The insurance industry has been around for hundreds of years and offers policies to cover almost any risk imaginable. Although many types of insurance have real value and protect against the risk inherent in daily life, some individuals have coverage for risks that might seem comical, absurd or even bizarre to many. (For related reading, also take a look at 6 Bizarre Celebrity Insurance Policies.)
TUTORIAL: Introduction to Insurance
1. Fantasy Sports Insurance
Fantasy sports are a popular activity for many people that love sports and yearn to recapture their youth. An individual drafts a team of real-life players in baseball, basketball, football, hockey and other sports, and then competes against other managers with points awarded based on the statistics of these players. While some of these fantasy sports leagues are free to enter and played for fun, many others have entry fees and provide substantial payouts to the winners.
One problem faced by all managers is the chance of a real-life injury to a player on their team. Although managers can drop and pick up new players during the season, these roster moves can be expensive and add up during a typical season. Insurance companies now offer fantasy sports policies to reimburse managers if a key player is injured in for more than a set number of games. These policies are customized based on the sport and can cover the entire entry fee in the case of a major injury.
2. Sports Fan Insurance
Another sports-related insurance policy was issued in 2006, and covered an English soccer fan from any "severe trauma" suffered if England was eliminated from an early round of the World Cup. It would appear that no claim was made, as England finished in first place in Group B, won its second round match, and then lost to Portugal in a dramatic penalty shoot out in the quarter finals.
3. Gambling Loss Insurance
Two inventors received a patent for a method and apparatus by which a gambler can protect against excessive losses at a casino. The invention involved setting up a machine inside the casino where gamblers could choose the amount of coverage needed. There is no record of this invention being installed or put into use at any casino.
TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics
4. Alien Abductions or UFO Insurance
Many insurers offer policies to protect against abduction by aliens with extra coverage to protect against impregnation by those same aliens. A London-based brokerage firm had 4000 of these types of policies outstanding in the late 1990s, including one to members of the Heaven's Gate Cult. After the mass suicide by that group, the company stopped offering these types of policies. Several companies still offer the coverage for a one-time premium ranging from $9.99 to $19.95.
5. Ghost Insurance
Other insurance companies offer policies to protect against haunting by ghosts or other spirits. One of these policies was purchased by a hotel owner in England after he witnessed a ghost in the hotel bar. The policy paid one million GBP if a customer or employee is killed or permanently disabled by a ghost while on the premises.
6. Immaculate Conception Coverage
Another English insurance company sold insurance to protect women from a virgin birth, or the Immaculate Conception, with the policy covering the cost of raising a child born in this manner. The insurance company collected premiums for six years but felt compelled to cancel this policy after complaints from the public and church authorities.
The Bottom Line
There are many unusual and outright bizarre insurance policies written by insurance companies that are more than willing to pocket yearly premiums from customers. These policies are only limited by the human imagination. (For additional reading, also check out Top 10 Life Insurance Myths.)