Body Part Insurance: Top 10 Pieces of Anatomy Americans Want Protected

The heart, eyes, and legs are the three body parts Americans want to protect the most. Body part insurance is a rare insurance policy that allows you to insure a specific body part, with coverage sometimes worth millions of dollars.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: May 12, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • Six organs and four other body parts make up the top 10 body parts people want to insure most
  • Sexual organs are the body parts with the widest split between sexes
  • Among all generations surveyed, the most popular body part each generation wanted to insure the most was either the heart or eyes
  • Some celebrities and athletes get body part insurance worth hundreds of millions of dollars

What body part would you insure?

Arms? Legs?

It’s the age-old question of what body part is most important to you — and if you had the cash and the resources, which one would you protect with body part insurance? It’s not as far-fetched as you might think.

Celebrities and athletes dating back to the 1920s have had body parts insured. These were pieces of themselves that were so crucial to their livelihood that losing or damaging them would result in a loss of money.

Celebrities are one thing, but what about everyone else?

We turn our attention, in this article, from the rich and famous to the everyday person and ask them — what body parts would you like to insure?

Check out the top 10 body parts people say they’d like to insure in the graphic below.

Top 10 Body Parts Americans Want Protected

In the ranking section below, we’ll break down each body part and provide context. After the ranked list, we’ll cover how you can get body part insurance and why most people opt for more common types of coverage like accidental death life insurance.

Now, buckle your seat belts and hang on tight. We’re going on a wild ride through the heart of one of the most specialized of specialty coverages: body part insurance.

Let’s get started.

10 Body Parts Americans Want Insured the Most

Ready, set, go. Here we have the results of the survey: the top 10 body parts Americans most want insured. Some are organs while some are limbs.

By the end, you’ll know which body parts your fellow Americans find most valuable. Let’s take a look at that list.

#10 – Sexual Organ

Americans kicked off the voting with the organs that are used for procreation. Ranked 10th on this list, 23.7% of Americans said this was one of the body parts they’d insure, placing value on — among other things — their future children.

Sexual organs had the biggest split among genders out of all body parts. So which gender wanted them insured the most? Find out after the ranking.

#9 – Pancreas

The organ that helps break down food and secretes hormones comes in 9th, with 24.4% of Americans saying they’d insure their pancreas if they could.

Part of the exocrine system, the pancreas plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar by producing insulin, a hormone that helps move glucose from blood cell to blood cell. Thus, the pancreas is an important player in the fight against diabetes, which may be the reason people voted it 9th in this ranking.

#8 – Mouth

The mouth, used for eating and talking, ranks No. 8 in this list, with 26.1% of Americans saying they’d insure it if they could.

This body part has dozens of biological functions, including roles in breathing, balance, posture, coughing, spitting, and, of course, taste. It is also a valuable body part for communication.

#7 – Ears

Coming in 7th is another body part related to the five senses — the ears. Twenty-seven percent of Americans say they’d insure their ears, and it’s no surprise that they would.

Having three main sections — external, middle, and inner — the ears are most associated with hearing and balance. Losing either is considered debilitating to an individual.

#6 – Liver

Ah, the liver, the blood balancer, our first major organ on this list. Americans highly value it, ranking it 6th, with 32.5% saying they’d insure it if they could.

It performs hundreds of important biological functions, such as removing toxins from the blood, aiding in blood clotting, and producing bile, which carries away waste.

#5 – Lungs

The main drivers of the respiratory system — the lungs — come in at No. 5 on this list. Nearly 42% of Americans say they’d insure them, a large jump from the 32.5% that wanted to insure their liver.

The lungs are critical to survival, with it being impossible to survive without them (unless hooked up to some serious medical equipment). They take oxygen from the air and transfer it to red blood cells while also expelling carbon dioxide every time we exhale.

They are crucial for helping us sleep well, too.

#4 – Arms

Americans ranked arms 4th with 42.4% saying they’d insure them if they could.

Arms perform functions related to picking up, lifting, holding, exerting force, and many others. Arms are valuable to many professions as well.

There are other ways of protecting them besides getting a policy, of course. Working out frequently can help. And never fear — you’ll almost never be considered “too muscular” for a term life insurance policy either.

#3 – Legs

Legs come in 3rd, with 46.2% of Americans saying they’d insure them.

Legs play a crucial role in motor function, walking, standing, stooping, squatting, and running. From professional athletes to doctors, the legs are essential to most careers and activities, which is likely why a lot of people want to protect them.

The healthy activities your legs help you engage in can lead to lower rates on another type of insurance — life insurance. For example, rates on life insurance for runners are some of the most competitive, for instance.

#2 – Eyes

What’s the second-most valuable body part, according to Americans? Our eyes. A clean 56% of Americans say they’d insure this body part if they could.

The eyes are highly complex with over a dozen parts, and they are used to organizing and interpreting the visual world. In surveys, sight is often the thing people say they would miss the most.

#1 – The Heart

Coming in first as, perhaps, the most vital organ of them all — the heart. Fifty-six percent of Americans say they would insure the heart if they could, just a smidgen above the eyes but enough to push it to the title.

With four main functions, the heart is best known for pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body. It is crucial. Even small changes in the heart can lead to problems in the body.

Further, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in America and has been for a number of years.

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Is there any difference between the sexes in insuring body parts?

Now you know the top 10 insured body parts that Americans want coverage for.

Surprises? Shocks? Here’s where we break down this information into subsets.

First: do males and females differ in which body parts they want insured. If so, which ones?

