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Wacky insurance covers: Body parts

June 23, 2009 14:49 IST

What kind of insurance covers have you heard of? Let's see -- medical, life, property, auto. What about body parts? Yes! Even parts are being insured by insurance companies.

Think about this. If you were a famous pianist and your source of livelihood was your music, then wouldn't you want to insure your hands because quite literally, it's those hands that feed you!

Celebrities are known by one of bodily features and it serves as their means of livelihood and fame. Therefore, it is important for them to safeguard what brings them fame and money!

Even though this kind of insurance is yet to get a hold in the Indian market, celebrities like Lata Mangeshkar and Sania Mirza have insured their voice and hands, respectively. The Vanguard Olympic bronze medallist boxer, Vijender Singh, is contemplating getting his hands insured in the near future from Bajaj Allianz.

Normally body part insurance is more than Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) to Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) or more. These are no traditional policies, as they are customised according to individuals.

The general insurance arm looks into this type of insurance and, usually, the policy is for a year and renewed thereafter.

Though this kind of insurance is still in its nascent stages in India and insurance companies do not normally have ready policies for such insurance requests, this kind of insurance has been available in the West for a very long time. The insurance scene there is dominated by movie stars and singers and the foremost among insurance companies has been Lloyd's of London.

Look at these examples:

  • $70 million for footballer David Beckham's legs and feet
  • $1 billion for American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey's legs
  • $6 million covering Bruce Springsteen's voice
  • $5 million for German super model Claudia Schiffer's face
  • $10 million for America Ferrera's smile (she plays Ugly Betty on a television show)

Little is known about a wine taster who insured his nose for $8 million. The man's name is Ilya Gort, and his nose is so vital to his job at his French vineyard that Lloyd's of London wrote an insurance policy protecting him should he lose either his nose or his sense of smell.

There are many more in the list of the 'insured', however, one thing which is sure is that these kinds of insurance covers are meant for celebrities, owing to the big dent it will make in your wallet.

Unless, you think you really need to protect your smile to make a living, it's better to stick with the traditional types of insurance. . . For now!

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