A couple interesting items that I saw in the news:
First, as Reuters reported, life insurance companies may start issuing applications that include questions about whether or not you engage in or intend to engage in space travel. Yep, I’m not making this up. Presently, most applications inquire if the applicant is a pilot or skydiver because these are considered to be inherently dangerous activities. This does not encompass space travel. But after the tragic Virgin crash, this may change so that space tourism becomes part of the question.
Next up is that the Rolling Stones are in court in London after its insurer denied payment for cancelled performances in Australia and New Zealand after Mick Jagger’s long-time girlfriend, ex-model and fashionista, L’Wren Scott, committed suicide. Perhaps you didn’t know, but famous performers are often heavily insured because so much is riding on their ability to complete their work and live up to their commitments. Think about it: if an actor dies part way through filming, it means that the film has been a total waste with millions of dollars down the drain.
The insurer is making a material misrepresentation claim that Scott’s mental and psychological history was not fully disclosed, thus allowing it to escape its payment obligation. This is called post-claim underwriting – when an insurance company does its underwriting not before, but after a claim is made. It is an unsavory and anti-consumer practice that, unfortunately, many courts give the green light to. I am currently trying to appeal this same issue to the New York Court of Appeals. If I am successful, you’ll surely be hearing about it on this blog.