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26 April 2017

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Lloyd’s braced for $50mn Carrie Fisher Star Wars claim

Adam McNestrie, Dan Ascher and Matthew Neill 30 December 2016

Insurers at Lloyd's of London look set to pay out a significant contingency claim following the tragic death of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, The Insurance Insider can reveal.

Sources said that Disney had taken out $50mn of so-called contract protection cover as insurance for the event that Fisher was unable to fulfil her obligations to act in the new Star Wars films, with the policy now likely to trigger.

The policy was underwritten by specialist New Jersey-based managing general agent Exceptional Risk Advisors, but if the policy triggers the loss will be entirely borne by capacity providers in Lloyd's, with Enstar subsidiary Atrium the lead on the facility.

Sources said that the claim would be widely spread within the Lloyd's contingency market, with more than 20 carriers on the binder.

However, the loss would cause substantial damage to the 2016 underwriting result for the segment, with some Lloyd's insurers writing contingency books with $10mn or less of annual premiums.

Fisher died on Tuesday (27 December), four days after she suffered a heart attack on a flight between London and Los Angeles.

The actress rose to prominence in the late 1970s, playing Princess Leia in the first Star Wars trilogy.

She reprised the role last year in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a runaway success which took $2.07bn at the box office.

Filming for Star Wars Episode VIII, which will be released next year, was completed ahead of Fisher's death.

Princess Leia was again slated to have a major role in Episode IX and it is not clear how Disney, which owns the Star Wars franchise, will choose to respond.

According to its website, Exceptional Risk Advisors is a specialist in high-limit specialty life, accident, and disability products, with underwriting authorities from Lloyd's insurers that exceed $50mn per individual risk.

Fisher's spokesperson could not be reached. Atrium declined to comment. Exceptional Risk Advisors and Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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