Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The eight-million-dollar schnozz?

Remember the Six Million Dollar Man? Well, he's got some competition.

According to a Reuters report, Lloyd's of London has insured the nose of M. Ilja Gort for five million Euros, or about US $8,000,000. M. Gort is the owner of Chateau de la Garde in Bordeaux, France, which produces Tulipe Wines. According to a Lloyd's statement quoted in the report, M. Gort's nose "could distinguish millions of different scents and was essential to guarantee the quality of his wines."

M. Gort has posted a video on YouTube of the 2007 harvest at Chateau de la Garde (starring himself and his nose in close-up).

This isn't the first nose to be insured by Lloyds: they also covered Jimmy Durante's renowned schnozz for an undisclosed amount, as well as Egon Ronay's palate, Keith Richards' hands and Fred Astaire's legs.

I have only one question. How on earth could you tell whether a claim under this policy was legitimate? I mean, if I were in M. Gort's position, surely I could assert that a traumatic event (perhaps the sight of genuine Bordeaux being swilled from a can or dispensed from a cardboard box container - "Chateau Cardboard", so to speak) had completely frazzled my sense of smell. How would the insurer prove otherwise? After all, it would only take a relatively minor deterioration in the sense of smell to lose the ability to distinguish between "millions" of scents and be able to deal with only "hundreds".

Food for underwriting thought, that . . .


No comments: