Popemobile sets insurance challenge

The Popemobile is due to make an appearance during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain.

Two of the celebrated vehicles, complete with bullet-proof glass enclosures, will be used in Edinburgh, London and Birmingham.

Rating the vehicle, which is driven at low speed to allow crowds a chance to view the Pope, will have provided a unique challenge for the Vatican's car insurance firm.

The Popemobile most often used abroad by Pope Benedict XVI is a modified Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport utility vehicle with room for one passenger, usually a security agent, in the front. There is also room for two papal aides, who can sit in the area in front of the Pope's elevated chair.

The Vatican abandoned the use of an open-topped vehicle and introduced the bullet-proof enclosure after the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981.

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