Tag Archives: insured

Odd Things insured

Odd Things Insured:

Egon Miklos

Egon Miklos Ronay was a hungarian born food critic who wrote and published a famous series of guides to British and Irish restaurants.

Ronay championed foreign cuisine for British diners. His father’s contacts arranged for him to manage “Princes” restaurant in Piccadilly and the “Carousel Club” in St. Jame’s.

He borrowed funds and took over the 39 seat “Marquee”, a former tea room near Harrods. In his later years, Ronay acted as food consultant for pub chain JD Wetherspoon.

In 1957 Ronay completed the first edition of the Egon Ronay’s Guide to British Eateries selling 30,000 copies. Because his endorsements could make or break a restaurant, Ronay insured his tastebuds for $400,000. This was one of the odd things insured by Lloyds.

Betty Grable

Betty Grable’s 40 films grossed over $100 million at the box office and she was the highest paid Hollywood celebrity between 1943 and 1951. Despite her exquisite singing and dancing skills, Grable was most famous for her legs.

The iconic pinup of the starlet in a white bathing suit became a favorite with GIs during World War II. Grable reportedly earned $300, 000 a year, largely because of her legs. At the height of her fame, the studio insured her legs for $1 million.

Merv Hughes

Merv Hughes is a former Australian cricketer. A right-arm fast bowler, he represented Australia between 1985 and 1994 in 53 test matches, taking 212 wickets.

Another one of the odd things insured by Lloyds was Merv Hughe’s facial hair.

Hughes is noted for his large moustache. Described by Cricinfo as being “of incredible proportions”, the moustache became sufficiently synonymous with Hughes for him to have insured it for $370, 000.

Harvey Lowe

Harvey Lowe bought his first yo-yo in 1931 for 35 cents. He began entering and winning local contests. Promoter Irving Cook noticed Lowe’s talent and took him to London where he represented the Cheerio Yo-Yo company of Canada. Lowe won the first World Yo-Yo contest at the Empire Theatre on 12th September 1932.

Lowe was so valuable to Cheerio that the company insured his hands for $150, 000.

Ken Dodd

From 1967 to 1992, British comedian and singer, Ken Dodd was in the Guinness Book of Records for the World’s longest joke-telling session – 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours. Dodd has sold more than 100 million comedy records and is famous for his frizzy hair, ever-present feather duster and extremely large buckteeth. Another of the odd things insured by Lloyds were Dodd’s teeth which are so important to his act. Dodd had them insured for $7.4 million.

Michael Flatley

He is an American step dancer, choreographer and musician of Irish descent. He became internationally known for Irish dance shows Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames and Celtic Tiger. He insured his legs for $47 million.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

The famous comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello worked very well together. They protected themselves in case of a career-ending argument and took out a $250,000 policy over a five year period. However, they did not split up due to an argument but because they owed the Internal Revenue Service back taxes. This therefore forced them to sell many of their assets including the rights to their many films.

Key Person Insurance

Key Person insurance is an insurance policy taken out and paid for by a business which is then able to recoup any financial losses suffered, which may arise due to the death or extended inability of an important member of that business to perform his/her duties. Also known as trauma insurance, it is a standard life insurance policy which protects the business. Should a person who is an income generator die or become incapacitated, then with this cover, the business is compensated by means of a fixed monetary sum specified in the policy, which sum facilitates the continuity of the enterprise. The term of the policy does not extend beyond the usefulness of the individual whose knowledge, creativity and/or skills are critical to the viability or growth of an organisation, and whose loss may cripple it. The compensation amount may go towards financing the search for and training of a successor. (Source: Wikipedia)

