Ask your agent what the most surprising insurance coverage he/she has sold to their client and you might get an unexpected answer. In her article “What is the Most Unusual Insurance You Have Sold to a Client?” Lucy M. Pritchett relays four unconventional stories from Kentucky.
Steve Thompson, and agent in Louisville, told a tale from the 1970’s of how he insured the safe delivery of four trained dolphins. They were being shipped from SeaWorld Orlando to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. “The dolphins were of significant value…several hundred thousand dollars.” The job was complicated, he said, as the shipment entailed a 20-hour truck ride for the dolphins. “I spent a sleepless night and breathed a sigh of relief when I was notified that the dolphins had arrived in Chicago on time and safely,” he said.
Kurt Turner shared that he insured a herd of 15-20 llamas for a couple that kept them on their farm. Turner said that insuring animals like cows and horses is common, but llamas were new for him. “I laugh now. It was a unique introduction to insuring a different type of farm animal. The llamas were insured for $5,000 each,” he said.
Insuring hunting and fishing trophies came to mind for Rick Tobe. “I have a client who is a hunter and sport fisherman. He has sailfish and a couple of large-mouth bass that he has caught and mounted,” Tobe said. “He also has three deer heads with antlers that are mounted. They are all insured against damage. The fish and deer are insured or $3,000 to $5,000.” The hunting and fishing trophies are carried as a rider on the client’s homeowner’s insurance.
Not to be outdone, Chris Keen tells of insuring a herd of ostriches from Namibia in Africa.
“This was in the 1980’s for a breeding farm,” he said. “There were about 200 of the birds of various ages.” He said the birds were insured for the purchase price.
Kentucky is prime thoroughbred country, and Keen also said that stallions brought to the U.S. from South Africa have been insured for $300,000 to $500,000. An all-risk mortality policy covers the cost of the horse if it dies in transit for any reason or has to be euthanized for something such as sickness or a devastating injury. However, Keen said these situations rarely happen.
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