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“Why Not Insure Your Body Parts?

There is no question as to the fact that insurance is present in all civilization


across the globe and that most people are well aware of such. Insurance is a contract,
represented by a policy, in which an individual or entity receives financial protection or
reimbursement against losses from an insurance company. The company pools clients'
risks to make payments more affordable for the insured. And an insurance policy are
used to hedge against the risk of financial losses, both big and small, that may result
from damage to the insured or her property, or from liability for damage or injury caused
to a third party.1 Moreover, insurance, as defined under Section 2 (1) of the Presidential
Decree No. 612 of 1974 or otherwise known as the Insurance Code 2, A "contract of
insurance" is an agreement whereby one undertakes for a consideration to indemnify
another against loss, damage or liability arising from an unknown or contingent event. A
contract of suretyship shall be deemed to be an insurance contract, within the meaning
of this Code, only if made by a surety who or which, as such, is doing an insurance
business as hereinafter provided.
Insurance Contracts may be classified, such as: a) Marine; Special Marine
Insurance Contract; b) Fire Insurance; c) Casualty or Liability Insurance; d) Suretyship;
e) Life Insurance; f) Compulsory Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance; g) Health Care
Agreements; and h) Other modes of classification of insurance contracts.
This paper aims to focus on life insurance, particularly in the body parts of
persons insured. Under Section 179 of the Insurance Code 3, life insurance is insurance
on human lives and insurance appertaining thereto or connected therewith. The
proceeds of such is only up to the measure of indemnity under a policy of insurance
upon life or health is the sum fixed in the policy, unless the interest of a person insured
is susceptible of exact pecuniary measurement. 4 The proceeds can be may be made
payable on the death of the person, or on his surviving a specified period, or otherwise
contingently on the continuance or cessation of life. 5
In the absence of a judicial guardian, the father, or in the latter's absence or
incapacity, the mother, or any minor, who is an insured or a beneficiary under a contract
of life, health or accident insurance, may exercise, in behalf of said minor, any right
under the policy, without necessity of court authority or the giving of a bond, where the
interest of the minor in the particular act involved does not exceed twenty thousand
pesos. Such right may include, but shall not be limited to, obtaining a policy loan,

1 Investopedia. Insurance (2015). Accessed from < http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/assessable-


policy.asp> on September 13, 2017.
2 Section 2 (1) of the Presidential Decree No. 612 or the act ordaining and instituting an insurance code
of the Philippines.
3 Section 179, Ibid.
4 Section 183, Ibid.
5 Section 180 (1), Ibid.

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surrendering the policy, receiving the proceeds of the policy, and giving the minor's
consent to any transaction on the policy. 6
Aristotle once said: "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." Although he
wasn’t referring to body parts, the same philosophy could apply to body-part worth
calculated by hospitals and insurance companies. If you have ever been curious about
the worth of your body parts, here’s an overview. Your entire body is worth $45 million,
according to a 2005 study by the Indiana University School of Medicine. 7
Now, the curios question by the author now is, can a specific body part of a
human being be insured? This is mostly applicable to persons who uses a specific
part(s) of his or her body or their performance assets in the vocation to which he or she
is engaged in, i.e. painter, athletes, artists, etc.
In the United Kingdom, Lloyd’s, the most prominent provider in this category of
insurance, has been offering body-part specific policies since the 1940s, when its
underwriters were “innovative enough to respond to a need perceived by the U.S.
entertainment industry,” says Jonathan Thomas, a health underwriter at Watkin’s
Syndicate for Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s has insured everything from actress America Ferrera’s
smile to musician Keith Richards’ fingers.8
There are notable showbiz personalities abroad who insured their specific body
part. To name some, Playboy starlet Holly Madison insured her breasts for $1 million
last year, she and her press team claimed that they did it knowing every entertainment
reporter would leap on it.9
When Kiss was at its peak, Gene Simmons seemed to recognize the value of his
signature move: sticking out his ridiculously long tongue. To protect himself against the
loss of this move, he made sure to get his tongue insured for $1 million. 10
Daniel Craig may have been reckless when he decided to do all the stunts for
"Casino Royale" himself, but he made cautious moves like taking up an insurance policy
for his entire body, just in case he hurt himself. It turns out this insurance is worth $9.5
million.11
Julia Roberts is also one of them. She had insure her smile for 30 million dollar. 12

