Rock stars’ high-risk living gives underwriters headaches

Live fast, die young… underwrite with care.

Live fast, die young… underwrite with care.

While celebrities are a small group of insurance policyholders, most of them are high net worth, meaning underwriting rock and pop stars can be quite challenging.

“Careful risk assessment is necessary when underwriting rock and pop stars, especially considering the presence and implications of any risk-taking behaviours or indications of substance abuse,” according to a Munich American Reassurance report. “Underwriters should not be unduly influenced by the proposed insured’s wealth, fame, or the marketing and media coverage which, sometimes, may provide a less than accurate (too positive or too negative) picture.”

A study from the University of Liverpool (coincidence?) published in the British Medical Journal looked into the relationship between fame and premature mortality with a group of 1,489 North American and European artists who had been famous for at least five years. The overall mortality in the whole group was 9.2 per cent over the period analyzed. Compared to a matched population, the mortality risk of a rock and pop star is considerably higher than the expected mortality rate.

However, there are exceptions to every rule. For example, a very well-known guitarist in one of the most successful bands in history, who fell out of a palm tree, after having allegedly consumed all the drugs known to man for decades, is still going strong.

Sadly, not everyone is as fortunate.