Getting insured against the possibility of psychiatric problems or infertility may already be the norm, but we suspect it will take some time before the following insurance policies become commonplace. In the meantime, they are certainly good for a laugh. Here, the moneyland.ch team lists our pick of the quirkiest insurance policies ever to hit Switzerland and the world.
1. Beard insurance: The general public may have found it amusing when Lloyds of London insured the beard of professional Santa Claus lookalike Brady White back in 2006 when only Santa could wear a decent beard without being arrested at the airport or labeled a bum. By 2017, the hipster movement had completely changed society’s attitude towards beards, which made the hipster beard insurance offered by UK insurer Sunlife on April Fools Day seem perfectly legitimate. But for now anyway, Lloyds remains the world's primary beard insurer.
2. Fantasy sports insurance: Fantasy football and rotisserie baseball leagues have been popular in the U.S. since long before computers moved out of enormous warehouses and into people’s homes. But it took around 50 years for insurance providers to realize the potential market. Real-life performance of actual players forms the basis of fantasy sports team gaming, and players generally invest real money in their “teams”. These facts motivated two insurance brokers from Long Island to put their brains together and offer fantasy sports players coverage against “losses” due to players sitting out games due to injuries or other factors. What can we say – brilliant.
3. Chest hair insurance: While trends may not be as hairy as they once were, there was a time when a proper hairy chest could help you score a top modeling contract or a lead role in the movies. All that hair needed protection, and at least one policy insuring against unnatural chest hair loss (reportedly up to a sum insured of 1 million pounds) was underwritten by Lloyds of London.
4. Rain insurance: Weather insurance might make sense for famers and airlines, and it would certainly have been a hit with Napoleon Bonaparte ahead of his Russian expedition, but only the most avid insurance lovers would not find taking out rain insurance for a holiday hilariously funny. Perhaps that is why the rain insurance offered in Switzerland by Allianz Global Assistance between 2012 and 2014 only lasted two years. Swiss may love insurance, but apparently they aren’t too put off by rain.
5. Lottery insurance: Many people dream of winning the lottery, but apparently some business owners find the prospect a complete nightmare – assuming that their employees win, that is. To help ease employer’s worries that their business will go to pot if their key employees win the lottery and retire early, UK insurer Worldwide Special Risk offers lottery syndicate insurance. If your employees win the lottery and wave goodbye, insurance benefits will cover the costs of hiring temporary staff and recruiting new employees.
6. Divorce insurance: Till death do us part? Maybe, but statistics show that taking out divorce insurance may not be the craziest thing you could do with your money. While Swiss are content to take out vaguer and less-unromantic legal expenses insurance, UK legal services provider ARAG goes straight to the point, offering a policy covering the legal cost of divorce proceedings to customers who have them draft prenuptial agreements.
7. Twins insurance: If the thought of having to raise two or three babies at once keeps you up at night, the multiple-birth insurance from former UK insurer Eagle Star might have helped to put your mind at rest. The policy promised a benefit of up to 3000 pounds if you suddenly become the proud parent of multiple babies in a single pregnancy. Granted, 3000 quid sounded like more back in the days before Eagle Star became part of Zurich insurance.
8. Hole-in-one insurance: Who says insurance is all about bad luck? The high costs associated with celebrating a one-shot wonder at the golf course can have the lucky golfer digging deep into his pockets, or worse yet – racking up credit card debt. But rather than doing everything possible to avoid a hole in one, just take out hole-in-one insurance to cover the cost of celebrating if you do get lucky (or highly skilled). Several insurance companies in Switzerland offer this coverage, including Vaudoise and Allianz. It also comes as a benefit with the Diners Club golf credit card.
9. Pokemon insurance:
For the longest time digital gaming did not constitute a large enough market to interest insurance companies, with only the odd gamer starving to death in front of their screen or murdering a gaming companion. But that all changed when the Pokemon Go craze hit in 2016. Frequent reports of players strolling into moving cars or walking off cliffs in search of virtual cartoon characters prompted German/Swiss insurance broker Knip to break new ground by offering the first coverage specifically designed for Pokemon Go players in 2016. While Swiss gamers were already covered by compulsory accident insurance, the rest of the world could finally cut loose and walk into glass doors without facing the financial consequences.
10. Loch Ness Monster insurance: No list of the quirkiest insurance policies would be complete without Nessie. When whisky distiller Cutty Sark ran a publicity stunt offering a 1-million-pound reward to the person who could find Nessie at the height of the Loch Ness monster hype in the early 1970s, it turned to Lloyds of London to insure it against having to pay out the claim. Jacobite Cruises, a travel operator which runs boat tours on the famous lake, took out more literal coverage to insurance its fleet against a collision with the as-yet-undiscovered creature. While the chances of receiving a benefit might be slim, the free publicity scored has been priceless.