6 Section 180 (3), Ibid.


7 Insure.com. What are your body parts worth? Accessed from http://www.insure.com/life-insurance/body-
parts.html on September 13, 2017.
8 Lauren Covello, Why Celebrities Insure Their Body Parts (May 24, 2012). Accessed from <
http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2012/05/24/when-celebrities-insure-their-body-parts.html> on
September 13, 2017.
9 Ibid.
10 Suggest team. 14 Celebrities With Ridiculous Insurance Policies on Their Body Parts. Accesed from <
http://www.suggest.com/celebs/5822/14-celebrities-with-ridiculous-insurance-policies-on-their-body-
parts/> on September 13, 2017.
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid.

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Jennifer Lopez likewise availed of such insurance policy, it was revealed that she
obtained an insurance policy for 27 million US dollars over her butt. 13
It was also revealed that Tom Jones had an insurance policy over his chest hair
for 7 million US dollars.14
Even celebrities such as Barbara Streisand, Keith Richards, Mariah Carey,
America Ferrera and Jennifer Lopez have insured their noses, eyes, legs, hands and
other physical attributes for millions of dollars, according to Lloyd’s of London, the
foremost celebrity-parts insurer.
This is also true in the field of sports, to name some of the athletes who insured
their body parts. David Beckham is one of the world's most identifiable sports stars, so
its no surprise that he's got body parts insured. He has a giant $195 million insurance
deal on his legs, feet and toes. Not only are they protected from injury, they're protected
against disfigurement given the work he does as a model. 15
The Real Madrid forward, who also captains the Portuguese national team, has
an insurance policy worth over 103 million euro for the star, that covers him in case of
any injury to his legs.16
And the Argentinian forward is widely considered one of the best players of his
generation and his time playing for Barcelona has been impressive to say the least. His
insurance policy is nearly equally impressive. While details are somewhat unclear, he is
reported to have his legs insured for a ridiculous amount of money. 17
But why insure some of your body parts?
Generally, people and businesses purchase insurance to protect themselves
from financial prejudice from the loss or damage of a something. In the case of
contents coverage on your home you are protecting against the monetary value of your
personal belongings being lost or damaged. In the case of liability insurance, you are
protecting yourself from the financial consequences of another person or their property
being lost or damaged as a result of your negligence. In the case of celebs insuring
their body parts they are protecting against the diminished earning capacity they would
have should the insured body part be lost or damaged. Like, if a composer or writer lost
a hand it would be difficult for him to continue writing and recording music, thus his
earning potential would be diminished. If model or an artist’s legs were terribly
disfigured she would have a much harder time getting hired for runway shows and likely
(assuming the disfigurement could not be photoshopped out) would have an equally

13 Ibid.
14 Ibid.
15 Ibid.
16 Chris William. Top 10 Athletes Who Have Insured Body Parts (August 03, 2015). Accessed from <
http://www.thesportster.com/entertainment/top-10-athletes-who-have-insured-body-parts/> on September
13, 2017.
17 Chris William. Ibid.

