End lines: Worth an arm and a leg
The map: Michael Booth turns the spotlight on celebrity insurance policies
Saturday 05 September 1998
hit the ground too? If so, have you ever thought of having your favoured feature insured? For many who make their living from their physical beauty or prowess (unlikely with the buttock trick, but you could try a circus perhaps) insuring the source of their success can make perfect tax-deductible sense. And for celebrities, the kudos granted by a few noughts on an insurance certificate can work miracles at the box office. (Hey! Michael Flatley's legs are insured for pounds 25m, maybe Riverdance isn't as bad as it looks.)
Ben Turpin Hollywood's insurers have had plenty of practise at stifling giggles, but silent-film comedian Ben Turpin must have been quite a challenge when he asked to take out cover against his cross-eyes becoming uncrossed (happily the pounds 20,000 pay-out was never claimed).
Jimmy Durante In the Forties US entertainer Jimmy "Schnozzle" Durante took out a pounds 50,000 cover on his humungous hooter.
Bruce Springsteen Both Rod Stewart's and Springsteen's vocal chords are well covered, the latter to the tune of pounds 3.5m. But how will they tell when his voice is shot?
Suzanne Mizzi The model's bottom-insurance contract stipulated that she didn't get pregnant or smoke or drink to excess, in order to preserve her posterior for posterity.
Keith Richards Fossil rocker Richards will receive satisfaction to the tune of pounds 1m should he lose the use of his right index finger.
Michael Owen Footballers insure their legs as a matter of course; Alan Shearer's are the subject of a pounds 40m policy, Ronaldo has pounds 50m cover, but topping the lot is Michael Owen, whose legular assets are said to be worth pounds 60m.
Frank Morgan In 1931 22-year-old model Lucie Clayton insured her 2ft-long golden locks for pounds 1,000 against damage from illness, fire or a mishap at the hairdressers (how many of us have left the stylists wishing we had that cover?). Other hirsute neurotics include members of the Derbyshire Whisker Club who are insured against theft of their beards, and Forties Hollywood star Morgan, whose moustache was covered by Lloyds for pounds 2,500.
Ken Dodd The usually prudent Dodd is reported to have insured his trademark front teeth for an astonishing pounds 4m.
Egon Ronay The famous gourmand is set to receive pounds 250,000 should his taste buds no longer be able to tell the difference between caviar and cat food.
Sam Fox Probably the most famous pair of bosoms to be covered are Dolly Parton's, whose 42 inches are insured for pounds 350,000. But Samantha Fox also prepared for the inevitable pull of gravity with a pounds 250,000 five-year policy in 1985.
Nigel Benn The champion boxer had his fists covered for pounds 10m. Knockout.
John Wayne Bobbitt Following the pollarding of John Wayne Bobbitt's manhood, US males queued up for the Penis Protection Plan, but a UK stripper, Frankie Jakeman, pre-empted them in 1987 with his own well-endowed policy with Lloyds, covering his member for pounds 1m ("I am in a very high-risk profession, things sometimes get out of hand," he explained).
Betty Grable Legs are as much of a money spinner for insurance companies as small print. Fred Astaire had his covered to the tune of pounds 200,000 but that was trumped by one of the most famous insurance policies of all time, for Betty Grable's $1m legs - pounds 21m in today's money, which puts Jamie Lee Curtis's current pounds 1m policy to shame.
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