Athletes Who Insured Their Body Parts

We have insurance for some of our biggest assets which include our homes, cars, and for some of us, that big rock on our finger. However, when it comes to being a Hollywood star, their biggest and most precious asset that might need the most protection is that one thing that makes them the most money — themselves. 

Model Heidi Klum has insured her legs for two million dollars, while actor America Ferrara had her smile insured thanks to Aquafresh for $10 million. Even former Playboy playmate Holly Madison made the move to take out a one million dollar insurance policy on her chest, once sharing to People in 2011, "I've heard about people getting body parts insured and I thought, why not? Because if anything happened to my boobs, I'd be out for a few months and I'd probably be out a million dollars ... They're my primary money makers right now."

It's not only celebs who are making sure their vital assets are covered either. While it's common for athletes to obtain insurance on themselves if they ever suffer a career-ending injury, it's less common to see these athletes insure a specific body part. From a soccer star's legs to a race car driver's thumbs, these sports stars below made sure that the parts of their body that are making them winners are insured. 

Cristiano Ronaldo's legs are insured

Cristiano Ronaldo is widely considered the G.O.A.T in soccer, with ESPN reporting that as of this writing, he is the top scorer in the professional sport. He's been named the best player in the world five times by FIFA and is one of the best strikers of all time. So, it makes sense that Ronaldo's legs and insane footwork on the field had to be insured in case of any potential career-ending injuries. 

Before Ronaldo returned to Manchester United in 2021, he played for Real Madrid from 2009 to 2018. The team not only signed the star player in a record deal worth $131.5 million but made sure to get an insurance policy for his legs worth around $144 million, which protected the team's high-priced striker in case of injury, per Time (via CNBC). With Real Madrid, Ronaldo won four Champions League titles, two league championships, and three FIFA Club World Cups, per The Guardian. In 2018, Ronaldo signed with the Italian team Juventus in yet another record deal. According to Yahoo! News, Juventus paid a $117.5 million transfer fee for the star athlete, making him the highest-paid player paid by an Italian club, per Football Italia.

With all his impressive records, Ronaldo knows he's one of the best, or in his eyes, the best soccer player there is. He told France Football (via Goal), "I've never seen anyone better than me. I have always thought that. No footballer can do the things I can."

Troy Polamalu's hair is worth a fortune

Troy Polamalu played his entire 12-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had an impressive career as a strong safety in the 2000s and won two Super Bowl championships with his team. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 2020, his nickname on the field was "the Tasmanian Devil" because of his "range, explosiveness and impact on the field." Aside from his remarkable career, Polamalu is also remembered for his long, curly black hair. 

Polamalu's hair became a huge fascination with fans and even popular brands like shampoo company Head and Shoulders, for which he became a spokesperson. To ensure that the player's trademark hair would always remain at its curliest, the company insured his then-three-foot-long locks for $1 million in 2010, per ESPN. The policy was granted by Lloyd's of London, an insurance company known for insuring celebs' body parts like actor Betty Grable's legs and America Ferrera's smile. According to the Guinness World Records, Polamalu held the record for "highest insured hair."

In 2011, Polamalu told Allure about being hesitant to let his locks flow during games. "In my rookie year, I used to wear it in a ponytail. But one game, I actually just took it out, and my uncle was like, just let your hair go — it'll be symbolic of how you play; just let it loose. I owe a lot of credit to my uncle for that, among other things."

Insurance was necessary for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer is one of the world's best goalkeepers. The soccer star has been playing professionally for the German national team since 2004, where he was named captain in 2016, and as of this writing, plays for the professional German soccer club Bayern Munich as the team's goalie and captain. Neuer was named the best goalkeeper of the decade from 2011 to 2020 by The International Federation of Football History & Statistics. He has two UEFA Championship League titles and a 2014 World Cup win under his belt with his list of accolades going on and on.

With one of the most used body parts for a goalie being their hands, Neuer took precaution and insured his winning mitts in 2014 when he was just 28 years old, for $4.3 million, per the General Association of German Insurers (via Yahoo! News). The insurance policy protects Neuer and his team with the Insurance Association stating at the time, "A dislocated finger is for him, however nothing more than a piece of cake."

Neuer's incredible career is praised by fans and his teammates alike with former Bayern Munich teammate Xabi Alonso sharing to German publication Sport Bild (via Daily Mail), "If Manuel won it, it'd be totally deserved. Neuer is by far the best keeper I've played with and is also outstanding outfield."

Did Merv Hughes really get his mustache insured?

The name Merv Hughes may not ring a bell to sports fans in the U.S., but he was once a crowd favorite among Australian cricket enthusiasts. Playing throughout the mid-'80s to the '90s, the right-arm fast bowler represented the Land Down Under in 53 Test matches, ending his career with 212 wickets, per ESPN Cricinfo. Hughes was known for his big personality and bigger handlebar-styled mustache, which was rumored to be insured for around $370,000 per Time

How Stuff Works reported that Hughes reportedly took out the insurance policy with Lloyd's of London, the same company that insured NFL player Troy Polamalu's trademark hair and legendary singer Bruce Springsteen's voice, among other odd celebrity body part insurances. Although he was known as a legendary cricketer, his mustache has received just as much attention. 

According to Cricket, Hughes was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2021, with the former player sharing, "Everyone has an opinion and you've got to ride with that. If people want to remember me as a character that played and had fun, well, I certainly did that. If you want to remember me as someone who trained hard and had a go, I certainly did that too."