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hard time getting photography work. Essentially, if part of your income generating
power is based on the functioning of or appearance of a particular body part, especially
if it is a significant part of a significant income, you have an insurable interest in that part
which goes beyond the normal interests contemplated by health and life policies; thus,
insuring against its loss or damage is an important tool available to protect your financial
future.18
However, insuring a specific body part isn’t the kind of coverage that’s common
or even financially feasible. It’s done by surplus lines insurers, which handle unusual
risks not covered by standard insurance companies whom have to submit their rates to
the state.19 Furthermore, for the typical person, this sort of insurance isn’t recommended
due to the high premiums.20
Moreover, the payout you would receive from dismemberment tends to depend
on how critical that part is to your ability to function. Benefit payouts for plans vary
based on severity of the injury and the type of insurance a person selects. 21
In general, you'll have to pay higher premiums for surplus lines insurance than
you would for insurance on the regular market. An entertainment company will typically
max out on standard life and disability insurance for a given celebrity before turning to
specialty policies. The oddball body-part policies can then become a means of adding
extra coverage for an especially valuable star.22
If, for instance, a famous dancer insures their legs, they're insuring against a
career-ending injury. A broken leg might mean that they're unable to dance again,
meaning that their income could pretty much dry up. 23
They take insurance against any lost work they might suffer as a result of the
damage. If you are a Pitcher, you're pitching arm is your livelihood. If something
happened to that arm, you could lose your contract, and your income, so you insure
your arm, that if you were to suffer an accident, then you could get a payout to help you
along in your new life.24

18 Craig Anderson. Why do celebrities insure their body parts? December 16, 2013. Accessed from <
https://www.quora.com/Why-do-celebrities-insure-their-body-parts> on September 15,2017.
19 Lauren Covello. Ibid.
20 Ibid.
21 Insure. com. Ibid.
22 Daniel Engber. Does the Explainer Have Billion-Dollar Legs? Accessed from <
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2006/06/does_the_explainer_have_billiondollar
_legs.html > on September 12, 2017.
23 ELI5: Why do celebrities insure their body parts? (2016). Accessed from <
https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/41fsbl/eli5_why_do_celebrities_insure_their_body_p
arts/> on September 15, 2017.
24 Ibid. ELI5.

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It's about not being able to do your job anymore. For a singer it's their voice, for a
model it's legs, breasts etc. If those parts were to get damaged to point they can't do
their job anymore insurance is there to cover that. 25
Why does this type of insurance is usually availed of by the wealthy?
The answer for why the wealthy insure and the majority of average people do
not, could be the difference between smart money managers and those with a bit to
learn.26 One reason for some rich people might be that they have made a lot of
sacrifices along the way and they don’t want to lose all their hard work gained - and that
makes them good money managers. 27 Rich people can be bad money managers too,
and those that are usually lose everything - the bankruptcies of Mike Tyson, M.C.
Hammer and Burt Reynolds have been widely publicized. People like Kim Kardashian
however, remain wealthy because they understand that protecting wealth is as
important as accumulating it.28
Nonetheless, you don't have to be a celebrity to insure your body parts—anyone
can order up some specialty insurance if he thinks he needs it. As long as you're willing
to pay the premium, you can get insurance for the body part of your choice. In the
United Kingdom, the members of the Derbyshire Whiskers Club insured their beards
against "fire and theft," and a soccer fan insured himself against psychic trauma if
England loses this year's World's Cup. The Explainer even looked into coverage for the
finger he uses to manipulate the track pad on his laptop; it turned out that general
disability insurance would be a better deal.29
“Insurance is not a cost or an expense or a waste of money. It’s a financial tool to
help ensure that the progress you make in life is not set-back or lost due to misfortune
such as a serious illness that keeps you from being unable to earn the income you need
to pay the mortgage”.30
This type of insurance may as well be implemented by insurance companies
here in the Philippines because most of the Filipinos as well use or depend upon some
of their specific body parts as their source of income. Unlike in life insurance which only
covers death or permanent disability, insurance on body parts gives the benefits
primarily to the person who losses such body parts and thus also redound to the benefit
of the immediate relatives of the latter.

25 Ibid.
26 AMP Service Ltd. Why do wealthy celebrities insure their body parts? (May, 30 2016). Accessed from
<https://www.amp.co.nz/personal/news/insights/2016/may/why-wealthy-celebrities-insure-their-body-parts
> on September 15, 2017.
27 Ibid.
28 Ibid.
29 Daniel Engber. Ibid.
30 AMP Service Ltd. Ibid.

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