Athletes and celebrities depend on their physical prowess and appearance to earn their livelihoods, and some will go to great lengths to secure it. Though the practice may seem outrageous to many, these stars have shelled out big money for insurance policies on the assets that have been benchmarks of their success: their bodies.
Taking out a policy on a body part, although rare, has been around for decades. During the 1920s, silent film clown Ben Turpin, who was known for his crossed eyes, took an insurance policy out if his eyes were to ever become uncrossed, TIME magazine reported. From their legs to the hair on their head and everything in between, the rich and famous are seeking to protect their money makers, and sometimes to gain a little publicity as well.
And who exactly is penning these policies? UK-based Lloyd’s of London, has become known for providing some of the most famous celebrity body part policies. The company describes itself as “the world’s leading market for specialist insurance” and “insures some of the world’s largest, most unique and complicated risks,” making it an attractive place for celebrities to take out policies.
So, who are some celebrities who have taken out insurance policies to cover their assets? Click ahead to find out.
By Jill Weinberger and Joseph O'Dell
Posted 3 Jan 2012
Body part: Breasts
Amount insured: $1 million
The former girlfriend to Hugh Hefner and star of reality show Holly's World took out a $1 million insurance policy on her breasts with Lloyd's of London earlier this year.
After starring in the reality show Girls Next Door, she became well known for her body and more specifically her chest. The decision to take out insurance was prompted by her topless starring role in the Las Vegas show Peepshow, according to People magazine.
"I've heard about people getting body parts insured, and I thought, why not? Because if anything happened to my boobs, I'd be out for a few months and I'd probably be out a million dollars, I thought I'd cover my assets," she told People.
Body part: Fingers
Amount insured: $1 million each
Guitar legend and former member of the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck may be a master of his instrument, but he has yet to hone his culinary skills. Following an accident in the kitchen that threatened Beck’s career, he decided to insure each finger for $1 million.
The accident occurred in 2009 when Beck was cutting carrots for a stew and the knife he was using slipped, chopping off the tip of his of his left index finger. Luckily for Beck, a quick trip to the hospital saved his finger – and his career, and now any irreparable damage done to his digits will, at the very least, secure his financial future.
Body part: Hair
Amount insured: $1 Million
The Pro Bowl strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers is famous not just for his prowess on the field, but also for his hair. Polamalu says he has not cut his hair since 2000, and it is reported that he goes through a 45-minute ritual before games just to take care of it.
A few years ago, the football player became a spokesman for Procter & Gamble's Head & Shoulders shampoo and since then, the company has gone to great lengths to protect his hair, including taking out a $1 million policy with Lloyds of London. The policy may come in handy because NFL rules consider hair a part of the player’s jersey, and therefore fair to pull when making a tackle. Polamalu experienced this first-hand when he was tackled by his hair in 2006.
During the summer of 2011, fans freaked when a viral video surfaced of Polamalu getting his locks shaved. The video, however, was a fake.
Body part: Legs
Amount insured: $2.2 million
Heidi Klum, best known as a Victoria’s Secret model and host of the TV show “Project Runway,” had her legs insured by London's Phillips De Pury for $2.2 million during her time as a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble's Braun shavers.
If the $2.2 million figure seems like an odd amount, it’s because her left leg is worth $200,000 less than her right leg. ”I had one scar here from when I fell on a glass, so this [left leg] isn't as pricey and this [right] one," Klum explained in a 2011 interview with Vogue.
Body part: Hands
Amount insured: $1.6 million
Keith Richards, founding member and lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, knows exactly what got him where he is today: his hands. The Rolling Stone guitarist took out a $1.6 million policy thorough Lloyd’s of London, covering the hands that helped him become one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
In an interview with Fortune, Richards flashed his hands and said, “these are the business,” and like any business, Richards is looking out for his financial interests.
Body part: Smile
Amount insured: $10 Million
America Ferrera is known for starring in ABC- TV’s "Ugly Betty" as an ugly duckling wearing braces. However, in real life, the actress doesn’t actually require the braces that have been her on-screen signature. In 2006, the GlaxoSmithKline brand Aquafresh took out a $10 million insurance policy with Lloyds of London for the actress' smile. The policy was part of a program to raise money for ”Smiles for Success,” a nationwide organization that provides free dental care for women transitioning from welfare to work.
The actress responded: "It's very flattering to have my smile insured for $10 million; it's not something that I ever imagined happening."
Body part: Voice
Amount insured: $6 million
New Jersey’s favorite son had New Jersey’s favorite voice insured, according to Time.com, for $6 million. He’s best known for timeless hits like “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark” and has had a slew of platinum and gold albums numbering in the double digits.
The rock ‘n’ roll superstar took out the policy with Lloyd’s of London as a safety net if he were ever to lose or severely damage his voice. According to Business Week, Lloyds couldn’t disclose the time that he took out the insurance, but they note that there are articles dating back to 1988 on the topic.
Body part: Breasts
Amount insured: $600,000
The country singer may be known for her singing voice, her platinum-blond hair and hits like “Jolene” and “9 to 5” but she is also well known for other… assets. With her breasts measuring a reported 40DD, Dolly may not have been Dolly without them. She took out a policy to cover herself if anything happened to them. Each breast is worth $300,000, making the total $600,000.
Body part: Taste Buds
Amount insured: $400,000
Egon Ronay, a Hungarian-born British immigrant, had an insurance policy that covered his taste buds through Lloyds of London for $400,00. Ronay’s restaurant guide “Egon Ronay’s Guide to British Eateries,” was said to either make or break a restaurant’s reputation and to launch the careers of famous chefs, including Gordon Ramsey, according to The New York Times. He was also said to have a distaste for TV chefs, exclaiming that Ramsey and Jamie Oliver “are not chefs anymore, they are business people.”
The policy covered his sense of taste, and guaranteed payment had he lost it. He died in 2010 at age 94.