Tag Archives: Wedding Insurance

Matters of the Heart

Just in time for Valentine’s Day Jim Lynch brings us a heartfelt tale  of love and  insurance:

Last year I wrangled a review copy of Love Insurance, a century-old novel by Earl Derr Biggers, whose better known works created Charlie Chan in a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to sweep away anti-Chinese stereotypes. The book was re-released by London’s Hesperus Press.

2015.02.03 PHOTO Love insurance

The story: A member of the British peerage buys a Lloyd’s policy that will pay him £75,000 if his impending marriage falls through. To protect his investment, the underwriter sends an earnest delegate to monitor the engagement. Earnest delegate falls in love with fiancée. They end up together despite several plot twists, most not memorable to me six weeks after finishing the book. So unfortunately I cannot recommend the work.

I do remember the insurance policy: £7,500 for a £75,000 limit. The cash-strapped lord can’t afford more cover — he’s marrying into an American fortune, a fact that addresses adverse selection.

Anyhow, as you can see above the policy is priced at 10 percent rate on line. Back then, the load for expenses and profit was a factor like 100/80ths or 100/75ths. Stripping that from the rate on line implies the underwriter and the lord implicitly agreed the probability the policy would pay was between 7.5 percent  and 8 percent.

When you’re an actuary, you think like that.

These days wedding insurance covers calamities from the event, not of the heart, as the linked I.I.I. article and video explain.