It’s somehow comforting to learn that for all of its recent commitments to “underwriting discipline,” “the bottom line” and electronic trading, Lloyd’s still takes on the odd – not to mention the high profile – risk of insuring celebrity body parts.
America Ferrara became the latest beneficiary of Lloyd’s underwriters’ expertise, when they issued a policy insuring her radiant smile. The star of the TV show “Ugly Betty” will surely rest easier (as will the show’s producers and sponsors) knowing that the mouth behind her winning smile is covered for up to $10 million.
Lloyd’s announced the news in a lengthy press release, much of which was devoted to the joys and benefits of using “Aquafresh® White Trays™.” Despite the rather heavy-handed commercial hype, there’s a genuine reason for people whose living depends on their appearance and/or their physical skill to want to protect those assets.
Lloyd’s took justified pride in reminding people that it has issued coverage on “Keith Richards’ fingers [but unfortunately not his head], Marlene Dietrich’s legs [as well as Betty Grable's] and Santa’s beard.” According to one history book, actress Bette Davis even once insured her waistline against expansion.
While it’s doubtful, especially given our increasingly sedentary life style, that waistline expansion coverage would be available today, it’s somehow reassuring to learn that Lloyd’s hasn’t turned its back on the odd risks that can’t be modeled or otherwise quantified. It’s all very well to insure ships, airplanes, buildings and houses, but somehow body parts, especially those of famous people, are just a lot more interesting.