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May 12, 2015

Personal insurance for individuals in the public eye

As our media consciousness increases, so does the number of newsmakers in our sights. Today’s household names could include actors, singers, media moguls, athletes, or even c-suite executives. These high visibility individuals have more opportunities to build wealth — and face more risks to their wealth — than ever before. Those in the public eye have both the blessing and burden of a complex lifestyle, and it’s imperative that they have the proper insurance program in place to protect what they’ve earned.

Typical insurance programs are not designed to provide adequate protection for the realities facing today’s public figures who can quickly outgrow their existing insurance protection as they achieve increased public prominence, increase their income, acquire additional property and higher-value assets, and hire assistants and other employees.

These circumstances can change insurance needs in unforeseen ways and leave these individuals exposed to significant loss of worth after a potential accident, theft, or lawsuit. Working with an insurance broker who can provide access to optimal coverage through high-value insurance solutions, comprehensive insurance services, along with strict confidentiality can help today’s public figures protect their assets in the most appropriate way.

Enhanced Coverage

As one’s income rises, they are more likely to purchase high-value assets with superior craftsmanship and special features — homes with marble floors, elaborate pools and landscaping, or in-house movie theaters or gyms; valuable collections of jewelry and art; antique or exotic cars; luxury yachts; and even additional properties such as vacation homes, ranches, and vineyards. Further, public figures are more likely to be targets of identity theft, kidnap/ransom or extortion situations, stalking, or home invasion, and are more likely to enjoy extensive travel to international destinations. These assets and lifestyle exposures are so distinctive that standard insurance policies are unlikely to provide adequate protection in the event of a loss or potential threat to personal security.

However, there are select insurers that recognize the need for expanded coverage. These carriers offer enhanced policies to provide the level of protection needed for these unique assets and often include additional services such as access to personal security consultants or background screenings for employees. Some considerations include:


High-value homeowners policies typically offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage, which covers replacement with like kind and quality materials, as well as replacement coverage for other structures such as cabanas or detached garages, increased coverage for additional costs due to changes in building codes, and unlimited additional living expense coverage in most states.


Valuable possessions — such as jewelry, fine art, silverware, antiques, furs, etc. — are afforded only limited financial protection under standard homeowners insurance. These items are better covered with a separate valuable articles policy. High-end insurers offer features that will cover a loss in market value, pairs and sets, and provide automatic coverage for newly acquired items.


Collecting antique and exotic cars is often one of the first investments made by the newly wealthy. For adequate protection of extensive, highly valued car collections, select insurers offer policy enhancements that may ensure original equipment parts are used in repair, allow the client to choose the repair facility, and may waive the deductible depending on the type of loss.


Luxury yachts are some of the most extravagant of assets as well as the most complex to insure. In addition to protecting the vessel and its contents, yacht owners also face numerous insurance considerations that can include boat build, crew, chartering, navigation limits, warranties, and contractual liability.


Those who are viewed as having “deep pockets” are often targets for lawsuits. A standard insurance policy would not provide limits high enough to provide adequate coverage if a significant settlement were granted. High-end insurance brokers can access policies with coverage amounts of $20 million and beyond, while providing guidance around limits and policy structure.

Identity Theft

Frequent media coverage of wealthy public figures’ lives and the common disclosure of such personal information as salary and birth date could make them more vulnerable to this crime. Identity theft insurance provides reimbursement to crime victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing their credit reports.

Living life in the public eye creates a unique and complex set of lifestyle considerations, the least of which should be insurance. Working with an insurance broker, such as Marsh McLennan Agency Private Client Services, who specializes in the creation of customized programs to properly protect the unique and varied properties and assets individuals and families with complex risk profiles, will help ensure these prominent figures can continue focusing on the talents that earned them their fame.

To learn more about personal insurance for individuals in the public eye, contact a MMA PCS Personal Risk Advisor.