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Today’s ‘Just-in-Case’ society

Moseyin’ Along

January 9, 2013
By Joyce Schenk - COLUMNIST (editorial@westfieldrepublican.com) , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

We've all been there. Things are running smoothly when suddenly, something unpredictable slips in to derail our lives. In times of disasters, whether large or small, we turn to the "Just-in-Case" industry known as insurance.

When the concept of insurance first came along, there was a limited list of policies to choose from. You could buy life insurance to protect your family, and you could insure your home against fire or other disaster.

And, soon after Mr. Ford's first vehicle rolled off the assembly line, auto insurance was added to the available protection.

Those basics policies were the early limits of the insurance industry's portfolio.

Today, however, there is an almost endless variety and value of policies available. One major segment of the industry is involved with the many forms of health protection - hospitalization, dental insurance, vision insurance - the list goes on and on.

Adding to these standard policies, in recent years a growing area of the insurance industry has focused on covering so-called tragedies that are just a bit out of the ordinary. For their part, the insurance companies are more than willing to insure almost anything, especially if they feel it's unlikely they'll ever have to pay out.

Among these out-of-the-ordinary "Just-in-Case" policies is the tendency of celebrities to insure body parts.

Although the practice started back in the early 1900's, it has grown much more common in recent years. Examples are the policy Jennifer Lopez took out to insure what has been called her "amazing rear end."

Actress America Ferrera, who played the lead in the TV series "Ugly Betty," has insured her smile for $1 million. And Heidi Klum's legs are insured for $2.2 million. Not to be outdone, Mariah Carey, too, took out a policy on her legs. Hers is for $1 billion.

But body parts are far from the most bizarre focus of insurance. Lloyd's of London, well known for offering unusual policies, has written coverage dealing with the odds of a couple giving birth to more than an expected number of children. The company's reasoning is if you are expecting twins and, instead, become parents to quintuplets, your living expenses would take an immediate and significant hit.

Among the other unusual policies developed in recent years in response to public interest is one that insures you "Just-in-Case" you're abducted by aliens. Or if you're bitten by a werewolf. Or even hurt by a ghost or hit by a falling asteroid.

There's a wine collection insurance, covering breakage and theft. The policy also includes a "Just-in-Case" clause should your favorite bottle of wine prematurely pop its cork.

Another policy offers ransom reimbursement "Just-in-Case" you're kidnapped and no one wants to foot the bill to get you back.

Then there's the coverage designed to help you cope with Mother Nature. In New York City, Worldwide Weather will insure an event "Just-in-Case" the weather doesn't cooperate. If it rains on the planned date, you cash in on the policy.

It's a challenging world out there. It's good to know that there are folks around to protect us from all the bumps along the way - Just-in-Case.

 
 
 

 

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