Insurance is a huge industry in Canada. The top insurance companies in the nation, Manulife Financial, Power Corporation of Canada, and Great-West Lifeco, had combined assets of over $2 trillion in 2020. It is an industry that is constantly growing, providing coverage to more people across the country every year and employing a wide range of people with a diverse range of skills.
When we think of insurance, there are certain types of policies that come to mind. Car, home, and life insurance might make up the majority of policies that most of us will take out over our lifetime, but they are by no means the extent of policies available to people. Just like it takes a variety of specialist people to keep the industry running, there are also an almost limitless number of objects and activities that need insurance.
Not sure what we’re referring to? Here are a handful of the most unusual types of insurance you can pick up that might surprise you.
Body Part Insurance
Most of us don’t rely on a specific part of our body to do our jobs, but there are exceptions in the world. Famous soccer players, for example, often insure their feet or legs against injury or loss. Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most famous athletes on the planet, has insured his legs for $184 million, while David Beckham has taken out a similar policy for both his legs and his famous face for a whopping $250 million. It isn’t just athletes that have insured their legs, though. Heidi Klum, whose legs have graced countless catwalks and magazine covers through the years, has taken out an insurance policy for her legs at more than $2.5 million. Other celebrities have insured other parts of their bodies as well. Singer Tom Jones once insured his famous chest hair for nearly $9 million, while Gene Simmons, bassist for metal legends KISS, insured his iconic tongue for over $1 million.
These policies might seem extravagant, but they represent the potential loss of income that could come from losing or damaging these body parts. Even though Simmons doesn’t necessarily use his tongue to play bass, it is so intrinsically attached to his brand that the loss or damage to it would permanently impact his earning power. Heidi Klum’s legs were insured not just by her but by a fashion client, who saw any injury to them as a potential loss for themselves as well. These sorts of policies are rare, but so is having legs that are as instantly recognizable as Klum’s.
Weddings are expensive. The average price of the ceremony and reception is an eye-watering $29,450, with many opting for even more expensive events. With so much money involved, it isn’t surprising that many couples are opting for wedding insurance, which can offer pay-outs in the event that things go wrong. From policies for the bride’s dress or the cake or even if one party gets cold feet and the ceremony can’t go ahead at all, these policies allow everyone to have a bit more peace of mind going into the big day. When you don’t have to worry about the financial implications of something going wrong, it frees up the organizers to focus on simply enjoying the day.
Card Game Insurance
Card games like poker and blackjack are inherently about risk management. Do you bet heavily when you have a good hand, or do you go slow in case another player or the dealer has something better? However, even with the risks inherent in the game, there are ways to blunt any potential losses. Poker, for example, allows players to strike a bargain with each other, which is a form of insurance. It also requires both sides to come to an agreement on how they calculate poker pot odds. For example, if two players go all-in before the flop in Texas Hold‘em, then the player who has the better starting hand can ask for insurance before more cards are revealed.
If their starting hand has a 70% chance of winning the pot, then they can ask for insurance from the other player. If they win, they keep 70% of the pot and pay 30% of the pot to the other player. If they lose, the other player keeps 30% of the pot but pays 70% to the other player. The concept is designed to ensure that even a stroke of bad luck doesn’t undo the benefit of getting a strong starting hand. Blackjack has a similar concept, where players can purchase insurance against the dealer getting an unbeatable pair of cards from the initial deal, showing that the concept isn’t completely unique to the poker table. These unusual insurance policies are short-lived but can keep a string of bad luck from ruining an otherwise fun activity.
Multiple Birth Insurance
The odds of having twins or even three-of-a-kind triplets are incredibly low, but it can also have a huge impact on both your life and your bank account. More kids mean more time off work, more clothes to buy, and more childcare costs. That is why many couples opt for multiple birth insurance, which offers payments in the event that they have more than one bundle of joy on the way. These policies pay for things like wages lost to the mother needing more time to recover or even to help offset the unexpectedly higher costs that come with welcoming more children into the world so that the parents can focus fully on enjoying being parents.
I hope you enjoyed this departure from our usual more serious posts and learned a bit more about what makes the insurance industry so fun, diverse, and interesting!