|The world's wackiest
weddings and an insurance claim
you're covered for acts of God, there's one important exclusion:
Changes of heart are not covered.
policies serve as protection in case bad weather prevents the majority
of guests or someone essential to the wedding ceremony from arriving.
The policies can also be invaluable should something happen to the
wedding or reception facility. Nuccio says that half of the facilities
in California require the wedding party to carry at least $500,000
in liability insurance.
paid off when hurricane Floyd hit [North Carolina] because the facility
they were going to use was no longer in existence," Nuccio says.
"I mean the reception hall was gone. We got three or four
claims from that hurricane."
In addition to event coverage, specialty
insurers also offer travel-related policies. Worldwide Weather Insurance
Agencies in Manhasset, N.Y., sells vacation policies to protect
against Mother Nature's wrath. The price of a policy depends on
where you travel. A two-week trip to Italy in June carries a $150
premium for $5,000 in insurance. The catch is that it must rain
at least .01 inches or more a day during at least 60 percent of
your stay for your expenses to be reimbursed. If the official rain
gauge holds .04 inches because it rained four out of seven days,
The vacation policies are available
online, but you won't always be able to buy the kind of insurance
you'd like. For example, the company wouldn't insure a trip to Florida
in August because of the high risk of rain, says Christie Liberio,
director of marketing for Worldwide Weather.
"You won't find a quote if our
computer goes into the program and sees that the premium rate is
too close to what you're actually going to pay for the trip," Liberio
says. "If the premium is astronomically high, then it won't give
you a quote."
Of course, bad weather might not
be your biggest concern in certain vacation destinations. Let's
say you're planning a trip to Australia. You've made the flight
reservations and lined up the hotel accommodations, but have you
arranged for crocodile attack insurance? The policy is considered
a tourist gimmick, but the country's northern territory is home
to more than 70,000 crocodiles, according to an Associated Press
The rising reptile population is
one reason why the Northern Territory Insurance Office in Darwin
has been selling this insurance for more than a decade. Under the
policy, individuals pay a premium of $25, and their families receive
a payout of about $123,000 if a crocodile kills the policyholder.
The bad news is that losing an arm or a leg won't get you anything
except a sad story to tell about your Australian getaway.
Planning for a vacation mishap
is one thing, but what if you find yourself taking an unexpected
trip off the planet? The Saint Lawrence Agency in Altamonte Springs,
Fla., sells alien abduction "insurance." The word is in
quotes because the company isn't licensed to sell insurance. It
costs $23.95, including shipping, for an official-looking $10 million
policy that provides for psychiatric care and sarcasm protection,
plus a double indemnity clause "if the alien insists on conjugal
admits that the policies are intended for fun only and that they're
usually purchased as gag gifts. "Most people don't get this for
themselves," he says. "However, sometimes we do get some
calls from people who are serious about it."
The lesson here is that there is
insurance for almost anything imaginable. No matter whether you
need to protect a musical organ or a body organ, there is probably
an agency willing to sell you a policy. Just remember that the burden
of proof usually lies with the policyholder. So be sure to get that
alien autograph on your claim form, OK?
-- Updated: April 15, 2002