5 of the most bizarre things ever insured

Posted in: Finance Last updated: 04 Apr 2014

Almost all of us will buy a few insurance products throughout our lives – from insuring our very first car as a teenager, to weighing up life insurance policies in later life. Probably home and travel insurance along the way too.

However, beyond the staples, there are a whole host of weird and wonderful things that can – and have – been insured.

Death by laughter

In the early 20th century when cinema was a brand new phenomenon, some movie-goers took out life insurance policies which would cover them in case they died during a silent film due to excessive laughter – the comedies must have been better in those days!
It seems far-fetched, but in fact there have been a few reported deaths from laughing over the years, including a Danish man who passed away in 1989 whilst chuckling at the film “A Fish Called Wanda”. On a related note, American comedian Rich Hall has reportedly insured himself for £1m against a permanent loss of his sense of humour.

Runaway brides

When you consider how expensive a wedding can be, and how many of those costly deposits are non-refundable, it makes sense to insure against cancellations or postponements. But some policies have been known to provide protection in case of a runaway bride or groom. So if you’re the one left waiting at the altar, you might be heartbroken, but at least you know you won’t be out of pocket.

Paranormal activity

Back in 2002, the Royal Falcon Hotel in Suffolk, decided to insure staff and customers against death or disability as a result of poltergeist attacks. The hotel’s owner decided he needed the insurance after claiming he saw a ghost push glasses along the bar one night. The Royal Falcon is located next to a graveyard, and is rumoured to be haunted by a monk who hanged himself on the premises after being caught having an affair.

Loss of looks

We’re always hearing rumours of various celebrities insuring a body part, but it’s not just the rich and famous doing this. In 2001, Nicola Jones from Bristol insured her face for £100,000 against becoming ugly. Apparently, she took the policy out as a present for her husband – who always joked he’d leave her if she let herself go. Whether or not her looks still come up to scratch have to be determined by a panel of 10 independent building workers.

Chest hair

Related to the above, it’s often repeated that Welsh singer, Sir Tom Jones, has his chest hair insured. Whilst this may or may not be true, Lloyd's of London did develop a policy to cover the loss of chest hair. According to this policy, the insured should lose more than “85 percent of his hair covering the front of his torso.” This loss needs to adversely impact the person’s image or career, and needs to be verified by two independent medical professionals before the claim pays out. Lloyd's have also provided cover for Father Christmas’s beard by insuring the facial hair of a professional Santa impersonator at Macy's against being pulled too vigorously by children – or getting singed on his way down a chimney!

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.