Iconic Lloyd’s of London Insurance Policies

Posted in: Commercial Insurance, Risk Management Consulting

When most people think about their insurance policies, they conjure up images of cars, homes and boats, jewelry or even healthcare. These are the typical items most insurance companies will cover. There is, however, a whole other market of insurance, which includes the iconic, the unusual and the amusing.

World-famous Lloyd’s of London has been insuring the interesting for more than 300 years—building its name and brand with each policy written. I recently wrote a post that gives a “behind the scenes” view. While my visits to Lloyd’s over the years were more mundane in nature, Lloyd’s has a well-earned reputation for providing high risk solutions for unusual and bizarre risks as well. Here are some of Lloyd’s most well-known claims to fame:

Rewards: In the early 1970’s, Cutty Sark Whisky ran a promotional contest stating if someone were to capture Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster, during a specified time, they’d pay out a million pounds. Cutty Sark purchased a policy from Lloyd’s that would pay the reward in the event someone actually did catch the beast. Written into the policy were conditions, including a measurement of 20 feet in length or more and verification as the Loch Ness monster by the curators of the Natural History Museum.

Another reward for catching elusive marine life was posted by a Baltimore Brewery who offered $100,000 for anyone catching a diamond tagged Rockfish (Striped Bass) in the Chesapeake Bay. Lloyd’s wrote the policy, but no angler has thus far landed “Diamond Jim,” over the last 60 years.

Voice: In the 1980s, Bruce Springsteen insured his voice with Lloyd’s for $6 million, barring any unforeseen circumstances that would cause the Boss to be demoted. Other vocal insurance policyholders include crooners Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart. The premise behind insuring a voice is that if anything should happen that would damage or alter these famous vocal cords, the policyholders would be compensated for lost work.

Legs: “What’s legs got to do with it?” Everything! Sexy siren Tina Turner had hers insured for $3.2 million. Other lovely limbs of Lloyd’s include the legendary legs of pop stars Rihanna and Mariah Carey. Actresses Betty Grable, Brooke Shields and Jamie Lee Curtis took out policies on their sexy stems, as well as model Heidi Klum.

The Parts That Pay the Bills: If legs and voices can be insured against damage and loss of wages, it makes sense that any money-making body part can be as well—which is exactly Lloyd’s philosophy.

Lloyd’s has insured Keith Richards’ guitar-playing fingers, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance legs and David Beckham’s soccer-kicking legs. Lloyd’s has also insured football player Troy Polamalu’s locks (courtesy of Head & Shoulders) and Dutch wine producer Ilja Gort’s nose, as well as America Ferrara’s smile, Gene Simmons’ tongue and world-famous food critic Egon Rona’s taste buds—because it stands to reason that, without these parts, these folks would be more than just one appendage poorer.

In some cases these body part–centric insurance policies have been called publicity stunts. Oftentimes a company will take out a policy to reiterate the importance of said part. And while some cases, such as Ugly Betty star America Ferrera’s smile insured for $10 million by Crest or Troy Polamalu’s hair insured by Head & Shoulders, are likely just that, the majority of these stars do indeed make their living with their famous parts.

Find out more about this iconic insurance institution by visiting Lloyd’s website or contact me at bmarx@psafinancial.com.

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