Odd-ball insurance - from alien abduction to dancing dolphins
05 February 2008
For anyone at high risk of extraterrestrial kidnapping, the UFO Abduction Insurance Company offers some unusual peace of mind. The US based insurer has a policy that covers the medical and psychological costs of alien abduction. It's a US$10 million policy, but there's a catch - they only pay you back $1 a day.
While it's not strictly true that you can insure against any risk, there are certainly many extreme policies that are not uncommon.
Lloyds of London has become famous in the field of unusual and high risk insurance. They've insured the legs of Fred Astaire, Betty Grable and Angie Dickinson. They've covered the hands of Liberace and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Lloyds have even insured the taste buds of restaurateur Egon Ronay. But for one Lloyds underwriter, a request to cover a celebrity's chest hair was a little bit too unusual. Nevertheless, they did it.
The specialty and surplus lines insurance market, has produced some wacky policies which have served to generate publicity as much as much anything else. But for many people, unusual risks are just part of life.
The Lester Kalmanson Agency specialises in rare and unusual risks, with a focus on animals. They can cover your dog in case it attacks anyone, even if it's a serial offender. They can insure your alligator, elephant or chimpanzee. They can also provide cover for your performing marine mammal.
Here in Australia, there are companies that can insure you against kidnapping and extortion. Wedding insurance is also becoming more popular; you can insure your big day against any last minute cancellation, including extreme weather and a ‘no show' at the alter. And if you're a mediocre psychic, you can even get public liability insurance - just in case you fail to foresee a law suit.
NB: RAC Insurance does not deal in specialty or surplus insurance lines.