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Life Insurance Of The Rich And Famous

Life Insurance Of The Rich And Famous

7 Feb 2020

With all eyes on the Oscars, how better to lay out a ludicrous piece of speculation than with an equally ludicrous movie pitch. 
Here goes:

Five Hollywood’s A-listers need protection. As they start their mission to get it, the plane touches down in Milton Keynes International Airport. They brave the number 12 bus to our office. Five superhero advisers await them with biscuits.

Scorcese’s already chomping at the bit ...

Let’s speculate*

Leonardo DiCaprio

Age: 45

Height: 181 cm (5ft 11in)

Weight: 80 kg (12st 5lbs)

Dependants: 0

With a healthy BMI, one factor likely to affect Leo's life insurance application is smoking. Or vaping to be more precise, as long-time smoker Leo recently swapped the fags for the e-cig. What impact might that have? 

The LifeSearch view:

One potential snag for everyday actors - not so much Hollywood’s elite - is that Income Protection may be hard to come by. Traditionally, acting’s not the most reliable profession - so just 50% (approx.) of insurers will quote.

Not that prolific Leo would have that issue. Nor would he struggle to get life insurance, with a caveat: vaping. Only one insurer views vaping as lesser than smoking. The rest see e-cigs as real cigs. 

Kathy Bates

Age: 71

Height: 160 cm (5ft 3in)

Weight: 85 kg (13st 4lbs)

Dependants: 0 

Hollywood veteran Kathy Bates, who's up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Richard Jewell, is twice a cancer survivor. With that and a high BMI, how might eligibility and premiums look for the 71 year old?

The LifeSearch view:

Insurers are less strict about BMI with older clients, but the combination of cancer and her age means that Kathy wouldn’t be able to land cover.

Instead, we would seek an over 50’s plan (they don’t require medical info) which would offer fair cover and may include limited Critical Illness Cover. That’d be a good option for Kathy, given her history.

Joaquin Phoenix

Age: 45

Height: 173 cm (5ft 8in)

Weight: 78 kg (12st 2lbs)

Dependants: 0

Joaquin lost three and a half stone for his Oscar-nominated stint as the Joker but has since returned to a weight that nudges his BMI into the overweight category. Might yoyo-ing weight, or the fact he's a vegan, have any bearing on life insurance?

The LifeSearch view:

Insurers don’t look at weight loss or gain over time, but weight at the time of application. Interestingly, some lifestyle choices – like a vegan diet – don’t have any bearing on an application, while others – above average alcohol consumption, for example – will be factored in.

With Joaquin, we’d have no issue finding life cover. Let’s say Joaquin has an active mortgage, we’d suggest Critical Illness Insurance and Income Protection too.

Scarlett Johansson

Age: 35

Height: 160cm (5 ft 3 in)

Weight: 57 kg (8st 9lbs) 

Dependants: 1

Mother of one and probably Hollywood's most successful actress of her generation, “mostly-vegan” Scarlett is no stranger to being fighting fit for movie roles, such as Black Widow in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. Perhaps contradictorily, she has been an on and off smoker for 20 years. How might all these factors shake out in a quote?

The LifeSearch view:

Scarlett’s smoker status might be an issue. If she hasn’t smoked any cigarettes in the 12 months prior to her application, she’d be viewed as a non-smoker. Otherwise, she’s seen as a smoker.
Given Scarlett has a young child but isn’t married, a key protection move would be putting her Life Insurance into Trust. If she didn’t, any lump sum payouts would go to her family and not her child.

With a Trust, one can specify who the beneficiary should be. And if Scarlett was to pass away before her child’s 18th birthday, she could nominate an adult to execute her wishes. 

At LifeSearch, we’ll put your policy into Trust for free.

Beyond that, we would look to further protect Scarlett’s daughter with a child Critical Illness Cover, which some insurers offer as standard.

Tom Hanks

Age: 63

Height: 183 cm (6 ft)

Weight: 82 kg (12st 9lbs)

Dependants: 0 (we assume none of Tom's four children are “dependent”. Tom’s youngest, Truman Theodore Hanks, was born in 1995)

In 2013, Tom Hanks revealed to David Letterman that he has Type 2 diabetes. A healthy BMI suggests he keeps a healthy lifestyle, so how might 63-year-old Tom fare?

The LifeSearch view: 

Assuming Tom’s diabetes is well-controlled – and let’s say it is – then the disease won’t be a major obstacle in landing Life Insurance. It’s a recent development, but well-controlled diabetes doesn’t need to impact a person’s monthly premiums. 

Having diabetes may impact Tom in landing Critical Illness Cover, however. It’d depend on other health and lifestyle factors we don’t know (and wouldn’t like to guess) about.

 *this isn’t real - it’s informed speculation. Height and weight information (thanks IMDB/ Wikipedia) can be taken with a pinch of salt. History, health and lifestyle factors were lifted via interviews with - and direct quotes from - the actors themselves.


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