In 2005, as a rather interesting educational experiment, the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education surveyed 1,014 adults asking, “Out of the following fictional characters, which are most in need of life insurance: Batman, Spider-Man, Fred Flintstone, Harry Potter, or Marge Simpson?”
It certainly seems like a fairly absurd question to ask, but there was a very necessary, and educational, purpose for asking this question: to determine Americans’ understanding of life insurance.
Which Fictional Characters DON’T Need Life Insurance?
Unfortunately, the results suggested that Americans understand very little about life insurance, as all of the fictional characters who received the most votes are the ones who don’t need it.
The most common answer was actually Spider-Man, who pulled in 28% of the vote — and considering that this particular superhero swings from skyscraper to skyscraper, it’s easy to see how the general public might view him as a good candidate for life insurance. However, he’s not, because Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker; a young, unmarried, childless, man with little income. Even if Peter attempted to obtain a life insurance policy, and was completely honest about his hidden persona, he wouldn’t be able to afford the payments; better to save the money!
Grabbing the next big piece of the vote was Batman, coming in at 18%; however, the demand for life insurance is usually inversely related to wealth. Those with substantial means usually have their own investment routes for providing for their heirs and don’t have much use for life insurance — specifically, term policies that don’t provide any real investment incentive. Clocking in with a net worth of $6.5 billion dollars, Bruce Wayne is no exception. More importantly, Mr. Wayne is young, childless, unmarried, and in excellent health; all of which make him an unlikely candidate for life insurance.
Rounding out the “Does Not Need” roster was Harry Potter, who received 15% of the vote, who falls into the same category as Peter Parker.
Which Fictional Characters DO Need Life Insurance?
Both Fred Flintstone (16%) and Marge Simpson (11%) are the two fictional characters who are most in need of life insurance, as they both have families who rely on them. Out of the two, Fred Flintstone is the only one who is the primary income provider for his family and therefore is actually the correct answer within the proposed survey; however, Marge’s role as a stay-at-home-mom does weigh in and would be a devastating blow, so she is a close second.
If Batman Were to Get Insurance, How Much Would It Be?
Expensive! Of course, he would have to be honest about being Batman; being a billionaire playboy certainly isn’t going to skyrocket the premiums. However, having a high-risk job will and insurance companies consider professions that are far less dangerous than taking on Gotham’s seedy underbelly single-handedly dressed as a giant bat as “high-risk.”
For example, deep sea fishermen, loggers, and pilots, are the three jobs with the highest fatality rates and are, therefore, the most expensive to insure. If Batman ever decides to have kids, well, it’s a good thing he’s rich!
Photo Credit: Bruce Fingerhood