Much like the NRA might say of a rifle, insurance is one of those things it's better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Car insurance, home insurance and life insurance can prevent plenty of life's possible losses but if you're a celebrity, you have higher income, different "assets" and of course, higher insurance needs.
Celebrities having insurance policies that cover a part of their body or a performance asset (such as a voice) is not new. Back in the 1920s, comedian Ben Turpin took out a $20,000 policy on his crossed eyes, a noticeable part of his act. Dolly Parton had her breasts insured for a hefty sum of many, Bruce Springsteen insured his voice and Keith Richards insured his hands. Some people claimed Richards had his middle finger insured, but it was in fact his hands, and the middle finger rumors were of his own making and meant as a joke.
Moving into the realm of all things beautiful, Heidi Klum had her world famous, drool inducing legs insured for just over two million and Mariah Carey had hers apparently insured for one billion as a publicity stunt with Gillette. With regard to many of these insurance policies, many are just that, publicity stunts aimed at getting a few heads to turn and get people talking.
While the vast majority of athletes have been insured for career ending injuries, it has been rare that a competitor has insured a single part. Most athletes are insured against career ending injuries, such as NFL tight end Jermichael Finley. While talented, he is widely considered injury prone, and applied in 2014 for his $10 million insurance policy after a neck injury essentially destroyed his stock within the NFL. These athletes however, chose to insure (or were insured by a third party) body parts, either to cash in on injury or as a publicity stunt.
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10 Takeru Kobayashi - Stomach
This may be somewhat controversial to some, but if racing cars and playing poker can be featured on sport channels, then competitive eating should be considered a sport too. One of the best in the business, Japanese eater Takeru Kobayashi, is rumored to have applied to have his stomach insured for a few hundred thousand dollars. He was apparently denied based on the fact that insurers considered his chosen career to be too risky for anyone in the business to touch.
9 Merv Hughes - Mustache
Now retired cricket player Merv Hughes has a heck of a mustache. The former bowler wears a mean looking handlebar 'stache and is alleged to have had it insured for around $300,000. Some have claimed that this was just a silly rumor but several reputable news agencies have reported it as a fact, including The Independant. It may sound like a slightly insane insurance policy, but if someone was willing to give it to him, all the more power to him.
8 Troy Polamalu - Hair
While his usefulness for the Pittsburgh Steelers has plunged this year, Troy P's hair hasn't changed in a long time. The Samoan Headhunter hasn't cut his flowing locks in well over a decade and has even earned himself a lucrative advertising deal with Head and Shoulders, in which commercials poke fun at his impressive mane. Head and Shoulders insured his hair for one million dollars back in 2010. There have never been any details released to determine what damage his hair would have to sustain in order for the policy to pay.
7 Manuel Neuer - Hands
The German goalkeeper, who is undoubtedly one of the best keepers in the world, insured his hands late in 2014 for 3 million euros, which comes out to $4.3 million, according to Yahoo! Sports. While he was impressive early in his career, his performance during last year's World Cup was enough to prompt him insuring his hands. He and his club are covered in case he were to suffer a career ending injury to either hand.
6 Fernando Alonso - Thumbs
The Spanish two time Formula One champion Fernando had his thumbs insured by a Spanish bank back in 2010. He had just started driving for Ferrari at the time and the bank, Santander, was launching a new insurance program and used the driver as one of their main spokesmen. For those who are not racing fans, thumbs have tremendous importance for Formula One racing, given the scheme of controls in the cars. In 2010, his thumbs were insured for about 10 million euros, which translates to around $13.3 million, according to CNN. For Santander (the bank), they chose Alonso due to their sponsorship deal with Ferrari at the time.
5 Iker Casillas - Hands
One of the best goalkeepers of our time, Spanish brick wall Iker Casillas insured his hands for $7.5 million euros apiece back in 2007, which was equivalent to $10 million, according to CBC. He chose to have them covered in the event of injuries sustained on or off the field, and once implied that no matter what part of his body was injured, he'd pretend it was his hand. The Spanish keeper is still going strong for Real Madrid at the age of 33.
4 Mark McGwire - Ankle
Depending on your steroid stance, people generally hate or love Mark McGwire. Back in 1998, when he and Sammy Sosa were knocking dingers out of the park like it was nobody's business, he had to take out an insurance policy on his ankle, as he had a nagging injury. Part of the policy that was written up by Lloyd's underwriters included a clause that dictated the types of medication that McGwire would have to continue taking in order for the policy to be approved, according to Deadspin. One was Androstenedione, a steroid that he would later be widely criticized for taking.
3 Cristiano Ronaldo - Legs
The Real Madrid forward, who also captains the Portuguese national team, is one of the highest insured athletes of all time. His club, Real Madrid, has an insurance policy worth over 103 million euro for the star, that covers him in case of any injury to his legs. Similar to the next soccer star in our list, Ronaldo gets almost as much from endorsements and sponsorships as he does from actually playing the game. Overall, however, his 100+ euro leg insurance is impressive.
2 David Beckham - Legs
Posh Spice's husband, as women know him, was one of those athletes who wasn't just a star on the pitch, but also became renowned for being a good looking dude. He started out by insuring his legs for about 100 million pounds, which was later increased to a policy on his entire body which entailed a disfigurement clause, which would cover him financially if he were to lose any of the endorsements that depended on his looks, which came out to $195 million, according to DailyFinance.com.
1 Lionel Messi - Legs
The Argentinian forward is widely considered one of the best players of his generation and his time playing for Barcelona has been impressive to say the least. His insurance policy is nearly equally impressive. While details are somewhat unclear, he is reported to have his legs insured for a ridiculous amount of money. Keeping in mind he is a four time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, so maybe the 500-700k per year that he pays for a policy for over 750 million euro is appropriate.
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