Life insurance is one of those subjects that is difficult for many to talk about. In short, you and your loved ones are much better off having life insurance and not needing it, than needing life insurance and not having it. Thankfully for most of us, life insurance is not only accessible but also affordable. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many of the characters portrayed in film, literature, and television these days. But which characters are the least insurable? Well, we've identified the top five - and some of the characters on this list might surprise you.
Before we can get into just how uninsurable these characters are, it's important to go over a couple of ground rules first. There are a number of factors that can affect a life insurance company's ability to insure you. We've identified the top seven:
If you are younger, chances are you will be paying insurance for much longer. Consequently, you'll likely be paying lower life insurance premiums overall; however, the older you get, the more that window begins to close.
Gender can also greatly influence pricing. The logic behind this gender bias is based on statistics. On average, women tend to live about five years longer than men, meaning they'll likely be paying insurance for longer, and will therefore enjoy lower rates.
What you do for a living can also affect what you pay for insurance. For example, if you happen to be a race car driver, a firefighter, or a chemist dealing strictly with deadly chemical compounds, you will be paying more for health insurance. Some jobs can even cause insurers to deny you coverage! On the other hand, if you work as a marshmallow tester or something like that, you'll probably get to pay lower rates.
Your current health status is extremely important when it comes to life insurance. Most often, you will have to undergo a medical examination before some insurance companies will offer you coverage. This exam checks for health factors like high blood pressure and disabilities. When companies see that you're in good health, they're more likely to trust you with a policy.
Lifestyle factors including drinking, smoking, and engaging in dangerous or otherwise risky behavior will definitely count against you; however, if you quit smoking or drinking, you'll be able to enjoy lower rates over time.
Insurers are also interested in your family's medical history. Does anyone in your family suffer from a chronic disease such as heart disease or cancer? If so, these conditions will most likely weigh into your rates.
Believe it or not, your driving record will also go under the microscope. Even if no violations are found on your current record, life insurance companies can consult with the Department of Motor Vehicles for your full history. But if your record has been clean for the last three to five years, you'll likely be in the clear.
James Bond, international man of mystery has been eluding death, seducing beautiful women, and drinking scores of martinis for well over 50 years. And while I'm sure MI-6 likely has a great policy in place for their double-0 agents, Bond will likely have difficulty finding someone who will insure him should he lose his government job. Then again, for someone like James Bond - an orphan who somehow manages to avoid commitment as easily as he avoids bullets - passing on benefits from life insurance may not even be an issue. But for the sake of this analysis, let's run the numbers anyway:
|Family Medical History||
According to the facts, things don't look so good for 007. First, he is a male, meaning his life insurance premiums are already heightened. He also has a history of destroying expensive sports cars, promiscuity, and getting repeated shot/shot at. And if that were not enough, he drinks - all the time. The only things Bond has going for him are his excellent (and unexplainable) health, the fact that little is known about his parents' medical conditions.
This list would not be complete without Harry Potter. Lay aside the fact that he's been under constant threat of death since he was a 1-year-old, Potter's entire lifestyle and demographic is just asking for impossible life insurance rates:
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Harry Potter is a risk assessor's worst nightmare. And while Potter doesn't smoke or drink like James Bond (there are few who do), he engages in plenty other risky behavior that have repeatedly landed him in the Hogwarts hospital wing. And that's just from being a seeker on his quidditch team. The one time Potter has driven a car, the car ended up in a tree bewitched to destroy anything that comes near it. Of course, we can't forget his frequent encounters dealing with a certain dark wizard who has employed increasingly creative means - including a giant snake and reanimated corpses - to specifically kill Harry Potter. In fact, that dark wizard even once succeeded in killing Harry Potter (spoiler alert), though, whichever life insurance company enough to give him a policy will be relieved to know that they won't have to pay out that policy after all.
When it comes to life insurance, Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games franchise is a difficult one to figure out. On the one hand, death is constantly knocking at her door, but on the other hand, she might not be as huge an insurance risk as you would think.
