Wednesday, June 16, 2004

If you've got it, insure it

It's comforting to know that the market provides for all kinds of consumer needs...

"It was one of the more unusual requests insurance underwriter Jonathan Thomas had received: Could he please draw up a policy to protect an unnamed star against the loss of his chest hair?

"Ever the professional, Thomas and his team of experts at London's Creechurch Underwriting got down to work, compiling a four-page document which details every possible eventuality.

"A payout would be triggered 'if, in the opinion of two independent medical referees, the insured person has suffered loss of more than 85 percent of his hair covering the front of his torso,' it says.

"The policy is only valid for 'accidental bodily injury' and -- as is the way with insurance -- has a lengthy list of exclusions.

"If the star was to be left with a bald torso through war, revolution, radioactive contamination or terrorism -- sorry, no payout.

"Their lifestyle would also have to be circumscribed, ruling out activities as varied as fire-breathing and -- a measure that sums up the sheer caution inherent to insurance brokers -- pregnancy and child-birth."