Bunhill: Running for cover

I WAS interested to learn this week that a Lloyd's insurance syndicate is to offer equestrian cover through high-street brokers. The cover, which includes personal accident and vet fees, is the latest in a string of unusual firsts for Stephen Chappell, the underwriter at Eclipse Classic Cover.

None of this boring business of insuring ships and buildings for him. Mr Chappell's orbit is the much more interesting area of livestock and fish farms. He was also involved in the syndicate that insured Shegar, the racehorse that was kidnapped. And in the 1970s, he had the distinction of insuring a two-headed poisonous snake that was a star attraction at a zoo in Florida.

Things did not go well. According to the zoo's claim, one head bit the other and the snake died.

Chappell recalls: 'We were a bit suspicious but paid up just to have something to talk about.'