Valuing your Valentine: Which body part of your lover would you insure?
When it comes to insuring a spouse’s or partner’s body parts, Americans would go with the heart or the head.
A survey conducted on behalf of InsuranceQuotes.com by Harris Interactive indicates that cupid’s arrow strays far from lips and smiles, butts, breasts, legs and other body parts that some celebrities have insured for millions of dollars. Among those in relationships, Americans say they would insure a spouse’s or partner’s brain (23 percent) or heart (22 percent) when asked to choose only one body part. The survey was conducted in January 2012 among 2,625 U.S. adults.
The brain and heart “are key to life and our wish to sustain our relationships and keep our loved ones alive and with us,” says Diana Kirschner, author of “Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love.”
The survey asked: If you could insure only one body part of your spouse, significant other or partner, which of the following, if any, would you pick? Options included the top two vote-getters (brain, heart) as well as the eyes, chest, hands, legs, teeth, lips, rear end and hair.
Among people in relationships, these are other body parts that they say they would single out to insure:
• None — 23 percent.
• Eyes — 8 percent.
• Chest — 3 percent.
• Hands — 3 percent.
• Legs — 3 percent.
• Teeth — 2 percent.
• Lips — 2 percent.
• Rear end — 2 percent.
• Hair — 1 percent.
More than skin deep
The survey response makes it clear that friendship and companionship mean the most in many relationships, Kirschner says.
“It’s not just superficial. It’s not just all about sex,” Kirschner says. “It’s about much more than sex and much more than beauty or appearance.”
Among U.S. adults in a relationship, the choice of the brain shows how Americans value someone’s personality and intellect, says Lou Manza, professor of psychology at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.
“The heart is maybe more of a romantic notion,” Manza says. “In a physical sense, the heart keeps you alive so you want that significant other around.”
People fall in love with someone’s intellect and personality — all of which, of course, are related to the brain. “If we can protect that against all else, then we really would,” Manza says.
If you ask someone living with an Alzheimer’s patient if they could go back in time and protect that person’s brain, you would get a resounding “yes,” Kirschner says.
There’s a vested interest in the brain, because if it deteriorates, that can affect intellect and personality, and can trigger changes in a relationship. At the same time, people tend to develop wisdom as they age.
“Even though your outside might be changing and it appears ‘old,’ and maybe taking a turn for the worse for some people, if you’ve maintained your intellectual health, you know a lot more when you’re older,” Kirschner says.
Object of desire
Stars insure their most attractive assets for millions of dollars. For example, model and TV host Heidi Klum’s legs have been insured for $2 million, and reality TV star and Playboy playmate Holly Madison told People magazine that she insured her breasts for $1 million.
Even musicians and athletes have their body parts insured. For instance, the long locks of Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu have been insured by Head & Shoulders (the shampoo brand he endorses) for $1 million.
In terms of coverage of body parts, people can insure themselves against accidents and injuries, which could threaten their careers and income. Accident and health insurance covers a policyholder against injury to the entire body, but the policyholder may want to concentrate on a particular body part, according to Lloyd’s, a major insurer of body parts.
When you’re at a party or on a first date, a person’s eyes, lips, butt or breasts can be the initial attraction. But as people in relationships age and their looks change, they must be willing to let certain insurable features slide, Kirschner says.
“If the 60-year-olds were saying, ‘I would ensure my spouse’s behind,’ it would make you wonder a little bit,” she says.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of InsuranceQuotes.com from Jan. 9-11, 2012, among 2,625 adults age 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact John Egan at firstname.lastname@example.org.