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Europe - UK/Ireland - Christianity - General

Sisters lose second coming cover
("BBC News," June 23, 2006)

Essex, England - Insurers have withdrawn the cover on their virginity taken out by three sisters in the event of the second coming of Christ.

Essex-based Britishinsurance.com confirmed it had provided the £1m policy, but said it was reviewed on Thursday following complaints.

The firm said the women from Inverness had renewed the policy since 2000.

The cover was meant to pay for the cost of bringing up Christ if one of them has a virgin birth.

Britishinsurance.com managing director Simon Burgess said it had not been the company's intention to offend anyone.

The company, which is based in Braintree, specialises in accident and unemployment insurance.

Mr Burgess said: "The people were concerned about having sufficient funds if they immaculately conceived. It was for caring and bringing up the Christ.

"We sometimes get weird requests and this is the weirdest we have had."

Burden of proof

The burden of proof that it was Christ had rested with the women and any premium on the insurance was donated to charity, said Mr Burgess.

The siblings had paid £100 annually since 2000. If they had secured a payout, they stood to receive £1m.

He added: "The Catholic Church is up in arms about what we've been doing. We have withdrawn the cover because it was causing a furore.

"The three ladies have been informed."

The women, who have not been identified, are believed to be members of a Christian group in Inverness.

Britishinsurance.com said it was authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the Finance Industry Standards Association.

The Catholic Church in Scotland declined to comment.