Odd Things Insured:
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’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 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 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.
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.
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.