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    Insurance | 4 min read

    Creative Solutions to 3 REALLY Weird Insurance Claims

    One of the unexpected issues the first Apollo mission encountered had nothing to do with the mission itself. Instead, it was the ability of astronauts to obtain adequate life insurance. They needed a creative solution to provide financial security to their families in case the worst were to happen.

    So, they had the astronauts sign hundreds of postcards before they left on the presumption that they would become highly valuable in the event of their death!

    In this blog post, we’ll share creative solutions to some of the wackiest insurance stories we’ve heard and give you tips for making sure obtaining your life insurance policy goes off without a hitch.

    Alien Abduction Insurance

    If you’re worried about being abducted by aliens (and the presumed financial ramifications that follow, like missing time off work, follow-up counseling, and buying supplies for tin-foil hats), a firm in London has you covered. They’ve sold over 37,000 alien abduction insurance policies throughout Europe. Of course, to settle any claims, the carrier requires proof of alien abduction.

    Americans seeking alien abduction coverage have turned to a Florida man, Mike St. Lawrence, who has been selling $10 million alien abduction insurance policies for the past 30 years. He’s even paid out on a couple of claims—at a rate of $1 per year over 10 million years.

    Mr. St. Lawrence recently spoke to the LeadersEdge about this unusual coverage:

    “Our claims department is headed by Mr. McLaim. And you have to get it past him. And he’s made a lot of decisions, and so far, he hasn’t made a mistake yet. But in order for the claim to be accepted, you have to get a signature of an onboard alien. And now we have it so when you get a policy, you get a membership card and you can just scan it, and then you can file a claim that way…if you can talk the aliens into letting you scan it.”

    Instead of taking a ride-along in a UFO, consider reading up on the most Common Life Insurance Rider Policies.

    Fire-Damaged Cigars

    Another wacky insurance tale comes from a man who insured several high-end cigars for protection against fire damage. After he enjoyed smoking the cigars, he filed a claim.

    Unsurprisingly, the insurance company denied his initial claim, but the claimant demanded that they bring the case to court. In a shocking twist, the judge ruled IN FAVOR of the plaintiff. However, the insurance company then turned around and sued the man for multiple counts of arson. The almost-clever cigar aficionado was found guilty and went to jail.

    Speaking of smoking, did you know that if you stop smoking cigarettes and using nicotine, your life insurance rates could go down? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, if you stop using nicotine, after 12 to 24 months, you can enjoy substantial savings by getting money-saving nonsmoker insurance premiums.

    Dastardly Double Dealing

    In 2005, Anthony McErlean thought he could get away with insurance fraud by impersonating his wife. Dressed as her, the man filed a life insurance claim stating “her husband” had died in Honduras after a fatal accident with a cabbage truck. The story must have sounded suspect to the insurance company—they submitted the paperwork to the police, who discovered McErlean’s fingerprints on his own death certificate. He was charged with six years in prison—no word on whether Mrs. McErlean filed for divorce.

    Speaking of divorce (see what we did there?), your life insurance policy is one of the first things you should consider updating once you separate from your spouse. Here are a few things to consider:

    Beneficiary—When going through a divorce, one of the first things to consider is renaming a beneficiary on your life insurance. If your ex-partner remains your beneficiary and you encounter your untimely death, your life insurance payout will go to him or her regardless of what’s indicated in your will. Once you decide to separate, be sure to decide if it would be best to name a new beneficiary.

    Policy—If you are dependent on your ex-spouse for alimony or child support, it’s in your best interest to take out a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse. This is a form of income protection to ensure that you will still receive payments in the event of your ex-spouse’s death.


    Now that you’ve seen how truly weird the insurance world can be, here are three absolutely normal options for life insurance coverage to help balance the scales:

    On the Spot Life Insurance—A convenient, fully online application process offering affordable term life insurance coverage at set premiums determined by age and selected term.

    Term Life Insurance—For the cost-conscious individual, affordable term life insurance coverage at set premiums determined by age and selected term.

    Final Expense Insurance—An affordable, whole life policy that provides coverage for expenses such as funeral expenses, credit card debt, and medical bills.

    When it comes to protecting your family’s future, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by options and jargon. With SWBC, purchasing one of these life insurance coverage options is affordable, fast, and convenient.

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    Joan Cleveland, CLU, ChFC, REBC

    Joan Cleveland, CLU, ChFC, REBC leads SWBC Life Insurance Company as President and CEO. With more than 30 years of experience in the life insurance industry. She holds her Agent licenses for Life, Accident, Health Insurance, and has multiple FINRA securities Licenses. Joan is a frequent industry speaker and media spokesperson. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Consumer Credit Insurance Association, the Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers, as well as the Life Insurers Council. In addition, she is chair of LIMRA’s Strategic Marketing Issues Committee.

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