On Christmas Eve, there will be lots of children who are excitedly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. Kids tend to think of Santa as magical, and generous, and an all around nice person. Insurers, however, don’t see Santa in quite so positive a light. Instead, they see risk.
Christmas Eve is, undoubtedly, Santa’s big night. This is the one night a year when he will carry a huge bag, stuffed with heavy presents, for hours at a time. He will walk on ice covered roofs, and slide down snug, (and dirt encrusted), chimneys. All of this is in an effort to bring Christmas presents to all the good little girls and boys.
Santa’s health insurance company might see this one night of strenuous activity, (after almost an entire year of leisure), as a high risk. Santa isn’t a young man anymore, and his doctor has likely been telling him for years that he needs to lose some weight.
It is pretty obvious that Santa hasn’t managed to lose weight, though. When you consider what children around the world leave for Santa to eat and drink while he visits their homes, it is easy to see why he has gained weight. Around the world, kids leave Santa everything from cookies and (whole) milk, to rice pudding, to sherry and mince pies. All those calories are going to add up!
Obesity increases the risk of many health problems. Health insurance companies are aware of this. That could be why they ask for information about how much a person weighs, and if that person has been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
They are trying to assess how much it would cost the insurer to pay for the medical bills generated by each prospective customer. If Santa managed to get approved for health insurance, he is probably paying extra for it, due to his health and general inactivity.
Life insurance companies also require a person to pass a physical before they will be approved for a policy. I’m not sure if Santa would pass that physical.
Some life insurance companies will refuse to cover a person who has taken employment that involves a lot of risk. Santa’s job consists of flying around the world on a sleigh, pulled by flying reindeer. Again, he walks around on ice covered roofs, and slides down small chimneys covered with soot. None of that would be considered as very safe by a life insurance company!
A risk management insurance company called Lockton took the time to assess how much insurance Santa would need just to cover his warehouse, his toy factory, and the workers compensation for the elves he employs.
It took into account the risk of having the “naughty or nice” list disappear, (due to a crashed hard drive, or a hacker). It also suggested that Santa purchase coverage for his iconic beard. Overall, the insurer decided that Santa would need $1 billion in insurance coverage for risk management issues.
Some unknown insurer looked at the classic poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and picked it apart based on potential insurance claims that the events in that poem would generate. It questions whether Santa’s “cheeks like roses” and “his nose like a cherry” come from years alcohol abuse. Santa is described as having “the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth”. This would make him ineligible for non-smoker discounts on life and health insurance policies.
Image by cygnus921 on Flickr