In 1994, 35,000 Americans insured themselves against being kidnapped and eaten by aliens.
The very first company to offer Alien Abduction insurance was the St. Lawrence Agency in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
The company says that it has paid out at least two claims. The company pays the claimant $1 per year until their death or for 1 million years, whichever comes first.
Its motto: “Beam me up, I’m covered.”
Wait! There were claimants?
In 1990, a New York policyholder believed that an alien abducted him and left an implant in his body.
An MIT professor analyzed the material and determined it was not from this planet.
“The professor couldn’t verify it came from his body,” Mike St. Lawrence, the creator of the policy, told Weird Historian.
Yet he accepted the claim.
“I sent him a dollar a year for eight or nine years and then lost track of him, which suggests he may have been abducted again.”
The other claimant sent in his form with a Polaroid from the inside of the UFO he supposedly had been aboard.
“You couldn’t see much, but he indicated ‘This side up’ in the margin,” St. Lawrence said.
Amused, he decided to approve the payout. A check for one dollar is sent each year on April 1st.
He’s been doing just that with other insurance policies, too, including Y2K insurance and asteroid insurance.
“Double indemnity if you actually kiss your own butt goodbye,” he said, regarding the latter. “With an exclusion for circus people.”
“The first satirical policy I wrote was reincarnation insurance, offered by the Future Life Insurance Company,” St. Lawrence went on to tell Weird Historian.
“It was to spoof yuppies, who only think about themselves. So in your next life, you have money for yourself. If you come back as a rock or tree, we suggest you have someone help you fill out the claim form.”
Prominent policyholders have included Shirley Maclaine and a Harvard University professor who has written on aliens.
The $10 million policies offer payment for medical coverage, including psychiatric care, in the event of a physical abduction by alien aircraft.
They pay $20 million if the policyholder has an alien child or is eaten by aliens (refers to the abductee as a “nutritional food source.”)
At a cost of roughly $155 a year, London Brokerage Goodfellow Rebecca Ingrams Pearson (GRIP) offered to pay about $160, 000 to someone who could show that they had been abducted by a being who was not from Earth.
The payment would double if the insured person was impregnated during the event.
Forward-thinking Men were also able to purchase the impregnation insurance for protection against the unknown capabilities of alien technology.
This is the same company that insured three Scottish sisters in 2000 in case they gave birth to the Second Coming (the policy was withdrawn in 2006).
The cover was meant to pay for the cost of bringing up Christ if one of them has a virgin birth.
More Alien Abduction insurance Fraud
GRIP did receive a claim on their Alien Abduction policy.
Joe Tagliarini aka Joseph Carpenter, a part-time electrician, claimed to have been abducted by aliens in England, and produced photographs and what was claimed to be a transparent alien claw as evidence.
According to Joe he would be presented the cheque by (quote) “Sex goddess Gillian Anderson” in a London Hotel, and that “he would like to get his hands on her as well as the cheque”.
Strangely on her appearance on the Jay Leno Show, December 1996, Gillian seems to be under the impression she was actually presenting the cheque:
“JAY: Now on your show, you must hear from like, really odd – Like I heard – were you supposed to go to London for something?
GILLIAN: I was told, that I’m going to be in London next week presenting somebody with a two million dollar insurance claim check, cause he – he’s receiving two million dollars of – um – abduction insurance. *Alien* abduction insurance.
JAY: Oh and you were gonna present –
GILLIAN: And apparently I’m – I’m gonna be there to present him with his two million dollars. [Note: Don’t her agents or whoever *consult* her before they commit her to things like this? Do they just say, “Hey, Gillian, you’re flying to London next week to present this yahoo with his alien abduction insurance claim check”? 🙂 ]
JAY: Now this is –
GILLIAN: But they have that now.
JAY: They have abduction insurance?
GILLIAN: They – they have alien abduc – and they have alien pregnancy insurance now.”
Hilariously, Joe beamed up the ‘slime’ and a claw, from a London joke shop.
The Daily Mail was delighted to print Joe’s story that he had been abducted but was able to collect slime and get a claw while he escaped his alien abductors.
Soon, the truth emerged that Simon Burgess of GRIP had been colluding with Tagliarini.
Since the whole thing was a fake, no payment was made.
Ironically, Joe the insurance company scammer also pretended to to be an insurance broker himself.
The insurance he offered included:
- Being turned into a Werewolf
- Against becoming a Vampire
- Lack of Libido. (Enter Jim Armitage.)
- Being eaten by an alien
- Becoming the invisible man
In October 1996, Heaven’s Gate Religious group purchased Alien Abduction Insurance from GRIP before committing suicide.
Just after this GRIP temporarily stopped issuing Alien Abduction Insurance Policies to their customers.
Cynics might say that exploiting fear is the name of the insurance game.
Penny life policies soared in Victorian England to insure against more terrestrial body snatchers.
The 1832 Anatomy Act allowed hospitals to experiment on the bodies of anyone whose family could not afford a proper burial.
We should keep in mind that these Alien Abduction insurance policies were marketed as gag gifts as well as serious policies.
I’m sure a lot (most?) of policies were bought in that spirit.
Perhaps not the Heaven’s Gate one, though.
If you liked this, you might enjoy how National Alien Abduction Day came about and what Canada has to do with it.
Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website www.interesly.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/interesly. Or you can reach her through www.siobhanoshea.com.