Seinfeld Buzz and Liability Insurance

Jerry Seinfeld, best known for his self-titled tv show, made a bit of "buzz" about his new movie with an aerial stunt in Cannes. According to an article in the Toronto Star, Seinfeld donned a bee costume and rode a wire that was strung between the roof of the Carlton Hotel and the Cannes' waterfront. While enroute, he exchanged remarks with Chris Rock, who also contributes voice talent to Seinfeld's latest project, an animated feature called "Bee movie".

As I was watching the film clips of a flailing Seinfeld on last night's news, all I could think about was liability insurance. Who the heck would provide the insurance on a stunt like this? Seinfeld is worth hundreds of millions of dollars! But you can bet your last penny that some company somewhere provided the insurance -- because you can also bet that the hotel would not be paying for damages if the stunt wire happened to break away from its roof. And I'm sure the Cannes' Film Festival wouldn't want to buy any more coverage than they already have to buy for an event that is awash in celebrities.

I suppose for Seinfeld its a small price to pay when you are going to have the world watching.

Come to think of it -- insurance is likely a big part of those big blockbuster movie budgets. There have been cases of deaths and lots of incidents of injury in most action flicks, now that they have become extreme stunt and special-effect extravaganzas. Insurers know this and the premiums are likely as astronomical as the overall movie budgets.

I tried to find a local insurance broker that could comment, but most have not been involved in movie productions. All I could get was a remark that each was sure insurance on any kind of publicity stunt was "big bucks".

Monique L. Attinger 



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