Average people insure average things like cars, houses, and maybe even a boat. Celebrities insure legs, voices, and some things you might not want to examine if you're a claims adjuster. Here are a few unusual things insured by the famous Lloyds of London over the years.
In 1957, world-famous food critic Egon Ronay wrote and published the first edition of the Egon Ronay Guide to British Eateries. Because his endorsement could make or break a restaurant, Ronay insured his taste buds for $400,000.
In the 1940s, executives at 20th Century Fox had the legs of actress Betty Grable insured for $1 million each. After taking out the policies, Grable probably wished she had added a rider to protect her from injury while the insurance agents fought over who would inspect her when making a claim.
While playing on Australia's national cricket team from 1985 to 1994, Merv Hughes took out an estimated $370,000 policy on his trademark walrus mustache, which, combined with his 6'4" physique and outstanding playing ability, made him one of the most recognized cricketers in the world.
Representing the Cheerio Yo-Yo Company of Canada, 13-year-old Harvey Lowe won the 1932 World Yo-Yo championships in London and toured Europe from 1932 to 1935. He even taught Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales, how to yo-yo. Lowe was so valuable to Cheerio that the company insured his hands for $150,000!
From 1967 to 1992, British comedian and singer Ken Dodd was in the Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest joke-telling session -- 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours. Dodd has sold more than 100 million comedy records and is famous for his frizzy hair, ever-present feather duster, and extremely large buckteeth. His teeth are so important to his act that Dodd had them insured for $7.4 million, surely making his insurance agent grin.
Our list of odd things insured by Lloyds of London continues on the next page.
During the height of his career, Michael Flatley -- star of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance -- insured his legs for an unbelievable $47 million. Before becoming the world's most famous Irish step dancer, the Chicago native trained as a boxer and won the Golden Gloves Championship in 1975, undoubtedly dazzling his opponents with some extremely fast and fancy footwork.
The famous comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello seemed to work extremely well together, especially in their famous "Who's on First?" routine. But to protect against a career-ending argument, they took out a $250,000 insurance policy over a five-year period. After more than 20 years together, the team split up in 1957 -- not due to a disagreement, but because the Internal Revenue Service got them for back taxes, which forced them to sell many of their assets, including the rights to their many films.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen is known to his fans as "The Boss," but Springsteen knows that he could be demoted to part-time status with one case of laryngitis. That's why in the 1980s he insured his famous gravelly voice for $6 million. Rod Stewart has also insured his throat and Bob Dylan his vocal cords to protect themselves from that inevitable day when they stop blowin' in the wind.
Before rock 'n' roll, a popular type of music in England in the 1950s was skiffle, a type of folk music with a jazz and blues influence played on washboards, jugs, kazoos, and cigar-box fiddles. It was so big at the time that a washboard player named Chas McDevitt tried to protect his career by insuring his fingers for $9,300. It didn't do him much good because skiffle was replaced by rock 'n' roll, washboards by washing machines, and McDevitt by McCartney.
Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen
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