The 11 insurance policies that Santa should have
Christmas is coming, and children all over the world are anticipating Santa Claus flying through the sky with his team of reindeer and sleigh full of gifts. But before that jolly white-bearded fellow embarks on his worldwide chimney-hopping journey, he’ll need to consider something pretty important: protecting himself and his assets. The right insurance can help him do that.
Here’s a breakdown of the 11 types of insurance that Santa Claus should buy.
1. General liability insurance.
John Couture, a State Farm insurance agent in Gray, Maine, recommends that Santa buy a general liability policy. This will protect him if he’s sued for causing injury to someone who visits his place or for damaging somebody’s property. “It’s icy up there in the North Pole, so it’s important to protect him against lawsuits for slips and falls,” Couture says.
|Santa Claus probably should make a list of all of the insurance coverage that he needs — and maybe even check it twice.|
Liability insurance also can protect Santa in case of lawsuits related to damage to homes that he visits on his present-delivery missions, such as broken coffee tables or chimney-soot-stained carpets.
Because Santa works with children, it’s important for him to get a liability policy with high limits. It’s a sad reality, but sitting on Santa’s lap could easily lead to a lawsuit. “A group of children could get together on a scam to accuse Santa of sexual abuse allegations,” Couture says.
Additionally, Santa needs bodily injury liability coverage with limits that at least meet the insurance industry’s minimum standard. In the insurance world, the minimum recommended limit is known as 100/300. That stands for $100,000 per person in coverage or $300,000 per incident.
“A reindeer-driven sled is a dangerous instrument, and several states have strict liabilities on owners of animals for injuries they cause,” says Russel Lazega, an insurance litigation attorney in Miami.
This coverage would be on top of liability coverage provided under his home insurance policy.
2. Home insurance.
In light of the sometimes treacherous weather at the North Pole, Santa certainly will want to have home insurance to protect the household that he shares with Mrs. Claus. You never know when a storm might damage the Claus “castle.”
3. Life insurance.
If Santa works for a corporation, the shareholders likely will want to take out a large life insurance policy on him, since he’s a “key employee” and would be costly to replace, Couture says.
If Santa is an independent business owner, though, he should purchase his own life insurance policy, with Mrs. Claus as a beneficiary. That way, she can continue to finance the North Pole operations and hire a replacement sleigh driver in the event of Santa’s demise.
4. Workers’ compensation insurance.
Santa’s elves have been toiling away at making toys in Santa’s workshop. What if one of the elves sliced his thumb while carving a wooden truck? Workers’ compensation insurance should cover the medical bills of employees who injure themselves on the job. But the policy is likely to be expensive. “The elves are involved in manufacturing, which is a dangerous business,” Couture says.
5. Health insurance.
Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves should be covered by health insurance coverage under a group medical policy. “They’ll get a good deal, because there are so many elves,” Couture says. The policy should help Santa pay for medicine to treat the diabetes and other health conditions that could be triggered by all those cookies.
“I’m worried about Santa’s health,” says Bob O’Brien, an agent at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, Maine. “That ruddy complexion, that ‘bowl full of jelly,’ all those milk and cookie snacks, the late hours and high-pressure delivery schedule — the man’s a sleighing time bomb.”
6. Disability insurance.
To keep the business going if Santa’s health heads south, he should purchase a disability insurance policy. This will pay him (in milk and cookies?) enough to compensate another employee to do his job while he’s out of action, O’Brien says.
7. Specialized insurance for Santa’s sleigh.
Santa’s flying sleigh is his only mode of transportation. So it’s essential that he has a good insurance policy to protect it against theft, damage and collision. However, his sleigh likely won’t be covered under a traditional vehicle policy. “He may need to get a special policy under Lloyd’s of London, which insures specialized items such as actresses’ body parts,” Couture says.
8. Livestock insurance.
Although Santa doesn’t technically run a farm, he does own livestock: his eight flying reindeer. In case some Grinch grabs Donner, Dasher or Rudolph, Santa should invest in a livestock policy with enough coverage so that he could buy new reindeer, Couture says.
9. Veterinary insurance.
Because Santa’s reindeer are so important to his job, he should make sure they’ve got full coverage for veterinary care, Couture says. That’s in addition to the livestock policy. After all, if Rudolph came down with the flu two days before Christmas, Santa would need the best of care to get him back into flying shape.
He also should consider insuring his dog and Mrs. Claus’ cat, says Stacy Kowalchuk, social media manager at pet health insurance company Trupanion.
“You never know if one of them might sneak some of Santa’s cookies and get gastrointestinal upset, or experience a broken leg hopping from house to house,” Kowalchuk says. “Pet insurance helps protect against those expensive veterinary bills that may arise from an unexpected accident or illness.”
10. Cargo insurance.
When delivering presents, Santa carries billions of dollars worth of goods in his sleigh. What if he hits turbulence and the presents fall out? What if a band of flying pirates loots his sleigh? Santa should protect his gifts by purchasing a cargo insurance policy, O’Brien says.
11. Travel insurance.
Given Santa’s extensive international traveling schedule, he should purchase travel insurance before starting his trip around the world. This coverage will pay for overseas medical care, or even cover the cost to evacuate him to a medical center or safe haven, says Suzanne Garber, chief operating officer for the Americas region of travel insurer International SOS. Sadly, this coverage even would pay to send his remains home to the North Pole if he meets his end while traveling.