We’ve seen the headline a thousand times before. Each time, a different name, a different body part. “Taylor Swift insured her legs for how much?!”, we shrieked in disbelief at the news last month. ($40 million if you’re curious.) But celebrities are business folk, and it’s just common sense for business folk to insure their assets should the worst ever come to the worst.
Insuring business “equipment” is just a standard business insurance policy. If your whole business depended on one piece of irreplaceable equipment, would you not insure the heck out of it?
But why do singers insure their body parts?
You’d think that maybe they would insure their vocal chords perhaps… but why their legs? Why their waist? The unfortunate reality is that a singer’s popularity is usually dependent on their appearance just as much as their voice.
Celebrities insuring their body parts is brand building at its finest. “Taylor Swift insured her legs for $40 million? Oh, her legs must be somewhat significant to her image!”, is I’m sure (not word for word) what people subconsciously mutter to themselves upon hearing the news. Suddenly attention is drawn to Taylor Swift’s legs and what makes them so special. Her stunningly long legs have become part of her brand. Who is Jennifer Lopez without her big bum? Who is Julia Roberts without her perfect smile? Their unique physical characteristics all contribute toward their celebrity brand.
Should anything ever happen to their brand image, it could potentially be a financial disaster for them. They could suffer a major drop in popularity, wrecking their once glorious career and returning them once again to the depths of tabloid insignificance. There’s a lot of pressure for celebrities to always look their youngest, despite their actual age. When your income heavily relies on your fame, you have to do what you can to stay in the spotlight.
Is “celebrity body part insurance” not just a big publicity stunt?
Yes, sometimes, but it is often times a practical decision too. Even if it is a bit of a pricey publicity stunt, it is one that is effective in generating a bit of a buzz in the tabloids. Usually you can spot the publicity stunt a mile away as it’s strategically timed with a relevant promotional campaign. Like Joey Essex insuring his hair after launching his own hair care range. Or Mariah Carey insuring her legs when she was the spokesperson of Gillette’s “Legs of a Goddess” campaign.
Even Charlie Chaplin is said to have insured his legendary feet for £100,000 back in the 1920’s; a huge amount for the time.
How does body part insurance work?
Lloyd’s of London are the most well-known provider of celebrity body part insurance, and will usually discuss in detail with the celebrity (or, most likely, a representative of the celebrity) how much the body part is worth and how long they would like it insured for. And, like with your typical business insurance policy, a risk assessment will be performed. (If Madonna keeps falling over like that, her bum isn’t going to be worth much!)
So how much do celebrities pay to insure parts of themselves? You could say that it costs an arm and a leg… I personally wouldn’t say that, but you could.
10 Most Expensive Celebrity Body Parts Ever Insured
Let’s spice it up a bit with a countdown, leading up to the most expensive celebrity body part ever insured…
10) Tom Jones
In 2008, Tom Jones insured his chest hair for $7 million. Apparently he considers his lush chest of hair an indispensable aspect of his sex appeal.
9) Daniel Craig
During the filming of Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig insured his whole body for $9.5 million so that if he were to suffer a major injury to his body from the movie’s stunt scenes, he would have something to fall back since he would no longer be able to star in action films.
8) America Ferrera
When Ugly Betty removed her braces, her smile was breathtaking. So breathtaking that the actress is actually sponsored by Aquafresh, who paid for the insurance policy themselves.
7) Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts’ smile is classic. It’s a smile that can never age. Her perfect smile is her image.
6) Taylor Swift
In March 2015, Taylor Swift was reported to have insured her perfect pins for $40 million. Because, y’know, she needs to dance and stuff in little costumes. She’s a singer after all.
5) Michael Flatley
Michael Flatley is a professional dancer. Dancers usually rely on their legs for their career to work.
4) David Beckham
David Beckham could go on to do a lot of things if he were to retire from playing football. But if anything were to happen to his legs suddenly, he’d need some time to re-evaluate his career. It’s only logical to financially protect his legs.
3) Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo’s legs are his entire career. If he were no longer able to play professional football, he would need the payout to fall back on due to his financial losses from not being able to play.
2) Jennifer Lopez
J Lo’s bum is a paparazzi paradise. It’s like it’s always growing or something, the way that it’s constantly reported in the media. What would happen if she were to lose it somehow?
1) Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s legs are her pride and joy. She is frequently voted to have the best legs in the world. There have been statues built in honour of her legs. That’s why they’re worth a billion, and Taylor’s aren’t.
DISCLAIMER: Please do not ask us to insure your body parts. We do not provide body part insurance, I’m afraid.