9 weird types of insurance you never knew existed
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Like most folks, your auto, health, home and life insurance coverage are the standard policies you need in place to protect you against most of the unexpected. But when you think about it, do they necessarily cover every single risk life may throw your way?
Have you laid awake at night wondering what you’d do if you were abducted by aliens?
You might be deathly afraid of having your house haunted by ghosts, or infested with bedbugs.
You might be fearful that your soon-to-be-betrothed will change their mind about marrying you — or that you might get cold feet yourself.
You could be worried that your drunk friends might cause damage to your property.
And in the event you and your spouse have budgeted to have one child, what do you do when you have surprise triplets — and, if one of them is the second coming of Jesus Christ?
Believe it or not, there’s been an insurance claim for each and every one of these rare scenarios. And these aren’t even the strangest. Take a look below at some of the most bizarre, weirdest insurance policies we learned about.
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"Wedding insurance" is actually a trio of products that you might consider saying "I do" too. It primarily protects against financial losses if you need to cancel the event due to a natural disaster or personal tragedy, like a death in the family. Another part of this policy is liability protection if your ceremony is held outside a traditional venue, protecting against severe weather, injuries or mishaps; and alcohol liability if the location or caterer doesn’t already have it. According to insurer AllState, some policies also cover cancellation of a couple’s honeymoon.
If you don’t even get to exchange your nuptials, i.e. the bride or groom decides that "for better or for worse" is being better off without each other, you can get insurance coverage for the sudden change of plans. Often called change of heart or cold feet coverage, this policy covers the costs of the wedding (the average cost is estimated at $26,645), since guests, caterers, venue rentals, wedding dress and florist costs can run high. Take note that it doesn’t cover getting stood up at the altar at the last minute; you’ll need to cancel the wedding a full year in advance, and only the bride or groom’s parents get financially reimbursed, not the newly minted exes.
In the event you’re paranoid about having a close encounter with the third kind, you may be able to land an insurance policy safeguarding you against a UFO or alien abduction. It seems to be pretty popular in Europe, where one U.K.-based insurer has sold more than 30,000 such policies across the continent. Premiums can be high — up to $150 per month for $1.5 million in total coverage, according to sources. You should note that most of these policies may just be elaborate jokes — one man in Florida sells a parody policy for a flat payment of just $9.95, for example. Regardless of whether or not the policy is satire, you’ll need to show proof that the flying saucer – and the little green men who poked and prodded you – were, in fact, real in order to collect your damages.
Say you own a small business and a bunch of your employees and colleagues entered a lottery pool. They all hit the jackpot, and then resign, on the spot, telling you to take your job and shove it you-know-where as they split for greener pastures with their millions in winnings. Just in case this happens and your staff goes all mutinous on you, companies in the United Kingdom can take out what’s coined a "lottery" insurance policy, protecting against financial losses stemming from a loss in productivity and the costs to interview, rehire, hire temp workers, etc.
Soon-to-be-parents can’t really be surprised with quadruplets anymore, since ultrasounds and advanced medical technologies can prepare you well in advance. That doesn’t make mothers and fathers any more prepared financially for a (literal) bundle of joy delivered from Mr. Stork. So, you may consider buying a multiple — or twin — birth insurance policy, which requires you to buy your premium at the time of pregnancy; if twins or more are the result, the policy pays out in cash accordingly to compensate for the extra costs that extra babies bring. (There’s also an infertility insurance to compensate for out-of-pocket expenses associated with in-vitro fertilization and other medical procedures.)
Renters and homeowners insurance policies are pretty comprehensive. But they don’t protect you against that most invasive and unwelcome of houseguest: bed bugs. It can cost more than $1,000 to get them exterminated from your domicile. That’s not counting the costs to replace an infested mattress! You may consider adding bed bug insurance to your existing renters or homeowners insurance policy; and if you’re a frequent traveler, you can add travel coverage to your rider, since most of the pesky pests are picked up outside the home.
There are good food trucks and bad ones, but these mobile greasy spoons need insurance coverage, too. Not to be confused with restaurant insurance, food truck insurance — or, for the gourmands, "food service vehicle insurance" — protects against liabilities like foodborne illness, personal injury or other damages. When you think of it, it’s a pretty sound idea, considering how one major kitchen fire can vanish your lone food truck, and your entire business, up in smoke.
Actors, singers, athletes and entertainers get paid big bucks to do what they do, so it seems likely that they’ll want to insure the asset(s) that make them rich and famous in the first place, since their careers would be nothing without them. For example, Bruce Springsteen once insured his voice for $6 million. Supermodel Heidi Klum covered her leggy gams with an insurance policy worth more than $2.2 million. Gene Simmons allegedly had his freakishly long, trademark tongue insured for $1 million during Kiss’ '70s heyday. And former NFLer Troy Polamalu also once had his Samson-length locks insured for more than a cool million bucks when he signed an endorsement deal with Head & Shoulders. That’s not counting the cadre of athletes who’ve taken out multi-million-dollar policies if they’re sidelined or injured and can’t play. Most of the time, it’s actually just a normal long-term disability policy that everyone, even non-athletes, should buy (though with much smaller coverage amounts).
Most of us are content with having a dog or cat. Then there are the odd ducks who want to have, well, ducks, chickens, cows, pigs, mice or other farm-appropriate animals as pets in a residential setting. Most pet insurance policies will cover costly medical expenses and costs of care for felines and canines, but what about the rest? Rest assured, alternative pet owner, some private insurance companies do offer livestock insurance.
No matter what you’re afraid is going to happen to you in life, there’s an insurance policy that will cover you. Whether it’s something common, like the fear of losing the ability to work or the fear of dying young, or something a little more out there (cough, aliens, cough), insurance has you covered.
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