When we think of insurance, we tend to switch off. It’s a pretty boring business, right? Well, maybe it is, most of the time - but there are some exceptions to the rule. And here are our favourite standout stories from the actually surprisingly, wonderfully weird world of insurance…
1. Ghostly goings-on
Legend has it that a hotel owner in England once took out a £1m policy to insure against ghosts. Apparently, he’d spotted a spooky spirit at the bar and was concerned a customer could do the same.
2. Horror stories
Scared of being turned into a vampire or werewolf? You’re not alone. Another otherworldly rumour claims 60,000 people have taken out insurance to cover themselves, should they be turned into a blood-sucking ghoul.
3. Pure fantasy
Back in the real world – sort of – one major insurer was asked to cover a vintage Star Wars collection estimated to be worth around £700k.
4. Far, far away...
Of course, real space exploration also needs protection. Lloyd’s of London is responsible for insuring several satellites, and even a private spaceship. It’s also said to offer policies covering alien abduction!
5. Up close and personal
Closer to home, many stars hold policies on iconic body parts, like actress Bette Davis, who insured her waist for $28,000.
6. Are you pulling my leg?
The first person to protect their pins was a 1940s glamour-girl called Betty Grable. Since then, ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev, Riverdancer Michael Flatley, and football superstar David Beckham have insured theirs – the latter for a mega £100m.
7. What a good sport
A young athlete called Gertrude Ederle also made a splash when she became the first ever woman to swim the English Channel. She did it in 14 hours and 39 minutes, and won a return of £1,863 on her insurance premium.
8. The beautiful (pretend) game
And it’s not just real sportspeople who need insurance. Some companies offer policies especially for Fantasy Football ‘managers’, in case a key player gets injured!
9. Going for a song
Real-life performers Marlene Dietrich (back in the ‘30s) and Bruce Springsteen (more recently) have taken insurance on their voices. The Boss is covered for a whopping £3.5m.
10. Tools of the trade
If a singer’s most important tool is their voice, what about other professions? The food critic Egon Ronay took the precaution of insuring his taste buds for $400,000…
11. All mouth
...While comedian Ken Dodd is said to have insured his teeth for £4m.
12. Just for fun
And then there’s the stuff that’s less to do with work, and more to do with love. Once major insurance company was asked to insure a (perfectly functional) 1970s Ferrari, kept on display inside a house, and even a life-size fibreglass model of a brontosaurus!