In australia, insurance companies aren’t getting too many positive stories of late. But, out of Canada comes a story that is rather bizarre. For those that feel insurance companies are blood sucking thieves, hearing what they are prepared to insure, with little likelyhood of a payout, will not temper those feelings anytime soon.
How about Fantasy Sports Insurance? Apparently Fantasy sports are a popular activity for many people that love sports and are keen to recapture their youth.
It works like this; An individual drafts a team of real-life players in baseball, basketball, football, hockey and other sports, and then competes against other managers with points awarded based on the statistics of these players. While some of these fantasy sports leagues are free to enter and played for fun, many others have entry fees and provide substantial payouts to the winners.
A problem faced by all managers is that of possible real-life injury to a player on their team. Although managers can drop and pick up new players during the season, these roster moves can be expensive and add up during a typical season. Insurance companies now offer fantasy sports policies to reimburse managers if a key player is injured in for more than a set number of games. These policies are customized based on the sport and can cover the entire entry fee in the case of a major injury.
Then we have Sports Fan Insurance. A sports-related insurance policy was issued in 2006, and covered an English soccer fan from any “severe trauma” suffered if England was eliminated from an early round of the World Cup. It would appear that no claim was made, as England finished in first place in Group B, won its second round match, and then lost to Portugal in the quarter finals.
Then there is Gambling Loss Insurance. Two inventors received a patent for a method and apparatus by which a gambler can protect against excessive losses at a casino. The invention involved setting up a machine inside the casino where gamblers could choose the amount of coverage needed. There is no record of this invention being installed or put into use at any casino.
For those with a fear of Alien Abductions or UFO’s, there is now Insurance. Many insurers offer policies to protect against abduction by aliens with extra coverage to protect against impregnation by those same aliens. A London-based brokerage firm had 4000 of these types of policies outstanding in the late 1990s, including one to members of the Heaven’s Gate Cult. After the mass suicide by that group, the company stopped offering these types of policies. Several companies still offer the coverage for a one-time premium under $20.
Of course, if you live in a haunted house, you can’t pass up Ghost Insurance. There are some really opportunistic cutting edge insurance companies that offer policies to protect against haunting by ghosts or other spirits. One of these policies was purchased by a hotel owner in England after he witnessed a ghost in the hotel bar. The policy paid one million GBP if a customer or employee is killed or permanently disabled by a ghost while on the premises.
Believe it or not, but there was even an Immaculate Conception Insurance. Once again, an English insurance company sold insurance to protect women from a virgin birth, or the Immaculate Conception, with the policy covering the cost of raising a child born in this manner. The insurance company collected premiums for six years but felt compelled to cancel this policy after complaints from the public and church authorities.
The original author, Eric Fox, writing for the cnews.canoe.ca website makes a valid point. He writes
“There are many unusual and outright bizarre insurance policies written by insurance companies that are more than willing to pocket yearly premiums from customers. These policies are only limited by the human imagination.”
Essentially, insurance companies tend to follow the line of thought that if you want to pay them good money to protect yourself from all sorts of wayout claims, then they are more than happy to oblige. It seems the only problem they really have is to actually pay out on valid claims for things they thought would never happen.