Thursday, October 27, 2005
The survey asked 1,014 Americans above the age of 18 to consider five fictional characters and select the one they believe has the greatest need for life insurance.
28% chose Spiderman, an unmarried freelance photographer with an elderly aunt he supports.
18% chose Batman, a wealthy bachelor.
16% chose Fred Flintstone, a married father with a young child.
15% chose Harry Potter, a teenager and student.
11% chose Marge Simpson, a stay-at-home mom.
None of the Above/Don’t Know: 18%
The insurance industry is arguing that this indicates a profound ignorance among the public about the appropriate role of life insurance in the family financial plan. Obviously Bruce Wayne will leave plenty of money to his young ward Dick Grayson whether he has insurance or not, but Fred Flintstone is a working man with dependents.
It seems to me that the people responding were answering an entirely different question, and that the ranking reflects the perceived relative probabilities of each character's untimely demise, with Spiderman deemed to be living closest to the edge, and Marge Simpson probably living the safest life.
On that basis, it is hard to argue with the ranking. I guess one could argue that Harry Potter and Fred Flintstone should be flipped, since Harry rides brooms, and faces off against dragons and demons, and Fred just trundles off to work everyday. But then again, Fred works in a quarry riding a dinosaur, and that's gotta be dangerous work.
Sometimes I think that I come up with strange ideas, but then I read news like this....
All-in-all, I'd say that Mr. Flinstone needs life insurance the most. Dangerous job, sole supporter of family, crummy car.
Yes, this raises some interesting issues. Did Jean Grey actually die? Cap's would have paid off while he was frozen in ice. Jim Corrigan's definitely would have paid off, although I'm not sure the Spectre had any need for worldly goods.
What about Wile E. Coyote? My guess is the premiums would have been out of his reach.
What about super-hero villans? I mean, it's pretty obvious if you take a job that brings you into conflict with superheros, eventually you're going to be jailed, killed, or driven insane.
Being a villan has got to be the most dangerous job...unless you're a bridge extra on Star Trek.