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The Curious Incident of

Sabrina's Breast Insurance

On 1 February 1957, Sabrina (or more accurately, manager Joe Matthews) was wise enough to ensure the tools of her trade against shrinkage - for £UK100,000 - with Lloyd's of London.
[In modern money - £UK2..4 million, or $US3.2 million]

From the Gleaner acticle (below)

If, for instance her bust goes to a meagre 38 inches and stays that way for two months or more, her insurers will pay out £5,000. For every inch lost after that, she will get the somewhat staggering amount of £2,500! However, her under-writers are not prepared to pay for any loss of inches caused by “war, invasion, 'acts of foreign enemies', rebellion or revolution", and, furthermore, they have stipulated, several clauses in the policy about the care of the property!

She cannot take any undue risks like ski-ing, riding the Wall of Death or going into a lion's den, and she must organize her life and meals to see that she eats well regularly. If her salaries drop to such an extent that she can no longer afford to eat properly and her bosom dwindles as a result, then, her insurer will not hold themselves responsible for any claims.

In an interview by Escapade, October 1958, she said: "You see, this area of my anatomy has become so well-known and played up in the press that for professional reasons my manager felt that we should have the size and contour of my bust insured by Lloyd's of London."

Sabrina insures her breasts 1957

The press blurb on the back of the photo reads:

1-2-57. SABRINA INSURES HER FAMOUS BUST - FOR £100,000.

SABRINA who made a name for herself as a "dumb" blonge [sic] -- with a big bust - has insured that bust for £100,000. She has broken away from the dumb tag and is now making records and personal appearances as a singer etc..
PHOTO SHOWS:- SABRINA 'measures' her bust for insurance purposes - this afternoon.

Sabrina

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Sabrina insures her breasts

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With John E. Keevil, Insurance Agent
Read about Sabrina's supposedly 'magic' tape measure


Sabrina

On another occasion, this determined lad dared to lay hands on the chestical regions of our Sabrina for reasons indisputably nefarious. We know not was the occasion was, but we can guess his ulterior motives. I guess his scowl was because his wife was in attendance, and glaring with maximum displeasure.

From the Birtle Eyewitness, 1960-10-04 (Manitoba, Canada)

Insurance Agent Carries Tape

Jack Keevil must be the only insurance agent who goes around with a tape measure in his pocket 0 for assessing the value of items to be covered! for instance, he has Sabrina's vital statistics insured for $300,000! If her famous bust measurement drops to 38 in. or less and stays that way for three months and the loss is considered permanent, Sabrina is entitled to draw $8.500 per lost inch.

"She was only 40 inches when she took out the insurance," says Jack. "She's gone up to 42 since, so we're two inches in hand, so to speak."

The only strings attached to the policy are that Sabrina mustn't take undue risks or run into excessive danger except for the purpose of saving life. She must eat well and regularly. She may marry but, if her figure is permanently affected as a result of having a baby, she cannot claim.

Jack Keevil goit into this unusual branch of the insurance business through his wife, Diana. She was an adagio dances, contortionist and film stunt artist. When she was asked to do a mock parachute jump from a high tower with the wind blowing strongly from below, for a film, she tried to take out an insurance. None of the companies she approached would consider such a risk. Jack Keevil, after a lot of difficulty, arranged it with the help of a friend.

Then it occurred to him that there was a market for this kind of insurance and that it could be much more profitable insuring show-business folk than booking their acts. Winifred Atwell was one of his first clients.

Her hands are insured for a larger sum than any other pianist's in the world: $125,000. He had to spread the risk among three insurance companies and sixty underwriters.

If anyone dies laughing at comedian Jimmy Wheeler, the next-of-kin would get $25,000. You think that's an easy way for an insurance company to earn a dollar a year? Well, it looked like it - until a woman listening to Jimmy Wheeler on headphones in a hospital laughed so much that she split her stitches after a serious operation.

Trumpeter Eddie Calvert's lips are insured for $75.000 and ventriloquist Arthur Worsley's dummy, Charlie Brown, negotiated his own policy with Jack Keevil against all risks - including woodworm.

 

From the Daily Mirror - 1957-09-09

I PONDERED this fascinating but bewildering contortion as Sabrina swayed towards the ringing telephone.
"It's my insurance agent," she explained during a lull in her conversation. " I'm renewing the £100.000 cover on my ... well, you know what."
"I know what" I said. "But tell me — what is... er... it insured against?"
"Deflation," explained Sabrina brightly.
"What kind of deflation?" I asked.

Collect?Never!

Sabrina passed the query on to the agent. He told her. She said:
"The company will pay out if my bust measurement falls from its normal forty-one to thirty-eight and stays that way for a minimum of three months."
"But I'll never collect," she said with a hazardous shrug.
"Why not?" I asked.

