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Unusual Insurance Policies

Insurance Specialties
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The number of unusual insurance policies issued each year illustrates the flexibility in the field and the ability for someone to insure just about any risk. While life insurance and policies for homes and autos are easily the most common types of insurance purchased in the country, there are more unusual types of policies that aren't sold in large numbers.

  • Body parts. This is usually the territory for wealthy athletes or entertainers. Insurance companies set policy premiums to provide the requested amount of protection for a body part. Generally speaking, the body part is what has allowed the celebrity or athlete to reach a high salary level. For example, singer Rihanna has her legs insured for $1 million. That's less than half the $2.2 million policy for the legs of model and TV host Heidi Klum. Keith Richards, guitarist with the Rolling Stones, has his valuable hands insured for $1.6 million.
  • Wedding insurance. Moving away from policies that only the super-rich can afford, wedding insurance is a specialty insurance that has begun to become a little more popular in the last decade of the 20th Century and more recently. That's probably because the costs of weddings continue to go up every year. According to the, the average cost in 2010 topped $24,000. As much as 25 percent of that is in nonrefundable deposits for things like flowers, pictures and video services and the wedding location. That means it makes some money sense to pay in the area of $500 to guarantee there are no out-of-pocket losses due to a medical emergency or a change of heart by the bride.
  • Kidnapping insurance. This type of insurance is generally reserved for companies with workers headed overseas into dangerous locations. The policy is usually less than $1,000 and pays for a variety of expenses, from a limited ransom figure to costs associated with injuries or death due to kidnapping and charges from foreign police agencies for hostage negotiators or SWAT teams.
  • Pet insurance. This type of insurance is gaining in popularity, but it's still estimated that fewer than 5 percent of Americans had pet insurance in 2010. The reason for the insurance is to pay for increasingly more expensive veterinary bills. Do you have the estimated $2,500 to pay for lung cancer treatment, or the $1,500 to remove cataracts? The annual premium depends on the age and condition of the dog, but is commonly between $400 and $750 a year for a young, healthy animal.

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