Hausmann Group October 11, 2019 10 min read

Episode 4.2: Real or Fake Insurance?

Space station insurance? A chest hair policy? See if game show host David Kruse can stump two of the best and brightest in the insurance industry!

David: Welcome back to season 4 of Knowledge on the Rocks! Remember—this season we’re talking about weird insurance and some cool stories you might not know about the industry. I promise that it’s going to be interesting! With me today are Diana Schmidt and Jim Ahearn and I will let them introduce themselves later, but first we’re going to play a quick game here called “Real or Fake?”

I’m going to say a real or fake insurance policy and these two will have to use all of the insurance knowledge they’ve acquired over their careers. They will let me know if they think this is real or fake and I will keep a tally here and eventually, one of them is going to be our winner.

So we’ll shoot the first topic out right here so Diana and Jim –real or fake? Taco Bell purchased insurance on the Space Station falling out of orbit.

[Jim raises “Fake” Paddle]

[Diana raises “Real” Paddle]

David: Alright, we’ve got a real one and a fake. Diana, you win! This one is real—in 2001 Taco Bell placed a 40 x 40 foot tarp over a section of the Pacific Ocean because the Mirror Space Station was falling out of orbit and if the Space Station fell on that tarp, every American would get a free taco. So Taco Bell insurance the cost of those tacos.

David to Jim: I really thought you would have known that.

Jim to Diana: How did you know that, Di?


David: Alright number two—If you’re hosting a golf outing you can buy hole-in-one insurance.

[Jim raises “Real” Paddle]

[Diana raises “Real” Paddle]

David: We’ve got real and that one is indeed real. Alright Jim or Di—care to elaborate? Have you ever had a client buy hole-in-one insurance before?

Jim: Every year, we have clients buying hole-in-one insurance. There’s plenty of golf outings here in Madison and the Dane County area and of course, every outing, there’s usualy one or two hole-in-ones that are sponsorshops.

David: Good deal, it’s a thing.

Alright, Jim or Di –real or fake—the singer and Las Vegas legend Tom Jones has taken out a seven million dollar insurance policy on his chest hair.

[Jim raises “Fake” Paddle]

[Diana raises “Fake” Paddle]

David: Thankfully, that one is false. While it’s not unusual for celebrities to take out insurance on sort of odd body parts. David Beckham, for example, had a hundred million dollars of insurance taken out on his legs because he’s a soccer player. Tom Hone does not have an insurance policy on his chest hair thought which I think we can all sleep better at night know that’s the case.

Jim: Who is Tom Jones anyway?

David (singing): It’s not unusual to be etcetera, etcetera.

Diana: Do you know what Beyoncé insures?

David: I don’t.

Jim: Is it her legs?

Di: It’s a body part.

Jim: She’s got great legs. Can I say that on here?


David: Probably, I mean she’s quite a dancer so moving right along! The actress America Ferrera of Ugly Betty fame, remember that show everybody?—she has a ten million dollar insurance policy on her teeth.

 [Jim raises “Real” Paddle]

[Diana raises “Fake” Paddle]

David: We’ve got one real, one fake. That one is real. In 2007 at the peak of Ugly Betty’s fame she was a paid spokesperson for Aquafresh toothpaste, so Aquafresh took out a ten million dollar policy on her smile in case something were to happen they were to lose their highly paid spokesperson. So now you know.

Di to Jim: How did you know that one?

Jim: Gut. Just guts—and underwriting experience.

David: Haha, there you go. Alright next one—prior to the release of the classic sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick purchased an insurance policy from Lloyds of London that would reimburse him for his losses if aliens were discovered prior to the release of the movie.  

[Jim raises “Real” Paddle]

[Diana raises “Fake” Paddle]

David. Real. Fake. Alright—well that one was a bit of a trick question. He actually did approach Lloyds of London and asked for the policy but it was too risky and they declined to write it. So now you know.

Jim: So what was the question again?


David: Well, no time to go back here Jim. We’ve got one more—you’re hosting a major outdoor event something like Brat Fest here in Madison, you can buy rain insurance if your event is rained out due to terrain.

[Jim raises “Real” Paddle]

[Diana raises “Real” Paddle]

David: That’s absolutely right. That is a real thing one of our clients actually purchases.

Jim: That’s correct.

David: Yeah and it’s paid out a couple years in a row from what I recall.

Jim: Let’s not disclose any confidential information there David.

David: Good idea Jim, that’s why we bring you along to these things. Any who, thank you both for paying. By my tally, um, Jim you won.

Diana: What!?

David: But you also tied with Di so here we are. In any case that’s all the time we have for “Real or Fake” today, but in our next episode we’re going to peek behind the curtain a little bit and talk to these two former underwriters. Underwriters are the people that have to make the touch decision on whether or not to insurance this kind of weird stuff. We will get inside their heads a little bit and see what their thought process is when they do this.

Thank you for sticking around! When you get a chance, come by Tangent, it’s an awesome place. We’ll see you next time.