Risk, insurance, & the movies

Because it’s the Friday of Oscar weekend, we thought that films and movies would be an appropriate theme for today’s post. You might have opinions about which films had the best acting or the best special effects but can you guess what the riskiest movies of the year were? We’re talking natural disasters, filming in multiple foreign locations, impressive stunt work, explosions, car chase scenes – anything that would add to potential risk and liability that the movie studios must bear.
Well, now you will be able to regale your friends and family with film-related risk trivia because Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, a company that has a long history insuring major Hollywood films, has just issued its annual list of The Riskiest Movies of 2009. The awards go to “2012,” “Crazy Heart,” “Inglorious Basterds,” and “Nine,” but you’ll have to read the article to learn more about why. You can compare this year’s crop of risky films to the 2008 list.
A 2008 USA Today article Lights! Camera! Risk! Insuring movies is risky business offers a more in-depth look at some of the risk issues involved in film making. These can include such disparate hazards as wild and trained animals, technology glitches, actors who have to leave the set mid-production to go to rehab, and weather related events that may delay production schedules or pose danger to the cast, the crew and the props.
Insurance professionals in the movies
Over the years,there have been a few excellent films that feature insurance professionals – but they aren’t usually very flattering. Marcus Covas reminds us of a few of the more prominent roles, and he offers an interesting list of the Top Movies No Risk Manager/Insurance Professional Should Miss. His list includes ten films, and he discusses the insurance issues that are at play in each of the films.
In addition to the roles Covas cites in his article, there was a 1959 film called Alias Jesse James, which starred Bob Hope as an insurance agent. The premise of the film, according to IMDB, is that the outlaw T.J. ‘Jesse’ James (Wendell Corey) tries to kill insurance agent Milford Farnsworth (Bob Hope) who has been mistaken for him in order to collect on a big policy. If you have the time and the inclination, you can watch the entire film online.