She leaned forward and whispered, "I'm growing bigger and bigger. You can tell the world I'm forty-two inches now!"

Hey, world dig that crazy inch!

Exposed, October 1958 said this about the insurance incident:

THE other day, a London theatrical agent called an executive of Lloyd's, the famous insurance company, and the following dialogue ensued:

"Good morning, Tom. Would you be prepared to insure a bust?"

Tom: "If the play is already a bust, Dick, I am afraid there would be no point. . ."

Dick: "You got me wrong. I am talking about a female bust."

Tom: "A female bust? Well, that depends on the risks involved. Does your client think of a straight accident policy? Or does she want to protect her assets against natural deterioration?"

Dick: "The latter."

Tom: “In that case I'll have to know her age."

Dick: "Nineteen. The girl is Sabrina, the TV actress."

Tom: "Oh, it's Sabrina! Why didn't you say so right away? Now, that should be easy to arrange. After all, there seems little danger that her chest muscles will slacken within the next five years."

Dick (indignantly): "What are you talking about? Sabrina is a healthy upstanding girl. She needs no insurance against slackening. What she wants is coverage against shrinking."

Tom: "I beg your pardon?"

Dick: "Last fall, Sabrina was kept so busy that her bust measurements went down from 41 to 40 inches. They are now back to 41, but she is worried. As you know, her bosom is her main capital."

Tom: "And for what amount would she like to insure it?"

Dick: "100,000 pounds" ($US(1957) 280,000).

There was no answer for a minute or so. Then Tom came to and said in a weak voice:

"All right, old boy, I'll see what I can do'. Let me call you back on that."
The insurance executives went into a huddle to debate the matter from every angle. If Sabrina's bust was out of proportion, so seemed to be the value she put on it. The premium she would have to pay for such a policy would be staggering. But in the end, one of the gentlemen had a bright idea.
"Why not cover the lady's attributes inch by inch?" he exclaimed.

Three days later, Sabrina was granted a policy that insured her chest for a total of £100,000, i.e. she was promised a compensation of £2,500 for every inch it would shrink below 40 within the next year.

That was the first insurance policy of this kind ever issued, but it was more than just a publicity stunt. In a country where many girls tend to be flat-chested, the 41-19-36 Sabrina is a phenomenon millions of citizens want to see preserved at all costs.

£2,500 an inch - the worth of one woman’s bust

Sunday Gleaner, 23 November 1958

INSURANCE brokers are used to people taking out policies against the oddest risks, but even these stolid gentlemen paused for comment recently when they heard of the policy taken out by Sabrina, the famous star of British television. This young woman’s asset is her bosom and she warded to insure this portion of her anatomy for no less than £100,000.Sabrina

Sabrina is the proud possessor of a 41-inch bust which, she claims is her fortune. "If anything happened to it," she says. "I would be out of business."
When she first appeared on British television screens, Sabrina was a dumb stooge to a comic. Later, as her famous outline became well-known, her public was stunned into silence when it learned that she could also speak and sing. But after having had to accept refusals from several insurance companies, Sabrina appears to have covered herself against all possible risks, at the cost of a £10-a-week premium.

If, for instance her bust goes to a meagre 38 inches and stays that way for two months or more, her insurers will pay out £5,000. For every inch lost after that, she will get the somewhat staggering amount of £2,500! However, her under-writers are not prepared to pay for any loss of inches caused by “war, invasion, 'acts of foreign enemies', rebellion or revolution", and, furthermore, they have stipulated, several clauses in the policy about the care of the property!

She cannot take any undue risks like ski-ing, riding the Wall of Death or going into a lion's den, and she must organize her life and meals to see that she eats well regularly. If her salaries drop to such an extent that she can no longer afford to eat properly and her bosom dwindles as a result, then, her insurer will not hold themselves responsible for any claims.

This biggest-ever bosom policy only operates for one year at a time, and if the curvaceous blonde star falls ill during this period and has to take drugs which cause her to become thinner, then she cannot claim a single penny. And it she marries and has a baby she will also not be able to claim from her insurers if her figure changes as a result. Altogether, it seems that life is far from easy if you are the possessor of a bust worth £100,000!

Biggest ever

SABRINA'S policy is the biggest-ever to be taken out far that portion of the human anatomy, but many other people in show business have insured various parts of themselves for vast sums of money.

For instance, Pearl White, the famous heroine of silent films, had her dimples insured for £13,000, and Jimmy "Schnozzle" Durante, the American comedian with an outsize nose, insured that same nose for £50,000!

The phrase "million dollar legs" first came into being when actress Frankie Bailey insured her shapely limbs for this, amount over 70 years ago. Since then, of course, there have been many more million dollar policies taken out to cover well-known legs, among them those belonging to Mariene Dietrich, the famous French dancer Mistinguett, and Dame Margot Fonteyn, Britain's prima ballerina.

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