was the first company in the US to offer this coverage to its customers in 1987. It’s a pretty good deal, too: You’ll pay just $19.95 to $24.95 for a lifelong policy.
Apparently, the insurer has paid out at least two claims — which is incredible considering you have to provide proof of abduction.
Toilet insurance for phones
Many of us have experienced this modern-day scenario. Your phone is safely tucked into your back pocket, only to slip into the watery abyss when you unbutton your pants.
With that common incident in mind, Honor — an online-only subsidiary of Huawei — began offering a smartphone toilet insurance plan in 2018. The policy is free for customers who purchase a new device, and pays out if they accidentally drop their phone in the toilet.
But if you don’t own an Honor phone, you can still get coverage. A standard phone insurance policy covers water damage for $5 to $10 a month — and spares you from shelling out a few hundred dollars for a new phone.
Change of heart insurance
Between the venue, flowers, catering and travel, weddings can cost thousands of dollars. But what happens if wedding planning identifies cracks in the relationship, and you don’t make it to the altar? That’s where change of heart insurance comes in.
Designed for brides and grooms who decide to break off their engagement and go their separate ways, this policy covers unexpected cancellations.
Wedsure and Eventsured are the biggest players in the game. But there are a few caveats to “cold feet coverage.” You’ll typically need to cancel the wedding at least 365 days in advance, and the policy only pays “innocent financiers,” like the couple’s parents.
Body part insurance
Does your talent or livelihood depend on a body part? For many celebrities, athletes and entertainers, the answer is yes — so they insure the assets that made them rich and famous.
While J-Lo revealed she never actually insured her derriere for $27 million on The Late Late Show with James Corden, here are a handful of policies that have reportedly been issued for body parts:
- Soccer player David Beckham took out a policy against a career-ending injury to his legs, feet or toes for $195 million (£100 million) in 2006.
- Actress Julia Roberts insured her megawatt smile for $30 million.
- Rocker Bruce Springsteen covered his voice for $6 million.
- Supermodel Heidi Klum had her legs insured by Braun for a cool $2.2 million when she was a spokesperson for their epilator device. (Fun fact: Her right leg was covered for $1.2 million and her left leg for $1 million because of a small scar.)
- Kiss frontman Gene Simmons insured his trademark tongue for $1 million.
- Former NFL star Troy Polamu had his flowing mane insured for $1 million when he signed an endorsement deal with Head & Shoulders. Proctor & Gamble picked up the premiums for that one, according to TIME.
Athlete “loss of value” insurance
For athletes to reach their peak earning potential, they need to perform — and their bodies are their bread and butter. That’s why some athletes on the brink of their career take out “loss of value” insurance in case they get injured.
Let’s look at star linebacker Jaylon Smith. In 2016, the Notre Dame player was a surefire top 10 draft pick for the upcoming NFL season, according to Forbes. But he suffered a knee injury in a college game, and ended up dropping to the 34th pick — a massive blow to his starting salary. Thanks to the injury, Forbes calculated he lost almost $18.5 million.
The silver lining? Smith had purchased an insurance policy the previous year, which reportedly paid $700,000 if he wasn’t a first-round pick, and $100,000 for each round he missed out on after that. He ended up receiving $900,000, according to NBC Sports.
Other athletes have protected themselves with similar policies. Most of the time, they purchase a long-term disability policy that pays out if they become ill and injured and can’t work — or play.
Fantasy football insurance
Speaking of sports, fantasy football is a multi-million dollar business, and participants take the games — and results — seriously. Just like in “real life,” an injury to one of their star players could send their fantasy season spiraling.
Enter: FantasyPlayerProtect.com, a policy that protects participants’ financial investment in a fantasy league.
Under this policy, team managers are reimbursed if a key player is injured for a set number of games. The coverage can also pay for the entry fee and even the prize payout — and with some fantasy sports leagues, the winner can walk away with thousands of dollars.
Taste buds insurance
When you eat for a living, you want to make sure your taste buds are in working order. Back in the ’50s, food critic Egon Ronay had a thriving career in the UK, with a column for The Daily Telegraph and a series of books called the Egon Ronay Guide to British Eateries.
His reviews could make or break a restaurant, so he didn’t want to take any chances. He ended up insuring his taste buds for nearly $400,000.
This type of insurance has also been taken out by professional wine, coffee and ice-cream tasters. For example, Gennario Pelliccia, chief taster for Costa Coffee — the world’s second largest coffee chain after Starbucks — had his tongue and all his taste buds insured for $16 million in 2009.
Multiple birth insurance
With advanced ultrasounds and medical technologies, it’s rare for parents to be surprised with twins, triplets or quadruplets these days. But some parents don’t want to hedge their bets, and purchase multiple birth insurance to protect themselves financially.
Typically taken out by parents-to-be who have a family history of twins or multiple births, this policy covers the costs of having an unexpected baby. However, it’s not available to couples who have undergone fertility treatments, such as IVF.
Winning the lottery is the dream — but it can be a nightmare for employers who end up being down one staff member. In the UK, small business owners can take out “lottery insurance” to compensate them for financial losses in case their employees hit the jackpot and resign on the spot.
Offered by specialty insurer Lloyd’s of London, the policy covers a loss of productivity as well as the costs to interview and hire temp workers and new staff.
Carryout pizza insurance
There’s nothing better than a slice of pizza that’s fresh out of the oven. But when you’re grabbing takeout, accidents can happen — and many of us have felt the disappointment of dropping a whole box of pizza on the floor.
That’s why Dominos invented carryout pizza insurance — and it covers just about any “incident,” whether you slipped in the rain, braked a little too hard, or left your mouthwatering pie in front of your pet to devour.
Here’s how it works: If your pizza is damaged after you leave the store, you can take it to the same location within two hours and the team will remake it. Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll get an extra pizza. You have to bring the old pie back, uneaten and in its original packaging.
The best bit? This coverage is free of charge!
Death by laughter insurance
In the insurance world, Lloyd’s of London is well-known for insuring… well, anything. In the early 1900s, they started insuring filmgoers against death from excessive laughter at the movies. Before long, the bizarra coverage expanded to stand-up comedy shows, too.
Essentially a form of liability insurance, this policy protects entertainers who might trigger health issues thanks to fits of uncontrollable laughter.
For example, in the 1970s, a British man named Alex Mitchell reportedly died of laughing while watching The Goodies — but eventually, the doctors ruled he died from a genetic heart disorder.
Just to be clear. To say you “died laughing” is a colloquialism. There are no recorded cases of laughter-induced death — though there have been reports of people passing out, seizing and having heart and asthma attacks thanks to laughing fits.
These policies may seem bizarre, but at its core, insurance is about peace of mind — and that means different things to different people.
If you want a specific type of coverage that’s a little out-of-the-box, you can probably find an insurer who’s willing to issue you a policy (and pocket the premiums).
Remember, insurance is a game of risk. Since some of these scenarios are so unusual, there’s a good chance your insurer will never have to pay out the policy!