16 Weird Insurance Policies Issued by Lloyd's of London

RealClear Staff


Opened by Edward Lloyd in 1688 on Tower Street in London, Lloyd's of London has become world famous with a reputation for insuring anything. You won't believe No. 13!

1. Betty Grable's Legs

1940s actress, dancer and pin-up girl Betty Grable -- the biggest box-office star during World War II -- became the first celebrity to insure her legs. Lloyd's wrote a policy for $1 million -- spawning the phrase "million-dollar legs."

2. Dolly Parton's Breasts

Back in her heyday, Dolly Parton insured her reputedly 40DD breasts for $4 million. 

3. The 1st Auto Insurance Policy

OK, so it's not weird now, but when Lloyd's was asked to insure a motor car in 1904, no one had ever done it and no guidelines existed. Always game for anything, though, Lloyd's underwriters, more used to dealing with ships, used insurance documents  describing the car as a "ship navigating on land."

4. David Beckham's Legs

While playing for Manchester United and England's national team, Beckham insured his legs against career-ending injury for $100 million.

5. America Ferrera's Smile

The TV series "Ugly Betty" began with America Ferrera's title character wearing braces. Eventually during the series, she has them removed. The $10 million policy was bought by the makers of at home teeth-whitening product Aquafresh White Trays as part of a promotion involving Ferrera.

6. Bruce Springsteen's Voice

If The Boss were to damage his vocal chords and could no longer perform, Lloyd's of London would be facing a $5 million payout.

7. Catherine Bach's Legs

In the 1980s, lead female star of "The Dukes of Hazzard" helped keep viewers hooked by wearing revealing outfits, so Llyod's of London insured her legs for $1 million.

8. Jimmy Durante's Nose

In the 1930s, the comedian and movie star's schnozz was insured for $140,000.

9. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

The aftermath of the 1906 earthquake laid the foundations for many of today’s modern insurance risk modeling and building practices. Lloyd’s underwriter Cuthbert Heath's actions solidified Lloyd’s position in the U.S. market and helped pave the way for Lloyd’s as we know it today. Heath famously instructed his San Franciscan agent to “pay all of our policyholders in full, irrespective of the terms of their policies”. The earthquake ended up costing Lloyd’s over $50 million -- more than $1 billion in today’s dollars.

10. Troy Polamalu's Hair

The Pittsburgh Steelers star's hair was insured for $1 million by Head and Shoulders, the shampoo company that used him in advertisements.

11. The Taylor-Burton Diamond

Movie star Richard Burton purchased the 69.42 carat, inch-thick diamond from Cartier for $1.1 million in the 1960s, making it the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. According to Burton, Taylor wanted the ring after he insulted her hands. "That insult last night is going to cost me," he wrote in his diary. "Betcha!" Once Lloyd’s had insured the diamond, they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year – and even then, be protected by security guards.

12. Gene Simmons' Tongue

In the 1970s, the KISS frontman considered his tongue so much a part of his showmanship he had it insured with Lloyd's for more than $1 million.

13. Tom Jones' Chest Hair

No kidding! At the height of his popularity in the 1960s and '70s, Jones felt his chest hair did so much for his macho image that he had it insured for a cool $5 million.

14. Holly Madison's Breasts

The "Girls Next Door" star and former Hugh Hefner girlfriend appeared topless in her Las Vegas show, and took out a $1 million policy. "If anything happened to my boobs, I'd be out for a few months and I'd probably be out a million dollars," she said. "I thought I'd cover my assets." 

15. Michael Flatley's Legs

At the height of the "Riverdance" craze, Flatley had his legs insured for $40 million to guard against a career-ending injury.

16. The Titanic

The worst maritime disaster in history at the time generated headlines around the world and remains legendary today. But the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 didn't sink Lloyd's of London; it paid out the then-princely sum $10 million plus other related claims within 30 days.



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