The insurance industry is booming and nowhere more than in the U.S.A. The U.S. insurance market is the biggest in the world at a staggering $60 billion and happens to be a favorite subject for Hollywood writers. From pitting the insurance company as the scary ogre in the tale to petty criminals looking to score big in some scam, there’s something for everyone, even the Matt Damon fans.
Big Insurance Firms vs The Little Guy
It’s a heart-stopping moment as Denzel Washington’s character (John Quincy Archibald) in John Q decides to take matters into his own hands and keeps hospital staff and members of the public hostage. But what would drive a working-class father to commit a crime of this magnitude? His son has a degenerative heart condition and needs an urgent transplant, but his insurance won’t cover it. John will do what it takes to get his son the help he needs.
Another film that has the man-on-the-street pitted against the insurance giants is The Rainmaker starring Matt Damon (Rudy Baylor). Rudy discovers that unscrupulous insurance agents were selling unaffordable and condition-heavy policies to lower-income families. When it was time for the insurance to pay up, there was always a clause in the contract to back the insurer not to pay. Fresh out of law school, Rudy decided to take on big insurance. And won. The film is an adaptation of a John Grisham novel with the same name.
Workers’ Comp To Worker’s Con
While actors and film crew often have to tick their boxes as they move from one location to another, they also need to contend with the worker’s compensation laws and workers comp exemptions that change from state to state. For the crew of Selma, worker’s compensation played a big role when one of the set electricians, Ronnie Sands was nearly killed. Ronnie sued Paramount Pictures and was the poster child for the importance of worker’s compensation insurance. However, not everyone who files a claim should. Documentaries such as Workers Con and made-for-TV films such as Workers’ Comp reveal the seedy underground of worker’s compensation claims, and the lengths workers would go to for some extra cash.
In It For The Big Win
Double Jeopardy (1999) with Ashley Judd as Libby Parsons, is framed for the murder of her husband. Her husband faked his own death to run off with their son and Libby’s best friend to start a new life with the insurance money. But Libby’s husband isn’t the only Hollywood star to go after insurance money. A Simple Favor starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively brings to light the importance of knowing who you let into your inner circle, especially when big insurance policies are at play. In the case of Anna Kendrick’s character Stephanie, finding out that your new best friend’s husband took out an additional $4 million life insurance on her before she disappeared wakes up her inner investigative journalist.
While insurance is designed to provide us with that safety blanket for when things go wrong, Hollywood shows that there is the other side of insurance we’re not always aware of.