Thanks to something called human nature, a small section of society will seek insurance cover for any given situation, regardless of the risk involved. Happily for the insurance providers of this world, this also presents more, previously unimagined opportunities to sell their product. Below are 6 of the strangest insurance policies ever offered.
1. Alien Abduction Insurance
For those who live in fear of being pulled aboard a spaceship during the night, only to be examined, scarred for life, and subsequently in need of an insurance payout, help is at hand in the form of Alien Abduction Insurance. The first company to offer such a thing was St. Lawrence Agency, an insurance provider who claim to have sold over 20,000 such policies. Less successful in the Alien Abduction Insurance arena was Goodfellow Rebecca Ingrams Pearson, a brokerage who ceased to offer their abduction insurance after it was revealed that the 39 members of Heaven’s Gate cult found dead in 1997 had all taken out their insurance prior to the mass suicide.
2. Immaculate Conception Cover
For six years, beginning in 2000, the Essex-based company British Insurance had been providing a very niche form of insurance cover for three sisters living in Inverness, Scotland. Unfortunately for all involved, the firm was forced to lose the siblings’ custom (a £1M policy, to be paid out should one of the sisters experience a virgin birth and therefore need funds with which to bring up the second coming of Christ) in 2006, following an unsurprising deluge of complaints from members of the Catholic Church.
3. Riot Insurance
In an attempt to attract tourists to the area following continued political conflict that culminated in the closure of Bangkok’s airports in 2008, the Thai government quickly decided to break the mould and offer free riot insurance to all holidaymakers still wishing to visit the country. In fact the $10,000 insurance package is still available to all foreign tourists, alongside the promise of $100 compensation, per person, should anyone experience travel delays as a result of rioting.
4. Multiple Birth Insurance
For many expectant parents a single incoming baby is cause for concern financially. Luckily for them, it’s actually possible (via more providers than you’d imagine) to take out an insurance policy that guards against the worryingly expensive possibility of twins arriving. More often than not the insurance must be taken out prior to the 11th week of pregnancy, after which, in the event of two or more babies being born at once (provided your payments have been regular of course) policy-holders can expect a small windfall to ease the burden; financially at least.
5. Kidnap and Ransom Cover
It’s depressing to think that over the past decades, as the world climate has become more fractious, the very idea of Kidnap and Ransom Insurance being available to the general public has become much less surprising. In fact for many companies whose employees deal in foreign countries on a regular basis, “K&R Cover” is now a very normal (and vital) part of business, especially when considering the numbers: more than 1,000 kidnappings of professionals and executives occur annually.
6. Paranormal Activity Insurance
According to the BBC, it was back in 2002 that hotel owner Terry Meggs took out insurance to guard his patrons against an unruly poltergeist with the potential to harm. He apparently paid a firm named Ultraviolet £500 per annum to have his business covered by its ‘Spooksafe’ policy: in the event of a member of staff or customer being killed or maimed by a ghost, poltergeist or other abnormal phenomena, they promised to pay out up to £1M. Luckily for guests of his Royal Falcon Hotel, as of yet Mr Meggs hasn’t needed to file a claim.