Martha Stewart is the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. In 2004 Stewart was convicted of charges related to the ImClone insider trading affair. When Stewart was indicted, she stepped down as CEO and Chairwoman of MSLO. Following her release from prison in March 2005, Stewart launched a much-publicized comeback. Some huge corporations have the luxury of having a key person to take charge during a severe but non-threatening illness, such as a non-fatal heart attack. When Roger Deromedi, CEO of Kraft Foods was hospitalised for a severe viral infection, the company’s chairman, Louis Camilleri took temporary charge, with no adverse effects to the company. Robert Robins, a professor emeritus at Tulane University said that a determining factor in planning for key personnel disability issues is the CEO’s personality and work style: is he willing to work with the board and senior management on a transition basis, even if an illness is not terminal but merely prevents him from performing his duties. The end of a career is the same as the end of life to some company leaders. Capitulation will be resisted in every way possible. When a CEO has a hands-on rather than a delegatory style, the situation is much worse. Founder and CEO of Intel, Andy Grove was able to carry on during treatment for life-threatening prostate cancer. He left the company at a time that was suitable to him and the corporation. He was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

At SouthWest Airlines, shareholders’ questions about 69 year old Herbert Kelleher’s prostate cancer resulted in his relinquishing his interim presidency and CEO position in 2001, although he retained his chairmanship of the board. In today’s competitive business environment, protecting the value of a star executive is critical. Using markets once reserved for elite athletes and entertainers, carriers such as Lloyds of London have developed products designed to protect a company’s most critical assets. These carriers have the ability to deliver disability benefits up to $100 million for the loss of an individual whose vision, knowledge and experience are critical to a company’s operation and future. Why do so many risk managers ignore this exposure? The due diligence needed to secure life and disability coverage is not part of a risk manager’s culture. They may feel awkward going to the boss and telling him that he may be putting the company at risk because of his lifestyle or his health. It involves personal information and health issues and has the added risk of opening secret doors and having unpleasant news revealed. Fewer than 35% of the corporations that secure key person life insurance, secure the corresponding key person disability coverage.

Obviously there are daredevils like Richard Branson and risk managers are aware of his activities. It is far more likely a key person will succumb to a stroke or cancer or hit by a car, than is that they will be disabled or killed while sky-diving over the Pyrenees. International travel can be hazardous though. In a recent situation, a private equity firm made a significant investment in a defence contractor. Shortly after the investment closed, the company named a new CEO. With hundred of millions of dollars at stake, the private equity firm sought to hedge their investment by acquiring $50 million key person life and disability insurance. As of the day of the request, the insurance adviser had eight business days to secure the insurance before the CEO departed for the middle east, with stops in hotspots such as Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result of the abbreviated time frame, traditional life and disability insurance was not an option. The adviser needed to turn to a speciality underwriter that deals with exceptionally large and complex risks. Within 72 hours, a policy was issued that covered the private equity firm’s loss of the CEO due to an accidental death or disability, as well as a result of acts of war or terrorism. The premium was for $50 million insurance and cost $62,500, covering a 2 week period. Sickness cover was included for certain elements of the insurance policy. Few domestic life and disability insurance carriers possess the ability to underwrite high risk exposures to the world’s hot zones. Unfortunately, many times, risk managers and their insurance advisors do not look beyond traditional channels to secure the needed key person disability coverage for their clients, partly because the cost of key person disability coverage is far greater than the cost of term life coverage. However, the risk is proportionally greater . The impact top CEOs and corporate leaders have on the success of their businesses is almost unfathomable. If you think about how many companies are dependent on one or two individuals, risk managers may need to re-examine how they insure human capital risk.

Insuring body parts

As long as a person is willing to pay the required premium, anyone can insure a body part of their choice. The 40 members of the Derbyshire Whiskers Club insured their beards against fire and theft for $32 each. This is called speciality insurance and before an entertainment company or athletic club pays any high premium for mega income-producing stars or athletes, they would have obtained the maximum possible insurance via standard life and disability cover. Your finger that moves the trackpad on your laptop could be insured by you, however, buying disability in this instance would be more economical.

