Ever seen those videos of NBA fans sinking half-court shots to win $20,000 or a brand-new car? While the fans are dancing around center court, the sponsor is likely calling its insurance agent. Because chances are, they have a policy that financially protects them from having to pay up for those lucky shots.
When it comes to insurance, health, home, car, and life insurance policies are just the tip of the iceberg. People and businesses have long insured against costly events of all kinds. Some commission custom policies to fit their unique needs – or possibly paranoid personalities.
So, in honor of National Insurance Day, we’re sharing nine types of insurance you probably didn’t know existed, probably have no need for, but that can be used as conversation starters at when there’s a lull in tonight’s dinner convo.
#9: Contest insurance
Half-court basketball shots, hole-in-one competitions, and special promotions – such as purchase refunds if it snows on New Year’s Day – are excellent marketing strategies for companies. But for a company that doesn’t want to risk having to actually pay out if the unlikely event happens, there is prize or contest insurance.
Insurance companies offer insurance for contests where participants can win big prizes. The policies can facilitate a wide range of specific marketing contests and allow brands to effectively plan marketing spend by only having to budget the insurance premium.
#8: Bicycle insurance
Avid cyclists can spend thousands – or even tens of thousands – of dollars on a high-quality bicycle. But when the bike is stolen or damaged, they may find that their homeowners or renters insurance policy isn’t up for the job. (But it could be covered, so read the fine print.)
A cyclist might find himself or herself out a lot of money for a damaged or lost bike. Not to mention the increased insurance costs many insurers impose in the future as a result of the claim.
Bicycle insurance policies cover liability, damage, or loss on a wide range of bikes. Some plans can offer bike rentals if your bike is damaged during an event, as well as roadside assistance.
#7: Key person insurance
When an employee’s work performance goes beyond Employee of the Month, that person could become key to the company’s continued success. Key person insurance is life insurance on an employee, partner, or owner who is crucial to the operation of the business. The policy is paid out to the company if that person dies unexpectedly.
The payout from key person insurance is intended to either help a company stay afloat while it finds and trains a replacement or to close the business in an orderly manner if it cannot continue to run without its shining star.
We’ve done our own… ahem… analysis of people we think qualify for key man insurance. Like the dancing guy for the Mighty Mighty Boss-Tones. Take a look and see if you agree with our assessment of these folks’ indispensability.
#6: Food truck insurance
You already know that there is insurance for restaurants and insurance for cars, but what about when you combine the two?
Food trucks continue to gain popularity in cities across the country, and owners need to financially protect their mobile establishments from property damage, auto liability, and other potential issues, like food sickness. This is especially true as comprehensive coverage may be required to secure city permits. Major insurance companies and niche providers now offer this type of insurance.
#5: Fantasy Football Insurance
More than 59 million people in the USA and Canada played fantasy sports in 2017, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. And with the average player spending over $650 a year, fantasy sports have become a large market.
To remedy the panic, and potential losses, of your top player going down with an injury, you can now take out fantasy athlete insurance. Specialty insurers offer coverage on top players in football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. If one of your players is out for a certain number of games due to injury, you can get your full league entry fee back.
#4: Kidnap and Ransom Insurance
It sounds like something out of a nightmare, and indeed a policy you hope never to need, but it is a real thing. With an estimated $1.5 billion paid out to kidnappers each year, according to Havocscope, the self-proclaimed “Consumer Report for the Underworld,” kidnap and ransom insurance policies are on the rise.
A kidnap and ransom policy will reimburse you for ransom charges and other expenses to free you if you are abducted. Policyholders can also add extensions for child abductions.
Offered by many major carriers, these policies are traditionally aimed at corporations or high-profile individuals. Keep in mind that while kidnapping is on the rise in some regions of the world, random kidnapping of an adult or child is still exceedingly rare.
#3: Paranormal Insurance
During the day, you don’t believe in ghosts and poltergeists. At night, are you a little more open-minded? Terry Meggs, the owner of the Royal Falcon Hotel in the U.K, definitely was.
When concerns that his establishment’s resident poltergeist might harm a customer or staff member, Meggs took out an insurance policy. The insurer covered a wide range of paranormal activity and had reportedly paid out claims in the past. According to the BBC, the insurer paid out over $100,000 on a policy after the death of a woman in the US was concluded to have been caused by a ghost.
#2: Cold feet insurance
The average wedding cost $35,329 in 2016, according to a survey by The Knot. A big chunk of change to be out if the bride or groom panics before the wedding.
Some wedding insurance companies offer optional “Change of Heart” coverage to innocent wedding financiers. Yet, in a policy we found, coverage only kicks in if the event is canceled more than 365 days before the planned date, and expenses made by the bride or groom are not eligible.
While the policy may not be useful when someone is left at the altar, “Change of Heart” insurance is usually an add-on to a broader wedding policy.
#1: Body part insurance
Remember Gene Simmons, the Kiss bassist? His unusually long tongue was reportedly insured for $1 million.
Athletes, models, and entertainers have a lot riding on the function and appearance of certain body parts. These individuals, but more often the companies that hire them, can insure their profitable body parts with a particular type of insurance. This kind of policy is called a surplus line and is offered by specialty carriers like Lloyd’s of London.
For instance, in 2010 Head & Shoulders took out a $1 million insurance policy on its spokesman’s hair, Troy Polamalu. Real Madrid insured Cristiano Ronaldo’s legs for $144 million after Ronaldo almost suffered a knee injury in 2009. And a Dutch winemaker, Ilja Gort, insured his nose and sense of smell for $5.6 million in 2008.
For most people, ordinary long-term disability insurance is all you need to protect your income if you are suddenly unable to do your job. With the added benefit of it covering your whole body.
Creating stability with insurance
Ghosts, weddings, gourmet food truck sandwiches… it doesn’t matter. There is probably an insurance policy available for whatever uncertainty life might throw at you.
And while we can’t offer you completely random, arguably useless (to most of us, anyway) insurance policies, we can help you celebrate National Insurance Day with a policy that really matters for most of us: term life insurance. You can get a free quote in a few clicks and submit an application right on our website. We want you to to sleep soundly knowing you’ve helped to financially protect your family… even if you suspect Casper is hiding in your closet.
Chelsea Brennan is the founder of Smart Money Mamas, a personal finance blog that focuses on family finance, investing, and reducing money stress. Chelsea is an ex-hedge fund investor whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, including Forbes, Business Insider, and more.