Measured Against Reality

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Loch Ness Monster Insurance

Apparently organizers of a duathlon in Scotland have taken out a one-million-pound insurance policy against attack by or sighting of the Loch Ness monster, seriously. They say that they want all their bases covered, but this is just silly. I wonder if it's not just a dumb PR move, and I honestly hope it is.

What will be interesting if someone actually does "see" Nessie (or a floating log or a large wave or a duck or...), what it would take for the policy to pay out. I bet it would be quite difficult to convince the insurance company, after all, they have more invested in the outcome than intellectual skepticism.

This story reminds me of another one I blogged last year, and that was second-coming insurance, also in Scotland (but not by the same insurance company). Two young girls took out the policy just in case they became pregnant with the Christ. It caused a bit of a furor, but I'm not sure why.

I wonder if it would be possible to tally how much money people spend on stupid things, like energy crystals, homeopathy, other woo, ridiculously implausible insurance, etc. I'd be interested in seeing that number, and I bet it's one hell of a lot of money.

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