You probably don’t think of insurance as a strange profession.
After all, it seems basic enough on the surface: you pay premiums for coverage to protect you in the case of a mishap, and in the event of an unfortunate incident you make claim. It’s essentially an investment in your future. Simple, right?
But ask an insurance agent and they’ll tell you the business can be a lot … weirder.
Check out these real stories about the quirky side of the insurance industry. We bet they’ll be eye-opening.
1) It costs Starbucks more to pay for employee health insurance than costs them to but the coffee they sell.
2) In Japan, golfers who get a hole-in-one have to buy drinks and gifts for their friends. This can get pretty expensive, costing up to $3,000, so golfers often buy special insurance to protect themselves against such “unfortunate” incidents. It costs $65 per year.
3) Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres have a player who they consider a “Padre for Life.” At just 20 years old, Matt LaChappa suffered a pair of heart attacks while still in the minor leagues.
He suffered brain damage as a result, leaving him confined to a wheelchair for life. For over two decades now, the Padres have signed him to a minor league contract so he could maintain his health insurance.
4) For a time in London, when people bought fire insurance a metal plate was affixed to the front of their building. In the case of a fire, firefighters would battle fires only if the building had that plate. Otherwise, they let it burn. (This was the case in the 1600s and 1700s.)
5) Sony is best known for its electronics – televisions, video game consoles and more – but in fact, its insurance division is the real bread and butter of the company, raking in far more dollars than its electronics.
6) Russia has more dashcams than any other nation in large part because insurance scams and extortion claims are so prevalent there. Search Youtube for dashcam videos and not only will you find thousands, most will be from Russia!
7) Film legend Jackie Chan and his amazing stunt team cannot get insurance – no company will underwrite their productions – so Chan pays his team’s medical bills right out of his own pocket.
8) The Apollo 11 astronauts could not qualify for life insurance and were not insured by NASA, so in order to ensure they could provide for their families in the case of a tragic accident, they signed “Insurance Autographs.”
The idea was that the photos would be a valuable commodity in the case of their death. And in fact, they are a valuable commodity. They have sold for up to $30,000 each!
As you can see, the insurance industry can be a little more unusual than most people realize – and we mean that in a fun way!