November 26, 1999
In the "What will they think of next" department,
there is now an insurance company that will let you take out
a policy against rainy days.
World Wide Insurance Agencies Inc. has been selling weather
insurance since 1988. Most of their takers are farmers, movie
makers and organizers of outdoor events. They have recently opened
a website that allows ordinary people to take out insurance polices
against bad weather.
It doesn't even have to be a hurricane. They'll pay up if
you get one-hundredth of an inch of rain. That's right - if it
rains on your wedding, birthday or vacation, they pay. And the
beauty is that unlike life insurance, you're still alive to collect.
Unless you drown in a flood.
For example, for a premium of $200 World Wide Insurance Agencies
Inc. will pay you $10,000 if it rains every day of your 10-day
holiday (some conditions apply).
So if your Grandmother has one of those trick knees that can
tell when a storm is coming, you could stand to make some quick
cash. For me, all I'd have to do is insure my annual trip to
Shakespeare in the Park. You have my guarantee that it will begin
to rain the second we settle down on our blanket.
This unique kind of insurance is fine for fretful brides or
obsessive golfers, but what about the rest of us? I started to
think about the other kinds of oddball insurance it would be
useful to have.
There are a few people who would be prepared to buy Y2K insurance,
but not the normal kind. Some of us figure the only way we'll
ever pay off our credit cards is if the computer records are
wiped out on New Years Eve.
Just in case they aren't, it would be nice to have insurance
to cover it.
While we're on the subject of Y2K, I can see a market for insurance
to cover you in case you get drunk on December 31st and wake
up somewhere around January 3rd married to a total stranger.
What are the odds that while sitting around in jail you discover
you're really a woman trapped in a man's body? Don't get caught
with your pants down. Buy insurance before you're sentenced to
a lengthy period of incarceration at the pleasure of Her Majesty.
Some men would rather switch than fight, and with insurance you'll
be able to pay for it without having to wait for a ruling from
the Human Rights Commission.
You might be able to get insurance to protect you in case
gas prices go up, but I doubt anyone could afford the premiums.
I'd buy movie insurance, for when you go to the latest over-hyped
blockbuster and it turns out to be a stinker. After all, a movie
is almost as big an investment as a tank of gas.
Psycho girlfriend/boyfriend insurance would have great potential.
It would cover those clothes he/she cut up with a pair of scissors,
dry cleaning to get that glass of wine out of your shirt, and
an unlisted telephone number. The deluxe coverage would pay the
cost of faking your own death and passage on a tramp steamer
to South America.
I'm sure Gen Xers would rush to buy old age insurance, in
case any of them actually do grow up. It could cover the cost
of removing that goofy tattoo on your neck that looks like barbed
wire. It's not going to look so great when everything starts
to sag. Maybe for a few extra dollars they could throw in a free
fill-up of any facial holes left over from putting a bolt through
your nose or eyebrow.
There. Now weather insurance doesn't sound so silly, does