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The Weirdest Things Ever Insured (Part 2)

Anne Le Tran
Insurance Experts' Forum, November 30, 2010

Hollywood stars and famous athletes aren’t the only ones who protect somewhat unusual assets from potential risks. Banks, businesses, folks who watch too much sci-fi and regular Joes (and Marys) do as well. And, of course, the go-to source for these specialty policies is Lloyd’s of London.

When rogue goes vogue

Investment banks generally thrive on speculation and risk, but some risks—like the ones often embraced by rogue traders—aren’t worth taking. To protect themselves from heavy financial losses incurred by the Dirty Harrys of Wall Street, big-business banks can buy rogue trader insurance through SVB, a syndicate of Lloyd’s of London.

Whisky and monsters: a risky combo

In 1971, Cutty Sark, the famous producer of Scotch whisky, decided to offer a million-pound award to anyone who managed to capture the Loch Ness Monster. After making the offer public (and also maybe sobering up from the decision), Cutty Sark took out an insurance policy with Lloyd’s to protect them in case the (im)possible happened.

ET (don’t) phone home…

Alien abduction insurance isn’t as out of this world as you may think. In 2008, more than 40,000 people fearing ET, Martian men and other would-be intergalactic kidnappers bought alien-abduction policies. A policy through the St. Lawrence Agency in Altamonte Springs, Florida, will cost you a mere $19.95 plus $3 shipping and handling (of course). In the event you’re kidnapped by space creatures and can prove it with a signature from an “onboard authorized alien,” you’ll be paid $1 per year for the rest of your life or for a million years, whichever comes first. (But good luck getting easy online comparison quotes!)

The new Mary

Even if you manage to avoid an alien abduction, you still never know what could happen in Y2K, right? The world might end, computers could all go “HAL” on us, and a Mary somewhere might have a virgin birth. In 1999, to protect herself against the risk of Immaculate Conception, Mary Muphy took out a policy worth a million pounds—just in case. No word on whether or not she made a claim on the policy, but our guess is she’s no millionaire yet.

So there you have it—from Wall Street to Loch Ness to outer space — a brief journey through the uncharted territory of the specialty lines world. Thanks for traveling with us. And wherever your travels take you from here, make sure you’re covered!

Click here for Part I to see the top 4 (shall we say eccentric?) celebrity policies.

Anne Le Tran is a copywriter at Esurance.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Anne using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

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