5 Things Game of Thrones Has Taught Us About Insurance

11-Apr-2019 16:21:58 / by The Insurance Institute

The Insurance Institute



How excited are you about the premiere of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones? We have April 15 circled in the diary, invites sent, days off booked, prosecco in the fridge and hearts in our mouths… We are obsessed. Maybe it’s because – speaking as insurers – the series is just so… relatable?

From a multitude of missed life insurance payouts to a lost opportunity in seeking events insurance ahead of what became the Red Wedding, Game of Thrones is simply strewn with characters who could do with considering their insurance options…

Take a look… *

*Spoiler alert for Seasons 1-7!



Serious illness cover could have provided some comfort (by way of a lump sum) to Jaime Lannister after he had his best sword-swirling right hook hacked off. The one-time ‘Kingslayer’ was relieved of the limb that was his livelihood in Series Three by his captor, Locke. When Jaime tried using his father’s wealth and power as a bargaining chip to secure his release, Locke handed down the harsh lesson – and the loss was so enormous to him that Jaime wished for death. Of course, Jaime lived and went on to retrain as a swordsman using his left hand – and he got fitted for a (rather loose) metal prosthesis on the right. Perhaps a more conventional medic than the maverick Qyburn could have done a better job – and who knows, if Jaime had had decent health insurance (and lived in a more enlightened age and place…) his cover might have enabled him to access a bionic prosthetic hand. Plus, if he’d invested in income protection that could have tided him over during his time training by the sea with Ser Bronn.



It seems that Sansa Stark inherited her sweet tooth from her mother. As Lysa Arryn told the young Winterfell native: “At suppertime, she would go straight for honey cakes, candied almonds, custard. Anything sweet.” Sansa herself is mad about lemon cakes – sugar-frosted treats that fit in one hand and signal the sort of sophistication that Sansa strives for. Since diving for dessert is in her DNA and there’s no getting away from it, dental insurance is a must. While it'd be rare enough that you’d see Sansa grinning from ear to ear, happier times could be ahead so she should take action to protect her smile.



One Westeros phenomenon that raises many questions for insurers is Greyscale, or ‘Prince Garin’s Curse’ as it’s known. Greyscale is a horrifying infectious disease that turns human skin flaky, hard, cracked and dead. Sufferers look like they have turned to rock and are known as ‘Stone Men’. The illness can be fatal, but more often it is a slow death in exile – away from society in ruined cities such as Old Valyria since the contagion is spread by touch. In the final stages – after the skin damage has spread painfully from head to toe – Greyscale attacks the internal organs, with distressing effects when it reaches the brain. Lately – in Season 7 – a cure has been found, but the procedure is highly risky. Insurers would have a bit of work to do in determining their approach to covering Greyscale. There are no directly comparable illnesses in today’s world – the closest we know is leprosy, which is beyond the realms of Irish insurers’ experience. A number of US insurers seem to offer solutions for expats who contract leprosy – these products might offer a starting point for deciding how Greyscale might be handled.



Surely no level of cover could adequately compensate for the consequences of the fall of the Great Wall of Westeros in the season finale last time out. It seems like irreparable damage – and it places another nearby building – Winterfell Castle and its Great Keep – under almost immediate threat of destruction too. Not to mention the inevitable deaths… Impact Damage Insurance might have been useful to consider – although most existing products refer to impact by cars rather than dragons. A huge section of the ice wall was smashed by the undead Viserion, under the control of the Night King and the White Walkers – and what lies ahead is sure to be bloody and chaotic.



Season Seven saw Queen Daenerys and Drogon send the food supply to King’s Landing up in flames. The massive convoy of wagons was incinerated in a flash – and with the Lannister-Tarly supply chain destroyed their people looked set to starve. Had the joint forces considered Goods In Transit Insurance before setting off from their sacking of Highgarden, the outlook might have been less gloomy. Having said that, war is often excluded as a risk. An add-on to much needed marine insurance – which often covers war, piracy and terrorism – would be worth looking in to, and of course there are specific war risk products that could be examined.

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