SYDNEY: US President Barack Obama is expected to receive a warm welcome in Australia Wednesday, but just in case the reception is wilder than expected a firm has offered him insurance against crocodiles.
Obama will be the fifth US president to visit close ally Australia, and his flying two-day visit will take in the staid capital Canberra as well as the Northern Territory town of Darwin, in the heart of “Crocodile Dundee” country.
Local firm TIO has snapped up the opportunity to insure the high-profile visitor, issuing a him with a Crocodile Attack Insurance policy which will pay out Aus$50,000 (US$50,870) if the president is fatally attacked by a reptile.
“It's a unique product for a unique environment and we're excited to be issuing one of these policies for Obama as a memento of his time in the Territory,” chief executive Richard Harding said.
The company, which has been providing crocodile cover for more than 20 years, hopes to present a framed copy of the policy - which features a menacing photo of the deadly predator - to Obama in Darwin on Thursday.
An average of two people are killed each year in Australia by salt water crocodiles, known locally as “salties”, which can grow up to seven metres (23 feet) long and weigh more than a tonne.
In June, park rangers harpooned a monster 4.5 metre croc at a waterhole northeast of Darwin where it had been terrorising fishermen.
It was one of nearly 200 of the man-eaters trapped in the territory in the first half of the year.