The high-net-worth individual has the means to buy whatever he or she likes “and often will,” as one insurance expert tells NU. In doing so, the hobbies and interests of such insureds can create large exposures that producers and carriers need to keep an eye on, for in many cases the HNW client is unaware of the risks at hand.
From personal submarines to bathtubs that entertain, here’s a look at some of the top luxury toys for the well-to-do client.
Triton Submarines LLC of Vero Beach, Fla. offers a line of five luxury submersibles designed specifically for usage on large luxury yachts. Its Triton 1000/2 is the smallest model, at 10.5 feet long, and is capable of plunging two passengers to an ocean depth of some 1,000 feet. Powered by two large battery banks, the sub can be maneuvered in nearly any direction using joystick controls. Its petite size and small deck footprint make it ideal for those HNW individuals who simply want a fun toy to tool around with on the ocean floor. As a service, Triton will even cross-train an existing yacht crew member to operate and maintain the sub. The Triton 1000/2 is the company’s most affordable model, at nearly $2.275 million. Photo: South Florida Dive Journal
Mexican hi-tech manufacturer Tecnologia Aeroespecial Mexicana (TAM) produces personal-use jetpacks called Rocket Belt that are powered by a hydrogen peroxide-based propulsion system. Originally designed by Bell Aerosystems for use by the U.S. military in the 1960s, that plan was eventually scrapped; now TAM and a Bell successor are the world’s only manufacturers of the belt-style personal propulsion systems. TAM custom designs each unit to accommodate a pilot’s weight and to offset such flight characteristics as balance, stability and control. Earlier models of the Rocket Belt can be seen in footage from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, and in the 1965 James Bond movie “Thunderball.” A HNW individual can easily pick one up for home use at a cost of $250,000.
The Terra Wind is a luxury motor home that can be driven on both land and water from Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International LLC (CAMI), of Ridgeland, S.C. The amphibious vehicle has a highway speed of up to 80 mph, and can go up to 7 knots on the water. Standard equipment includes a padded leather dash, onboard computer docking system with Internet access, GPS, moving maps and navigational charts. The coach’s interior can be custom designed with individual floor plans, entertainment systems, cabinetry and décor. A less-luxurious version called the Hydra-Terra is used publicly around the world as a tour bus, such as at Japan’s Sky Duck Tours in Toyko. However, a HNW individual can purchase the more upscale Terra Wind for $185,000.
Amphibious Muscle Car
The Hydra Spyder, another CAMI product, is a high-speed, high-performance amphibious sports vehicle aimed at the HNW jet set. Built to hustle, the Hydra Spyder can seat up to four people while pulling a water skier at speeds of 46 knots; road tests have reached land speeds of more than 125 mph. The standard production model is powered by a 450 horsepower LS2 Corvette 6.0 liter V-8 engine and includes a 5-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. Prices start at $175,000.
An Electric Sports Car
The Venturi Fetish Sports Electric Vehicle was unveiled in 2004 as the first sports car specifically designed to be electric. Today’s Fetish Roadster is a two-seat, rear-wheel-drive electric car that owes much of its allure to a light-weight design featuring a carbon fiber body, and advanced Lithium Ion batteries that are liquid-cooled and placed in a T-formation in the center of the vehicle for optimum performance and road handling. The Venturi can reach 60mph in under five seconds and hit speeds as high as 106 mph; depending on individual driving style and road conditions, one electric charge can last up to 150 miles. The batteries recharge completely in under three hours. Cost: $660,000.
A Hydromassage TV Bath
The Cosmo, a luxury whirlpool TV bath model from UK manufacturer Di Vapor, features 23 adjustable air and water massage jets and a 17-inch touch-sensitive LCD TV with video input. It also includes a function that automatically shuts down and drains the tub to prevent accidental drowning. The company, which specializes in luxury steam showers, steam shower cabins, home steam sauna rooms, infrared saunas and whirlpool baths, created this one-person hydromassage TV bathtub after receiving great feedback on a prior two-person model. Cost: $7,000.
The Killer Whale Submarine
Not to be outdone by a fleet of yellow subs, luxury toy purveyor Hammacher Schlemmer launched its own streamlined, two-person watercraft designed to look and respond like an Orcinus orca, or killer whale. Twin control levers move the whale's pectoral fins to produce rolls and dives; dual foot pedals and the craft's 255-hp supercharged Rotax axial flow engine enable the craft to mimic realistic marine behaviors. The cockpit's dashboard includes a speedometer, tachometer, engine and air pressure gauges and an LCD that displays live video from the dorsal fin's built-in camera. The orca can hydroplane over the water's surface up to 50 mph, and cruise up to 25 mph while submerged. Cost? A mere $100,000.