Take a look at the graphic below. It shows the five body parts with the biggest differences in how much males wanted it insured versus females.

Body Part Insurance - Biggest Differences Between the Sexes

We analyzed the body parts with the greatest differences between how many males wanted a body part insured compared to females. The biggest difference was between sexual organs, the only body parts with a difference between males and females wider than 10%.

Are there any generational differences in insuring body parts?

While males and females were split on some body parts, did age groups differ as well?

The graphic below shows the body part that each generation, from the silent generation to Generation Z, wanted to insure the most.

The Body Part Every Generation Wants Insured the Most

While the silent generation, baby boomers, and Generation X wanted to insure their eyes the most, millennials and Generation Z voted for another body part: the heart.

Even within the three generations that voted for the eyes, that percentage drops among the younger generations.

What’s body part insurance?

Now, you might be excited and want to know — “How exactly do I insure a body part?”

It might help to know that this type of insurance is rarer than typical insurance types. You might be out of luck if you call up your regular insurance provider and request a quote. To buy body part insurance, you’ll often have to find a specialty insurance company.

Shopping around can give you the best options. And Konstantin, founder of Cat Motors, adds that you should know your policy through and through. Some insurance companies will leave you without coverage if you get injured in a certain situation.

Most high-profile body part insurance policies come from one place: Lloyd’s of London. And be prepared for a serious and individualized process. A medical practitioner will probably have to evaluate your body part to determine its quality and health.

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How much does body part insurance cost?

Because the whole process is so personalized, including the policy itself, expect high rates for insuring a body part.

There’s a reason only the rich and famous typically get these types of policies. Most people opt for basic health insurance and accidental death or life insurance policies, which are common and cheaper.

Body part insurance would be considered an unusual insurance policy. But if you can afford the body part insurance premium, it’s all yours. You may be off going in another direction, however.

Linda Chavez, founder and CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder, says, “The average person would be better off buying a traditional form of insurance or general disability insurance. Body part insurance costs far more than regular insurance and does not offer coverage if they suffer injuries on other parts of their bodies.”

Which celebrities are insuring their body parts?

The purchase of body part insurance by celebrities started in the 1920s with Ben Turpin, the silent film actor. He allegedly took out tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of policies for his crossed eyes. If they ever went straight, his Lloyd’s of London body part insurance policy would pay him an undisclosed sum.

Since then, numerous stars and athletes have purchased body part insurance to protect themselves from lost wages. Some of them are:

  • America Ferrera’s smile ($10 million)
  • David Beckham’s legs and face ($140 million)
  • Bruce Springsteen’s voice ($5 million)
  • Heidi Klum’s legs ($2 million)
  • Keith Richard’s hands ($1.6 million)

Lower profile celebrities have had their taste buds (chefs, food tasters) or noses (sommeliers) insured.

Why do celebrities insure body parts, sometimes for millions of dollars? Simple: If they damaged said part, they’d lose out on a lot of money.

Full Body Part Insurance Survey Results

The following table shows the complete list of body parts included in the survey and the corresponding percentage of Americans that wanted them insured.

View as image

The only one that didn’t make our top 10 list was the nose, with just 21.36% of Americans wanting it insured.

Next is a table that shows the differences between males and females in what body parts they most wanted insured (the difference is calculated in percentage split):

View as image

Eight of the 11 body parts in the survey had a split between sexes of 4% or less. The three with the smallest splits were the nose, mouth, and pancreas.

Last is a table that reveals the complete differences between the generations for which body parts they would most like to insure:

View as image

Interestingly, the younger the generation, the more balanced the results.

The body part each generation least wanted to insure was split between “sexual organ” (silent generation, baby boomers), “nose” (Generation X), and “pancreas” (millennials, Generation Z).

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Frequently Asked Questions: Body Part Insurance Expanded Upon

Want to learn more about body part insurance? Below are five frequently asked questions about the topic from the broad to the specific — and, yes, you’ll learn about some more celebrities who have had their body parts insured.

#1 – Can you get insurance on body parts?

Yes, you can. Although the process is very personalized and specific to the body part you want insured, you can get it done through some specialty insurance companies like Lloyd’s of London. Be prepared to pony up though — this insurance costs some serious money.

#2 – What does it mean to have a body part insured?

Having a body part insured means that if you damage or lose that body part under the terms of the insurance contract, you’ll be reimbursed, similar to other types of insurances.

For instance, if you insure your arm and damage it to the point where you can’t use it for the function related to why you got it insured, you’ll be compensated.

#3 – Can I insure eyes?

You can insure any body part, contingent that you can find a specialty insurance company that will protect it for you and if you can pay their desired price tag.

Although most people think of legs or arms when insuring a body part, many have insured less likely parts, like taste buds and noses.

Methodology: Determining the Body Parts Americans Most Want to Insure

For this study, 1,718 U.S. Adults from five different generations (Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z) were asked questions. The sample is representative of the U.S. adult population.

The data was further broken down into three categories:

  1. Percentage of Americans that wanted a certain body part insured
  2. Desire to insure a body part by gender
  3. Desire to insure a body part by generation (age group)

The generations were bracketed into the following years:

  • Silent generation (1928-1945)
  • Baby boomers (1946-1964)
  • Gen X (1965-1980)
  • Millennials (1981-1996)
  • Gen Z (1997-2003)

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Body Parts Americans Want Insured
Desired Body Part Insurance by Sex
Desired Body Part Insurance by Generation
Body Parts Americans Want Insured
Desired Body Part Insurance by Sex
Desired Body Part Insurance by Generation