Almost all of us have some assets worth insuring -- our homes, our cars, our health. But the insurance business goes far beyond the basics. If your possessions are worth a bit more, you might have separate policies for your jewelry or art. Businesses take out insurance to protect their executives against lawsuits. And when they consider certain employees to be vital to their bottom lines, they may even take out life insurance policies on them.
Celebrities are no different. They take out insurance to protect their most important assets -- themselves.
If your living depends on a specific body part, be it your hands, legs or smile, you can't take chances. You can take out a policy.
This unusual segment of the business has been around for quite some time. Movie stars Betty Grable and Fred Astaire both had insurance policies on their legs in the first half of the 20th century. Astaire's $150,000 insurance coverage wasn't much compared to Grable's cool $1 million policy. These days celebrity insurance regularly covers much more than that.
So who's doing it today? 24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of nine of the largest and most interesting insurance policies taken by or on behalf of celebrities.
The 9 Craziest Celebrity Insurance Policies
Insured asset: Hair
Amount: $1 million
After gaining popularity on the field both for his powerful tackles and his distinguishing locks, the Pittsburgh Steelers safety scored an endorsement deal with Procter & Gamble's Head & Shoulders shampoo, which took out a $1 million policy on the hair with Lloyd's of London. Polamalu says he hasn't cut his hair in a decade, keeping it long in tribute to his Samoan heritage. According to Head & Shoulders, it is "so ridiculously full and thick that end to end it spans 100 football fields."
Insured asset: Hands
Amount: $1.6 million
The Rolling Stones guitarist has no qualms about which part he needs to protect most. When interviewed for a Fortune article, Inside the Rolling Stones Inc., Richards held up his hands and proclaimed, "These are the business." To protect against possible damage to his hands, Richards has taken out a $1.6 million policy on them with Lloyd's of London.
Insured asset: Legs
Amount: $2 million
In 2004, the supermodel had her famous legs insured for $1.4 million with London's Phillips de Pury & Co, a company more known for auctions than insurance. Her right leg is allegedly worth $200,000 more than her left, which has a small scar. According to Vogue, Klum's legs were insured by razor brand Braun for the duration of her contract with Epilady. But in a recent interview on Extra, Klum put the policy's value at $2 million.
Insured asset: Vocal chords
Amount: $5.5 million
"The Boss" also depends on his physical abilities, but unlike Richards, Springsteen values his vocal prowess most. His one-of-a-kind deep, raspy voice can also soar upward, and its value his risen as well. Allegedly, Springsteen has a $5.5 million insurance policy on his voice with Lloyd's of London, though some sources put the amount as high as $6 million.
Insured asset: Smile
Amount: $10 million
Best known for her title role on the hit television show Ugly Betty -- in which she portrays a nerdy young woman with a mouthful of braces -- in reality, Ferrara has a megawatt smile. Aquafresh White Trays, a teeth whitening product, insured that smile with Lloyds of London as part of a promotion to raise money for charity program Smiles for Success. According to the BBC, the actress responded by saying, "It's very flattering to have my smile insured for $10 million, it's not something that I ever imagined happening."
Insured asset: Fingers
Amount: $10 million
In 2010, the former Yardbirds guitarist cut off the tip of his left index finger while slicing carrots for stew, London newspaper The Mirror reported. Although the tip was surgically reattached, it must have been a wake-up call for Beck regarding the importance of his digits. Following the incident, he took out $1 million policies on each finger for a total of $10 million.
Insured asset: ankle
Amount: $120 million
In 1998, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were in a heated race to break major league baseball's home run record. At the same time, McGwire was having troubles with his ankle, prompting the St. Louis Cardinals' insurance company to deny coverage for that specific appendage. Lloyd's of London stepped in to cover the player's ankle, according to Deadspin.
Insured asset: Entire body
Amount: $195 million
The former Manchester United soccer superstar, who now plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, is one of the most popular soccer players in the world. To cover himself from any accidents that may hurt this position, Beckham took out the "biggest personal insurance policy in sporting history," according to the London Times. The $195 million policy covers him against injury and illness, as well as disfigurement, since many of Beckham's endorsement deals rely on his looks.
Insured asset: Legs
Amount: $1 billion
Singer Mariah Carey has also been blessed with good looks and especially fine legs. In 2006, the singer agreed to front for Gillette's Legs of a Goddess campaign. To protect this position, Carey took out a $1 billion insurance policy on her legs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. One source told Britain's Daily Mirror at the time that "the sum reflects her popularity. She's about to start a U.S. tour and she'll have to be careful."