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There are a number of reasons why Katniss Everdeen would be difficult to insure. First of all, unless you happen to live in the capital, I'm pretty sure life insurance isn't an option for most of the citizens of Panem. So access is a big deal. Secondly, she lives in a coal mining community, which means an increased risk of respiratory disease and even lung cancer. What more, before she won the Hunger Games, she would often go days without eating, which can greatly deteriorate one's health, and chances at good insurance rates. Conversely, after she won the Hunger Games, she was eating a lot better, but her mental health began to decline, which might also be considered an insurance risk. And, oh yeah, everyone keeps trying to kill her. Did I mention that?
On the other hand, Katniss might not be as difficult to insure as everyone else on this list. Females tend to have lower rates than males do when it comes to life insurance. And when you think about it, save for the constant threat of gladiator-style executions, she actually tries to live a healthy lifestyle. When she can eat, she only eats organic, and she seems to avoid the coal mines her district is known for, meaning better respiratory health. She stays fairly active, and the best way to avoid a poor driving history is to simply never drive a car.
In the five seasons Game of Thrones has been on the air, roughly 60 major and minor characters have died in one way or another. And if you follow the show, it's no secret that nearly every character on the show has an increasingly shortening shelf life as the seasons progress. What makes insuring Game of Thrones characters so difficult is the fact that death seems to come upon everyone - regardless of health, occupation, age, or gender. Quite frankly, the show throws all the life insurance rules out the door! And since it's so difficult to assess the risk of future characters, we need to go with what information we do have (to skip this list and see the highlights, click here).
To see just how randomly and ridiculously death manifests itself in this show, just read the fourth column in succession - out loud:
|Name||Role||Time of Death||Means of Death|
|Will||Ranger of the Night's Watch||S1ep1||Beheaded|
|Jon Arryn||Hand to the King||S1ep1||Poisoned|
|Jory Cassel||Captain of the Guards||S1ep5||Stabbed through Eye|
|Viserys Targaryen||Exiled Head of House Targaryen||S1ep6||Molten Gold Poured on Head|
|Benjen Stark||First Ranger of the Night's Watch||S1ep7||Unknown|
|Robert Baratheon||Lord of the Seven Kingdoms||S1ep7||Killed by Boar|
|Syrio Forel||Sword Fighting Instructor||S1ep8||Killed in Sword Fight|
|Eddard Stark||Hard of the King Lord of the North||S1ep9||Beheaded|
|Drogo||Chieftain of the Dothraki||S1ep10||Smothered to Death|
|Rhaego||Son of Khal Drogo||S1ep10||Stillborn because of Blood Magic|
|Mirri Maz Duur||Enslaved Godswife||S1ep10||Burned Alive|
|Yoren||Recruiter for the Night's Watch||S2ep3||Killed in Sword Fight|
|Renly Baratheon||Master of Laws||S2ep5||Killed by Shadow|
|Master Luwin||Maseter of Winterfell||S2ep10||Stabbed with Spear|
|Qhorin||Ranger of the Night's Watch||S2ep10||Asked to Be Killed|
|Pyat Pree||Warlock from Qarth||S2ep10||Burned Alive|
|Doreah||Handmaiden||S2ep10||Locked in Stone Vault|
|Xaro Xhoan Daxos||Merchant in Qarth||S2ep10||Locked in Stone Vault|
|Hoster Tully||Lord of Reverrun||S3ep3||Illness|
|Jeor Mormont||Lord Commander of the Night's Watch||S3ep4||Stabbed to Death|
|Craster||Wildling||S3ep4||Killed by Night's Watchman|
|Bernic Dondarrion||Leader of Brotherhood without Banners||S3ep5||Killed in Combat|
|Ros||Prostitute||Sepe6||Shot with Crossbow|
|Talisa Stark||Wife||S3Ep9||Stabbed in Stomach|
|Robb Stark||King of the North||S3Ep9||Shot with Crossbow, then Stabbed through Heart|
|Catelyn Stark||Wife of Eddard Stark||S3ep9||Throat Slit|
|Polliver||Man-at-Arms||S4ep1||Stabbed in Throat|
|Tansy||Servant||S4ep2||Eaten by Dogs|
|Joffrey Baratheon||Lord of the Seven Kingdoms||S4ep2||Poisoned|
|Karl Tanner||Brother of the Night's Watch||S4ep5||Impaled|
