2008 Insurance Guide
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Not your typical insurance policy

And McGwire is not the first or last baseball player to require special treatment in the insurance arena. Thomas says one team wanted to insure a player for the amount of his multiyear, $200-million-plus contract, but the team's owner was unable to find that coverage "at the price he wanted to pay."

So a number of insurers, including Lloyd's, joined forces to cover the risk together, up to a total of $120 million-plus, he says. The annual bill? More than 2 percent of the sum of the insured, he says. Translation: more than $2.4 million annually.

A princess and a judge. A South African soap maker insured Princess Diana for two months back in the early 1990s, says Thomas. The most extraordinary element of the policy is that the princess probably never knew anything about it.

The soap manufacturer put 400,000 rand (about $51,000 U.S.) into an eight-week ad campaign that used a Diana look-alike. But if anything happened to the real Diana, the company worried it would have to pull its ads and would lose its investment, he says.

So it took out a policy on the princess that started at $53,000 and declined every week, to match the money it still had in the ad campaign.

A similar policy was issued for a judge in a high-dollar civil trial in the mid-1980s by one of the parties in the suit, says Thomas. Both sides had spent millions presenting testimony, and it was feared that the money would be lost if anything happened to the judge during the course of the proceedings.

A contract: When a big-name talent signed on for an extended Las Vegas schedule, part of the agreement was that the entertainer would accrue ownership in the performance venue. "It was guaranteed" whether the entertainer could perform or not, says Thomas. And the resulting contract was worth "in excess of $75 million" at the time, he adds.

So Lloyd's was called on to cover the majority of the contract. The shows did go on, says Thomas, and "the contract has run its course."


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