8 Most Outrageous Body Parts Professionals Have Insured
While we are familiar with health and life insurances, there are people who take on unconventional valuation of their assets to get insured.
We’re all insured — at some point in our lives, at least. There exists a multitude of reasons to be insured, and you’re probably familiar with them. Whether it is to keep the business going, cover household expenses, pay off estate taxes or simply for peace of mind.
While most of us would immediately think of insuring our cars, homes, and health, insuring one's body parts may be stretching it. However, there are the select few who make their livelihood solely through their senses, who may end up being saved by insurance in the event of a mishap.
Here is a list of insured body parts (we tactfully left out the unmentionables), and the people that have them insured for a ridiculously high price.
If you were one of the leading culinary voices in Britain like distinguished food critic and restaurateur Egon Ronay, who could make or break a restaurant’s reputation or launch a chef’s career, you would have probably insured your influential taste buds. His insurance policy back in 1993 covered the late Hungarian-born critic's sense of taste for roughly S$550,000, and was guaranteed payment if he had lost it.
Can you tell the difference between high street coffee fixes? Or maybe distinguish between thousands of flavours in coffee beans? Gennaro Pellicia can. For that, Costa Coffee’s chief taste-tester's taste buds are worth more than forty times of Ronay’s, with his tongue insured by Costa for a little over S$18 million — not a hefty sum for the coffee chain that has an average annual turnover of over £390 million (over S$705 million).
Another taster prized for her sensory skills, Hayleigh Curtis is the first Cadbury worker that has had her taste buds insured. Her valuation of S$1.8 million comes at a cost though — she must stay clear of vindaloos and chilli peppers in exchange for quality chocolate invention.
The only person in this category that is not insured for sensory abilities, KISS’ legendary bass guitarist and singer allegedly had his tongue insured for S$1.4 million at the height of the group’s popularity. That’s right, the valuation of his tongue is placed solely on its visual appeal.
Leading European winemaker and taster Ilja Gort took on a nasal insurance policy which guaranteed him over S$7 million after he heard about a man who lost his sense of smell in a car accident. Gort said his sense of smell is his greatest asset because although the tongue has five areas of taste, the nose can distinguish between millions of scents. The Dutchman is covered by a custom-made policy with some unusual conditions — he is not allowed to ride a motorcycle or be a boxer, knife thrower's assistant or a fire-breather.
As with the individuals mentioned above, it would now come as no surprise to find out that the iconic Rolling Stones guitarist is rumoured to have his fingers insured for a mind-blowing S$1.4 million — each. All because of an unfortunate kitchen accident which involved the British rocker slicing off the tip of his left index finger while cutting carrots. As ridiculous as it sounds, he did allegedly receive payment when he injured his finger while on tour in 1990, so the insurance truly paid off after all.
While most people would pay great sums to have their eyes uncrossed, it is understandably a little disarranging (pun intended) to comprehend why silent-film comedian Ben Turpin reportedly had his cross-eyes insured for over S$100,000. He may have also possibly been the very first celebrity to have his body part insured.
If you’ve been diligently going down the list, you would have noticed a trend of individuals insuring their body parts for its indispensable value as a commodity in their careers. Hence, if anything, you would expect this fierce Australian cricketer to insure his hands or legs during his cricketing days as a member of the national cricket team. However, he reportedly had his trademark handlebar moustache insured instead for over S$370,000. Confused? Me too.
The five-time US Pro Bowl player is another client of an unconventional body-part insurance. Wearing his nearly three-feet long hair as a tribute to his Samoan heritage, the Troy Polamalu's hair was insured for about S$1 million by Procter & Gamble's Head and Shoulders to ensure its safety for an ad. This is because Polamalu’s long-flowing frizzy black locks that tumbles out of his helmet has reportedly been a target of opposing NFL players.
Ugly Betty has a million dollar smile — or S$14 million to be exact. Oral care brand Aquafresh insured actress and spokeswoman America Ferrera’s smile as part of a promotion to raise money for the charity Smiles for Success. This is a classic example of big insurance making big headlines for the manufacturers that pay celebrities a handsome sum of money to promote their products.
8. Chest Hair
Anonymous Male Model
Back in 2004, news platforms picked up the story that a Lloyd’s underwriter drafted a policy covering the loss of an unnamed male model’s chest hair. While there wasn’t any further follow-up or news as to whether the policy had been put into force, it formed the basis of Tom Jones’ chest hair to ostensibly be valued at S$24 million. Although it was eventually falsified, we’ve included this in the list to round up the most outrageous possibilities when it comes to insurance policies — just to prove our point.