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Santa: A Big, Fat Insurance Risk

December 23, 1994|THOMAS S. MULLIGAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

He's overweight, he smokes, he flies at night and his on-the-job hazards include cramped landing zones and headlong plunges down chimneys.

As a life insurance risk, Santa Claus is a disaster.

In the spirit of the season, Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. released a tongue-in-cheek report on how its underwriters might regard St. Nick.

The company found that Santa fits the risk profile of a private pilot or even a sky diver better than that of the typical toy manufacturer and distributor.

"Most experienced pilots are acceptable risks," Northwestern said. "However, we would examine carefully the application of any pilot who lands on rooftops. Sadly, even Santa might pay a hefty extra premium for these rooftop drops, if he could be insured for them at all."

Occupational hazards aside, the insurer said, there's the question of physical fitness: "Recent public appearances confirm that Santa remains 'chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf.' This may endear Santa to young children, but it would not help the assessment of Santa as an insurance risk."

The good news is that Northwestern considers only cigarette smoking in its underwriting, so Santa's clay pipe won't cost him any additional premium.

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