It is the norm for entertainment companies and athletic clubs to obtain speciality insurance for huge cash-earning celebrities, as well as high-income athletes. Real Madrid renewed the insurance policy for Cristiano Ronaldo, valuing his legs at a whopping 103 million Euros against serious injury. Goalkeeper and Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas has his hands insured for 7 million Euros. Certain speciality insurance companies will insure the insured’s whole body but exclude the part that is most at risk. Factors which are taken into account are yearly income, type of sport, age and injury history.

Ahead of the 2014 Soccer World Cup Germany’s squad was valued at an insurable amount of 795 million Euros. This research was produced by the Centre for Economic and Business Research for Lloyds. The amount is calculated as the discounted sum of players’ future earnings, both from endorsements, salaries and bonuses.

One of the earliest body part policies was taken out by Ben Turpin. He worked in vaudeville, burlesque and circuses in the 1920s. Turpin had a distinctive appearance, with a small wiry frame, a brush mustache and crossed eyes. He insured his eyes and would have collected $20, 000 if his eyes had gone straight. A man most remembered for his legendary drinking talents, Aussie cricketer Merv Hughes insured his handle-bar mustache for $370, 000 during his cricketing days as a member of the Australian national team. The Welsh baritone Tom Jones was rumoured to have insured his chest hair for $7 million. The geriatric crooner still has the power to make the ladies swoon and he apparently considers his luxurious pelt an essential aspect of his sex appeal.

Keith Richards is an English musician, singer and songwriter and one of the original members of the English rock band, the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine credited Richards for “rock’s greatest single body of riffs” on guitar and ranked him 4th on its list of 100 best guitarists. His hands are insured for $1.6 million.

Egon Ronay was a Hungarian-born food critic who wrote and published a famous series of guides to British and Irish restaurants and hotels in the 1950s and 1960s. These guidebooks are credited with raising the quality of British cuisine offered in public eating places. Ronay also championed foreign cuisine for British diners. He insured his influential taste buds for £250,000. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egon_Ronay)

Sir Thomas Jones Woodward known by his stage name Tom Jones is a Welsh singer. He became one of the most popular vocalists to emerge from the mid-1960s. Tom Jones had his chest hair insured for £3.5 million in 2008. The geriatric crooner still has the power to make the ladies swoon and apparently considers his luxurious pelt an essential aspect of his sex appeal.

Ornella Muti was born in Rome. She is mostly known to the French for appearing in a television commercial of Giovanni Panzani Pasta. She was voted “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” in 1994 by a worldwide poll of the magazine “Class”. She regards her breasts as her best asset and has insured them for $350,000.

James Francis “Jimmy” Durante was an American singer pianist, comedian and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, Comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs and large nose helped make him one of America’s most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s. His jokes about his nose included referring to it as a Schnozzola and this word became his nickname. His Schnozzola as he referred to it was insured for $442,000.

Angela Mount has unparalleled experience in the wine retail business. She is widely credited with revolutionising wine on the high street. She has been named as one of the top most influential people in the Wine Industry by The Drinks Business. Angela’s taste buds were famously insured for £10 million by former Somerfield bosses. Somerfield (originally Gateway) was a chain of small to medium-sized supermarkets operating in the United Kingdom.

Kenneth Arthur “Ken” Dodd, OBE, is an English comedian, singer, song-writer and actor. His trademark is his frizzy hair and protruding teeth. At the age of seven, he was dared by his school friends to ride his bike with his eyes shut. He accepted the dare, crashed, and received facial injuries which resulted in his distinctive buck teeth. He insured his trademark buck teeth for £10.6 million. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Dodd).

Robyn Rihanna Fenty – a Barbadian recording artist has an estimated net worth of $90 million. She has insured her legs for $1 million. Michael Ryan Flatley is an Irish-American dancer and became internationally known for Irish dance shows Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. In May 1989 Flatley set a Guinness Book world record for tapping speed at 28 taps per second. In 1998 Flatley broke his own record for tapping speed by achieving 35 taps per second, as well as a Guiness Book recognition in both 1999 and 2000 being the highest paid dancer earning $1.6 million per week and having the highest insurance policy on a dancer’s legs of $40 million. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Flatley)