|Rast||Ranger of the Night's Watch||S4ep5||Ripped Apart|
|Lysa Arryn||Lady Regent of the Vale||S4ep7||Fell to Her Death|
|Oberyn Martell||Prince||S4ep8||Skull Crushed|
|The Mountain||Knight||S4ep8||Poisoned by Spear|
|Grenn||Ranger of the Night's Watch||S4ep9||Killed in Combat|
|Mag the Mighty||Giant||S4ep9||Killed by Night's Watchman|
|Pyp||Brother of the Night's Watch||S4ep9||Shot by Arrow|
|Styr||Thenn||S4ep9||Bludgeoned in Head by Hammer|
|Ygritte||Soldier||S4ep9||Shot by Arrow|
|Jojen Reed||Warg||S4ep10||Stabbed Multiple Times, Burned by Fireball|
|The Hound||Member of House Clegane||S4ep10||Died from Wounds|
|Tywin Lannister||Head of House||S4ep10||Shot with Crossbow while on Toilet|
|Mance RAyder||Leader of the Free Folk||S5ep1||Shot by Arrow|
|Janos Slynt||Former Commander||S5ep3||Beheaded|
|Barristan Selmy||Former Kingsguard Member||S5ep4||Killed in Combat|
|Maester Aemon||Maester at Castle Black||S5ep7||Dies of Old Age|
|Karsi||Chieftainess||S5ep8||Mauled to Death|
|Shireen Baratheon||Daughter||S5ep9||Burned Alive|
|Hizdahr zo Loraq||Scion||S5ep9||Stabbed to Death|
|Sleyse baratheon||Wife||S5ep10||Hangs Herself|
|Stannis Baratheon||Lord of Dragonstone||S5ep10||Executed|
|Myranda||Servant||S5ep10||Pushed off Ledge|
|Meryn Trant||Knight||S5ep10||Blinded, Stabbed, Throat Slit|
What becomes clear of this list is that while some deaths are more predictable than others, most of them could not have been foreseen. For example, it's understandable that Syrio Forell, a sword fighting instructor was killed, of all the ways, in a sword fight. The nature of his occupation puts him at high risk, and he would not likely have qualified for insurance anyway. On the other hand, Tywin Lannister, head of his own house, was shot by a crossbow while on the toilet!
Let's say for a moment you were a Game of Thrones character. You saw everything that was going on around you, and you wanted life insurance. Here are a few questions your insurance rep might ask you:
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then your risk is quite high.
Whether he's asked for it or not, actor Sean Bean has made a career out of letting people watch him die. And while not all of his characters have experienced on-screen deaths like that of Game of Thrones's Eddard Stark, the trend is significant enough to pay attention to (again, the fourth column is the only interesting column here):
|Character||Movie/Television Show||Year of Movie Release/Air Date||Means of Death|
|German Soldier||War REquiem||1989||Impaled|
|Tadgh McCabe||The Field||1990||Falls off Cliff|
|Carver Doone||Lorna Doone||1990||Drowned|
|Gabriel Lewis||Screen One||1991||Stabs Himself|
|Sean Miller||Patriot Games||1992||Beaten, Impaled, Blown Up|
|Alec Trevelyan||GoldenEye||1996||Crushed to Death|
|Jason Locke||Essex Boys||2000||Shot|
|Boromir||The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring||2001||Shot by Arrows|
|Patrick Koster||Don't Say a Word||2001||Buried Alive|
|Cleric Errol Partdrige||Equilibrium||2002||Shot|
|Robert Aske||Henry VIII||2003||Hung|
|Dr. Bernard Merrick||The Island||2005||Hung|
|Loki||Far North||2007||Frozen to Death|
|John Ryder||The Hitcher||2007||Shot|
|John Dawson||Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord, 1973||2008||Shot|
|Markus Kane||Death Race 2||2010||Shot|
|Major Jack Jones||Age of Heroes||2011||Shot|
|Lord Eddard Stark||Game of Thrones||2011||Beheaded|
Of course, these statistics will only really matter to you if you end up having a movie made about your life and Sean Bean is a potential candidate to portray you. Chances are, it won't even matter if you're still alive when the movie is released - the cinematic powers that be will somehow work a death scene into your life story. And while having Sean Bean portray you in a movie won't necessarily increase your risk or make it harder for you and your loved ones to enjoy the benefits of life insurance, not signing up for life insurance definitely will.
June 24th, 2021
May 3rd, 2021
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