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Chest hair insurance: Excludes loss through terrorism
Updated: 2004-06-17 11:38

It was one of the more unusual requests insurance underwriter Jonathan Thomas had received: Could he please draw up a policy to protect an unnamed star against the loss of his chest hair?

Ever the professional, Thomas and his team of experts at London's Creechurch Underwriting got down to work, compiling a four-page document which details every possible eventuality.

A hairy-chested model posing for an advertisement. An insurance underwriter has been asked to draw up a policy to protect an unnamed star against the loss of his chest hair. [AFP/Fiel]
A payout would be triggered "if, in the opinion of two independent medical referees, the insured person has suffered loss of more than 85 percent of his hair covering the front of his torso", it says.

"We drafted a policy wording that would try to objectively measure whether they would have a loss," Thomas told AFP on Wednesday.

"The key thing with these sorts of policies is not the breadth of coverage, it's actually being able to justify financially that someone would suffer that sort of loss if they lost their chest hair," he said.

The policy is thus far only a speculative draft, and Thomas has not been told the name of the hirsute man in question.

"It could be that someone had a particular advertising contract that was associated with their chest," said Thomas, whose company is part of the Lloyd's insurance market.

"If you're going on stage and you're Tom Jones then, yes, you can wear a chest wig," he said, referring to the famously woolly Welsh singer.

"But nobody in their right minds wants anybody to know that Tom Jones wears a chest wig -- if there was an advertising campaign going alongside that, the advertisers would have to pull the campaign."

The policy is only valid for "accidental bodily injury" and -- as is the way with insurance -- has a lengthy list of exclusions.

If the star was to be left with a bald torso through war, revolution, radioactive contamination or terrorism -- sorry, no payout.

Their lifestyle would also have to be circumscribed, ruling out activities as varied as fire-breathing and -- a measure that sums up the sheer caution inherent to insurance brokers -- pregnancy and child-birth.

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