Most people think they’ve got their insurance bases covered once they’ve bought the basics like health, auto, home, and life. Little do they know there’s a whole world of crazy insurance policies out there that can protect against just about any imaginable misfortune.
Most of us have heard about the crazy celebrity insurance policies, such as the $1 billion policy on Mariah Carey’s legs, or the nearly $200 million personal injury policy that David Beckham carried at the height of his career. But there are also plenty of kooky policies for purchase by the rest of us.
A quick Internet search pulls up “insurance policies” to protect against everything from alien abduction to a zombiepocalypse. Not every atypical insurance policy out there is quite as far-flung, however. Here’s a list of 10 policies offered by legitimate insurers that you probably didn’t even know existed.
1. Cold feet insurance: As the cost of a wedding grows, interest in insurance that covers a couple’s nuptials is also on the rise. Fireman’s Fund even offers a policy that will cover costs in the event the bride or groom has a “change of heart” and calls off the event. Be sure to read the fine print on this one, though: In order to make a claim, the wedding has to be a cancelled a full year before its scheduled date, and only expenses laid out by a third party (like parents) would be reimbursed.
2. Fantasy football insurance: Fantasy sports are a huge business, participants take the games very seriously, and they know that a real-life injury to one of their star players could be calamitous to a fantasy season. Enter FantasyPlayerProtect.com, a new product that allows fantasy sports players to purchase insurance on their team members to protect their “investment” in a fantasy league.
3. Multiple-birth insurance: One bundle of joy can be a very expensive blessing, and doubling or tripling the expenses thanks to twins or triplets is enough to break the proverbial bank of mom and dad. Multiple-birth insurance offers a lump sum to parents who have purchased a policy and then find out they’re having multiple children. One caveat: Such policies are not available to couples who have undergone fertility treatment.
4. Divorce insurance: Financial planners know a divorce can be devastating to the finances of both parties, as they lay out lawyer fees and split up assets (and debts) they had planned to carry into old age together. Several companies now allow couples to buy divorce insurance, which promises a payout in the event the marriage dissolves.
5. Chicken insurance: There’s been an upswing in insurance for pets like cats and dogs, which pays for costly illnesses or operations. Many companies now offer an optional employee benefit to those who want to purchase pet coverage through work. But what about beloved pets beyond Fido and Fluffy? Private companies now offer coverage for everything from backyard chickens to pet mice.
6. Kidnapping insurance: The world is a dangerous place, and it’s become increasingly common for those traveling in third-world countries to face a real risk of kidnapping for ransom. Aside from the trauma of it, kidnapping can get extremely expensive, considering the costs of the ransom itself, of expert negotiators, and of travel arrangements. To cover themselves, many wealthy families—and companies with employees overseas—carry kidnap and ransom insurance.
7. Drunk guest insurance: Officially known as “social host liquor liability coverage,” this insurance covers expenses in the event an intoxicated guest at a party you throw causes costly damage to property or to another individual. Note: If you throw the party in your own home, your homeowners’ insurance usually includes this.
8. Infertility insurance: Fifteen states require that health insurance plans provide some coverage for the expensive treatment of infertility. For couples having trouble conceiving in the other 35 states, the expenses of in-vitro fertilization and other treatments generally come out of pocket. However, it is possible to purchase a supplemental plan to assist with these costs.
9. Golf insurance: While U.S. golfers are typically covered by their homeowners’ insurance or by a golf course’s liability insurance for an errant ball, if you’re golfing abroad you could be on the hook for property damage or medical bills. To cover such a possibility, insurers throughout Europe and Asia offer specific golf policies that pay for costs associated with errant balls, as well as lost or stolen clubs and equipment.
10. Bedbug insurance: You may be out of luck if you discover a bed bug infestation at home: Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance typically doesn’t cover the estimated $1,000-plus costs to end the critter invasion. Most bedbugs are picked up outside the home, however, and for frequent hotel guests it may be worth adding a bedbug rider to a travel policy, so that you’re covered in case you bring home bedbugs after a conference or an overnight stay.
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