YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – From automobile to home to life insurance, most Americans hold policies to insure their businesses, possessions or themselves.
While the average policyholder would never consider an insurance policy for his vocal cords, hair or legs, it has been done.
On the local level, Lisa John, an insurance agent for The Agent Insurance in Boardman, says the most unusual quote the company has ever bid was insuring an elephant for a parade.
“[The Agent] quoted an amusement and attractions company for a local parade with animals and we were asked for a quote to insure an elephant for the parade,” John says.
More commonly, people are interested in taking out insurance policies on other assets, such as their vehicles, homes, pets or even business ventures. The Agent focuses the most on offering home and auto bundles to clients because it is cheaper to bundle the two, John says.
Todd Stovall, owner of Todd Stovall: Allstate Insurance in Austintown, says the most commonly insured items he works with are home and auto.
As for the oddest, “A $20,000 replica R2-D2 and a robot from ‘Lost in Space,’ which we were not able to do. But, we’ve had someone ask to insure a 1981 military Humvee, which we were able to do,” Stovall says.
Stovall has seen interesting collectibles over the years, though, and has a customer with a $50,000 action figure collection with some figures valued at over $1,000.
Many celebrities have reportedly insured the body parts for which they are famous.
Heidi Klum, a model, confirmed to Ellen Degeneres in an interview that her legs are insured. In fact, her left leg cost about $200,000 less to insure because of a small scar she suffered during childhood, she said.
Singer Mariah Carey has an insurance policy worth $70 million combined on her vocal cords and legs. As a result of her high-grossing music career, her vocal cords are insured for $35 million. Her legs, because she models and dances, are insured for another $35 million, according to People magazine.
Athletes commonly insure parts of their bodies to insure no loss of income should they sustain injuries. This has led to famous soccer players such as David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo insuring their legs for hundreds of millions.
“We’ve never been asked by athletes or celebrities for insurance on [a body part]. But we have been asked to insure college championship rings,” All State agent Stovall says.
Glenn Lebby, president of Williams-Cleaveland Co. in New Castle, Pennsylvania, has worked with and heard of a number of interesting insurance policies, including one for a celebrity’s legs.
“In the 1920s and 1930s, my great-uncle worked in the agency and moved out to Beverly Hills. He ended up being the one who insured Betty Grable’s legs for $1 million with Lloyd’s of London,” Lebby says.
While most of the policies Lebby writes are for automobile coverage, he has dealt with clients who
submit very unusual insurance claims.
“Someone dropped a container of bleach down her stairs and it bleached all the way down the stairs onto the furniture and carpet. That was covered,” Lebby says.
In addition, Lebby covered a man who was struck by lightning while he was working and a client who dropped his wedding ring down the toilet only to rediscover it years later.
But overall, the most outlandish item Williams-Cleaveland has insured was a portrait of a woman painted by the late Andy Warhol in 1978. The woman had the portrait insured for $300,000.
Pictured at top: This iconic photo of 1940s movie star Betty Grable made her the No. 1 pin-up of World War II.