For this holiday week, we’ve updated one of our classics about insuring Santa Claus and his expansive business operations.
You have to admit it – jolly old St. Nicholas runs one heck of a business operation so it takes an experienced insurance agent to plan the right coverage package. While his business may be a nonprofit, he faces many of the typical business exposures. He runs a factory that operates 24/7, along with a busy warehouse and shipping operation. He employees a huge number of elves and maintains a herd of reindeer. He has at least one specialty vehicle, although we suspect he also needs some back-ups. His operations span the globe and he engages in extensive business travel.
Like any good businessperson, he needs solid insurance coverage to protect the business should anything go amiss.
First, as an employer, he is mandated to have workers compensation coverage for his elves. And to be a good employer, he should also provide health insurance, too. The elves are loyal workers – to show appreciation for this, Santa should consider disability insurance and some type of retirement planning, such as 401k options. We’d advise him to ensure that he has a good injury prevention program in the shop – and he should also have Employment Practices Liability to protect against lawsuits. Quite honestly, he seems to play a little fast and loose with adhering to all the labor laws – some might say his operation borders on being a sweat shop. Perhaps labor laws are different in the North Pole.
He needs property insurance, of course, as well as solid commercial general liability coverage. Product liability coverage is a must – he can’t afford any lawsuits from faulty toys. He needs commercial auto insurance but he may require a special endorsement – we aren’t sure if the sleigh would be classified as a truck or an airline or maybe a hybrid, so he should consult with his agent on that. He might also benefit by travel insurance.
For the reindeer, he needs a good Livestock Insurance program – not just general herd coverage but individual coverage for his high-value individual animals. That way, each of the stars on his reindeer team will be is covered for a specific dollar amount.
Given that he keeps a lot of data in his naughty and nice list, he should have Cyber Liability to protect against data exposure through hacking. Of course, he also needs business interruption coverage and a good umbrella policy
Santa should also have key man coverage on himself since he is so essential to the operation.
Other considerations in insuring Santa Claus
Now apart from the needs of his business, Santa himself has some specialized insurance needs. We read a few years ago that he has insured his trademark beard with Lloyds of London. He needs a heck of a life insurance policy and it poses some significant challenges for his insurance agent. He’s getting on in years, he’s overweight, he’s been known to smoke a pipe and drink brandy, and he’s got a lead foot when driving his sleigh. He also faces a lot of on-the-job hazards. Even before that big day of the year, he travels to thousands of shopping malls and meets millions of kids. Not to mention all the other hazards that Santa faces – he can be exposed to everything from back strain while lifting kids to a wet lap caused by terrified children. It’s hard to believe, but not everyone loves Santa.
That’s just our quick assessment – we’d like to sit down with him to talk over his many exposures and get some competitive quotes. So big guy, give us a call for next year and stay safe this year! We all count on you!