Not all insurance policies are boring!
Since the insurance industry can be a little dry, here are 13 interesting insurance facts you probably didn’t know.
Insurance Fact #1 | The Padres have signed the same player for 23 years so he doesn’t lose his health insurance.
The San Diego Padres have signed former left-handed pitcher Matt LaChappa to a minor league deal each year since 1996 when LaChappa, only 20 years old at the time, suffered a heart attack while warming up for a game.
LaChappa, now 42, still uses a wheelchair and his contract with the Padres gives him access to health insurance.
Insurance Fact #2 | Starbucks pays more for employee health insurance than it pays for coffee.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz began a company-wide turnaround that included cutting costs by laying off employees and closing stores nationwide, most of which had been open for less than two years.
However, even amid the cost-cutting Schultz refused to drop health care for his employees, a line item that tallies over $300 million, which is more than the company spends on coffee.
A shareholder called Schultz and said the crisis would provide him the perfect cover to cut benefits for part-time employees, but Schultz refused.
Insurance Fact #3 | No insurance company will underwrite Jackie Chan’s productions.
Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, famous for his daredevil stunts, personally trains his own stuntmen and pays their medical bills out of his own pocket.
“There are so many safety and insurance rules to follow,” Chan once said in an interview on his official website.
“I know that they want to make sure that I’m safe when I do my stunts, but sometimes they insist that I use protective gear for even simple things, and that is frustrating. It takes so much time,” he said.
Chan said he feels less encumbered when making films in Hong Kong.
“In Hong Kong, we just go ahead and do what needs to be done. There is no safety captain on the set. I use my own stunt team because they have experience and I trust them to make the action and stunts safe.”
Insurance Fact #4 | America Ferrera had her smile insured for $10,000,000.
Actress America Ferrera had her smile, including her teeth and gums, insured by her sponsor, Aquafresh, for $10,000,000.
The policy covers “any reasonable and necessary dental treatment costs or expenses that result from accidental injury” during the term of her policy.
Insurance Fact #5 | An insurance policy exists for death by excessive laughter at a movie theater.
During the early 19th century, movie-goers were so scared of dying due to excessive laughter that they bought insurance through Lloyd’s of London.
Insurance Fact #6 | The very first insurance contract was signed in 1347.
Although the concept of insurance can be traced back to ancient civilizations, the first known insurance contract was signed in 1347 in Genoa, Italy.
Separate insurance contracts, or insurance policies not bundled with loans or other kinds of contracts, were invented in Genoa in the 14th century, along with insurance pools backed by pledges of landed estates.
Insurance Fact #7 | An insurance company offered a cash reward to anyone who could capture the Loch Ness monster.
In 1971, whiskey manufacturer Cutty Sark offered an award of one million pounds ($2.4 million) to anyone who could capture the Loch Ness Monster.
The company also asked Lloyd’s of London to underwrite the contest.
Lloyd’s agreed, under one condition: that it would get to keep Nessie.
Insurance Fact #8 | Gene Simmons once insured his tongue for $1,000,000.
Gene Simmons, the bassist for the iconic 70s rock band KISS, once insured his tongue for $1,000,000.
The band’s trademark look consisting of black-and-white face paint was complemented by Simmons’ signature move – sticking out his tongue.
Insurance Fact #9 | The phenomenon of insuring body parts started in 1920.
Silent movie star Ben Turpin began the trend of insuring body parts in 1920 when he bought a $25,000 policy through Lloyd’s of London in case his signature crossed eyes ever uncrossed.
Insurance Fact #10 | Alien abduction insurance has been available in the U.S. since 1987.
Alien abduction insurance, also known as UFO insurance, is supposed to cover you in the event that you can prove that you have been abducted by non-human life forms, provided the terms and conditions of the policy are met along with conditions that would substantiate the proof.
UFO Abduction Insurance Company in Altamont Springs, Florida, sells a $10,000,000 alien abduction policy.
Interestingly, the company has actually paid claims and has sold more than 100,000 policies.
Insurance Fact #11 | The word ‘insurance’ originally meant an ‘engagement to marry’.
The word ‘insurance’ is derived from the French word ‘ensurer’ and originally meant an ‘engagement to marry’.
Over time the word evolved to become ‘assurance’ and later ‘insurance’ with its modern meaning.
Insurance Fact #12 | ‘Hole-in-one’ insurance allows golfers to offer huge prizes to anyone who gets a hole-in-one.
With hole-in-one insurance, golfers can award luxurious prizes, such as a brand new car or a large amount of cash, if someone makes a hole-in-one during your golf event.
This insurance works like any other kind of insurance policy, except that instead of insuring your property against damage, you are paying a premium to eliminate the risk of having to pay for a prize if someone makes a hole-in-one during your golf event.
Insurance Fact #13 | Taco Bell once purchased taco insurance.
When the Mir space station was intended to crash somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean in 2001, fast-food chain Taco Bell promised to provide everyone in America a free taco if the space station crashed within a tiny designated perimeter in the Pacific Ocean.
Ultimately, Mir did not hit the target. If it had, Taco Bell would have been down almost $280 million dollars.
Just in case Mir did hit the target, the restaurant chain purchased a taco insurance policy to cover the risks.
Author: Ellen Reinhardt
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