Fernando Alonso gets his thumbs insured

Formula One racecar driver Fernando Alonso made his debut with Minardi in 2001 and has driven for McLauren, Ferrari, and won back-to-back World Drivers Championships in 2005 and 2006 with Renault. As of this writing, the Spaniard drives for Alpine and is highly considered one of the best Formula 1 drivers around, or at least to some, with drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher being long-time fan favorites.

According to Reuters, in 2010, Alonso had his thumbs insured for $13.3 million by Spanish-based bank Santandar who had the professional racecar driver be part of their insurance campaigns. The bank shared that the Formula One driver's thumbs were "a symbol, as well as being essential for driving a Formula One car, in that they make a sign of victory and show that everything is under control and well protected."

In April 2022, Alonso suffered a hand injury following a crash at the Australian F1 qualifiers, per Motorsport. According to Express, his thumbs were bandaged up for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, with the driver stating, "It was an extension of the thumbs, so it is a little bit painful now, but it's going to be okay for the race." Alonso placed last in the race, per Formula 1

Legendary goalie Iker Casillas got his hands insured

Iker Casillas is highly regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of soccer. Retiring from the sport in 2020, he spent most of his career playing for the Spanish soccer club Real Madrid and played for the Spanish national team. Like German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Casillas also felt that it was necessary to protect his most valuable assets while playing — his hands. 

According to CBC, Casillas insured his hands with Groupama Insurance for about $10 million in 2007. The policy reportedly covered the goalie's hands even when he wasn't playing, with the star becoming the face of the insurance agency. After insuring his precious hands, Casillas shared, "If I damage my knee, I'll pretend my hand hurts." 

According to Real Madrid's website, Casillas is "the best goalkeeper in Real Madrid's history and in the history of Spanish football." He's won a World Cup and two European Championships with the Spanish national team. His incredible skills have also won him a place in Real Madrid's Hall of Fame, so it only made sense that this legend did anything he could to protect those mitts. Upon retiring at the age of 39 after suffering a heart attack in 2019, he shared on Twitter, which was translated by ESPN, "My football career started 30 years ago and it has been a long path and like any journey, it's had its good times and sad times. Looking back and at this stage of my life, I can say it's been well worth it."

Pitcher Joba Chamberlain insured his right arm

MLB pitcher Joba Chamberlain played the majority of his baseball career with the New York Yankees and was a star on the mound when he began his career in 2007. In 2009, Chamberlain and his teammates won the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, making it the 27th World Series won by The Bronx Bombers.

As a pitcher, the most precious part of the body is the throwing arm. ESPN reported that Chamberlain took out a $5 million insurance policy on his right arm in case anything would deter him from taking the pitchers mound, "even if he walks outside and gets hit by a bus," the player's financial planner stated, adding, "We made sure he was providing for his economic future."

In 2011, Chamberlain underwent Tommy John surgery to replace a torn ligament in his right elbow that ended his season with the Yankees, per ESPN. He has made a full recovery but suffered a few more injuries, including a dislocated right ankle that made him miss four months of the 2012 season. He parted ways with the New York team in 2013, and signed with the Detroit Tigers, per the New York Post. He played with the Tigers for one season and would later sign minor contracts with a few teams including the Kansas City Royals, where he won his second World Series ring, and the Milwaukee Brewers, before announcing his retirement in 2017.

David Beckham gets his legs and maybe his face insured

Soccer legend David Beckham played the majority of his career with the English soccer club Manchester United and was part of the England national team. Not only is he an icon in the world of soccer, but he made waves in the world of entertainment ever since marrying Spice Girls pop star Victoria Beckham — and it also didn't hurt that he was easy on the eyes. 

In 2006, it was only right that the soccer star took out an insurance policy on his legs. According to Insider, Beckham insured his legs for a whopping $195 million, which was then considered the largest personal insurance policy taken out by a professional athlete. The insurance policy also reportedly protected his good looks, as Beckham was the face of several campaigns, including Armani, H&M, and Gillette.

According to the National Football Museum, Beckham had his career start in 1992 with Manchester United and went on to win six Premier League titles with the team. In 2003, he joined the Spanish soccer club Real Madrid and later made his way to the U.S. where he signed with MLS club LA Galaxy. He retired in 2013, playing with French club Paris Saint-Germain after having an exceptional 20-year career.

Mark McGwire got ankle insurance before breaking the home run record

Mark McGwire had a controversial baseball career. When he joined the Oakland Athletics in 1987, he set a rookie record for home runs, and would continue to wow fans when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals and went head to head in an exciting single-season home run race with Chicago Cubs player Sammy Sosa in 1998. But, before McGwire attempted his record-breaking feat, he made sure to take out an insurance policy on his ankle from Lloyd's of London for $12 million, per Jacobson

However, Deadspin reported that the policy included what types of medication McGwire had to take because of a nagging injury to his ankle, which included Androstenedione, a steroid that would later be banned from the MLB. Although McGwire broke Maris' 1961 record when he hit a total of 70 home runs in September 1998, he later admitted to being on steroids during that time and throughout the majority of his career, per The New York Times. "It's something I'm certainly not proud of. I'm certainly sorry for having done it. Someday, somehow, somewhere I knew I'd probably have to talk about this," he shared.

McGwire retired from baseball in 2001, and in 2010, became the Cardinals hitting coach. In 2013, he became the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and from 2016 to 2018 was the bench coach for the San Diego Padres.