Buying Insurance for Parts of your Body

It is possible to insure any manner of things which if lost or damaged will have a financial implication on the life of that individual. The insurance of body parts may sound unusual, but it is perfectly legal and steadily on the increase.

What is body parts insurance?

Body parts insurance is a type of insurance which is most commonly related to the celebrity field but it is not limited to that industry. It is a form of insurance which can offer financial cover and protect an individual’s livelihood if they rely on a specific part of their body to earn a living.

If the insured body part is damaged, lost or disfigured, the insurance policy will only pay out for the resulting loss of work and income.

What kinds of people take out body parts insurance?

Body parts insurance is available to anyone who requires a specific part of their body to be able to carry out the job which they make their living from. This could include:

  • performers (eg, musicians, singers and actors);
  • artists;
  • surgeons;
  • athletes and other sports people.

Which parts of the body tend to be insured?

Body parts insurance was first heard off when fashion models began to insure their limbs. A model’s career is based almost entirely on appearance and they could therefore lose out on significant income if a form of disability prevented them from winning future modelling contracts. As a result a model may decide to insure several different parts of their body ranging from their legs, their breasts and even their smile.

Since the regularity has increased there has been more bizarre body parts being insured such as the taste buds of a sommelier. All that needs to be shown to gain this form of insurance cover is whether it can be proved that a loss of this body part would lead to a significant loss of work and income.

Body parts insurance is not designed to insure the whole entire body of a particular individual. The intention behind it is to cover only selected body parts.

What should I do if I wish to insure my entire body?

If you wish to insure your whole body it may be more suitable for them to take out a comprehensive life insurance policy.

Will body parts insurance be available to me?

Body parts insurance is available to anyone who requires a certain body part to undertake the job by which they make their living. However, in reality it is an extremely expensive form of insurance which is why it is often left to the celebrities, sportspeople and top surgeons.

How do celebrities afford to take out these kinds of policies?

Obviously celebrities and sportspeople earn huge amounts of income which enable them to take out these policies, but often they will be done with a certain promotional aspect in mind. Often celebrities or sportspeople will be sponsored by certain companies which will pay for an insurance policy in this manner to be taken out to promote both the individual and the brand.

During 2010, Formula 1 driver, Fernando Alonso, had his thumbs insured for a total of £9m. The insurance policy was paid for by one of his sponsors which has a banking and financial sector.
Clearly thumbs are essential for an individual to drive a car, meaning if Alonso was unfortunate enough to lose one or both he would no longer be able to carry on his profession and his loss of income would be covered by the insurance policy.

The sponsor also felt that thumbs and his thumbs in particular, represent a sign of victory which is why they wished to associate themselves with that particular body part of that particular driver.

Article written by...
Nicola Laver LLB
Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola on LinkedInNicola on Twitter

A non-practising solicitor, Nicola is also a fully qualified journalist. For the past 20 years, she has worked as a legal journalist, editor and author.