Uncle John knows pretty much everything—and if he doesn’t, he heads his massive research library, or puts one of his many associates on the case. So go ahead: In the comments below, ask Uncle John anything. (And if we answer your question on the blog, we’ll send you a free book!)
Do celebrities really have certain, signature body parts (or other odd assets) insured with Lloyd’s of London?
Yes. Lloyd’s isn’t a traditional insurance company, but a “specialist insurance marketplace.” Not backed by one institution, it has the financial interest of several backers, which means that it can offer big payouts if necessary by distributing risk around the multiple parties.
The company was founded in London in 1688 and initially sold insurance for boats and cargo, but today it’s undoubtedly most famous for being the insurer of celebrity body parts and talents. It’s logical that something like this would exist—extremely talented rich and famous people rely on their talent (or what have you) and to lose it would mean the end of their livelihood. Some real insurance policies:
- In the 1940s, 20th Century Fox took out a policy on the legs of contract player Betty Grable for $1 million (per leg). Mariah Carey also has her legs insured for a cool million (but not her voice), and if anything happens to model Heidi Klum’s legs, she gets $2 million.
- In 1957, influential British food critic Egon Ronay insured his taste buds for $400,000.
- Riverdance star dancer Michael Flatley at one point had insured his legs for $47 million.
- Around the time Born in the USA came out, Bruce Springsteen insured his voice for $6 million.
- Gene Simmons’ tongue? Insured for $1 million.
- Ilja Gort owns the Chateau de la Garde winery in Bordeaux, and insured his sensitive nose for $8 million.
- Keith Richards has a $1.5 million insurance policy if he can’t play the guitar anymore. And that’s just for his middle finger.