Like Cersei, Daenerys or Jon Snow, you may need life insurance benefits for your loved ones. Except, if Khaleesi dies, who pays out the dragons’ benefit?
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Never mind the fact that spring has sprung across the North American Continent … Winter is coming. Winter is here.
If you’re aÂ Game of Thrones fanÂ and you live (in your imagination at least) on the continent of Westeros, you know the energy that that-now familiar phrase got withÂ last Sunday’s highly anticipated premiere of the final season of this HBO megahit. “Winter is coming” signalsÂ the swift and terrifying advance of the White Walkers and their servant-zombie “wights.”
And that … Could. Be. Bad.
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That’s why, as the final series began, I took a stab (see what I did there?) at assessing the risk of fans’ favorite — and most loathed — characters to estimate what their life insurance policy would be/should be as long as they’re still alive and kicking (or sword fighting or plotting)Â at Winterfell, Castle Black, King’s Landing or at whichever of the Seven Kingdom castles they presently reside.
We all know that when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die, and our fan-attachment to certain characters has been and will continue to be problematic (Ned Starkâs death in Season One still pains us).
So, the folks from the Seven Kings had best take care: Whether death seems imminent from a wedding gone red or a fire-breathing dragon careening their way, these characters would be wise to have a life insurance policy.Â We clearly learned this when the Stark parents left their children on their own to fight for the family home, Winterfell.
While the world of George R. R. Martin is purely fictional, letâs see what would happen if some of the most popular Game of Thrones characters were to apply for life insurance and what policy they needÂ — considering the lengthy record of unexpected deaths chalked up to date. As a VP of underwritingÂ in my professional life, I offer herein a list ofÂ GOT characters, rankedÂ highest to lowest for their risk of death …
Estimated age: 43
Occupation: Queen and Protector of the Realm
Beneficiaries: Unborn fourth child (maybe), via Jaime
Most of her beneficiaries have violently died, but now that sheâs pregnant again (she hints), she has the biggest life insurance need. A Lannister always pays his or herÂ debts, and a life insurance policy will act as one form of financial protection to help Cerseiâs unborn child repay the debts of the realm (assuming the QueenÂ lives to give birth).
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Of course, that policy isÂ going to be pricey given that there is a prophecy saying Cersei will eventually be murdered (and is on Aryaâs list, who is 64 for 64). Sheâd need to opt for a term life insurance policy, meaning she’d payÂ a fixed amount for a fixed period of time. If anything happens to her during that time, her child will have the gold needed to thrive.
Takeaway: If you have debt, children, a spouse, or loved ones who would experience financial hardship as a result of your death, you need life insurance.
Estimated age: 43
Occupation: Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
Beneficiaries: Unborn fourth child, via Cersei
Before Jaime lost his hand, he seemed unkillable. So, now thatÂ heâs defenseless, with a martyr’s mentalityÂ and a potential fourth child on the way, he should definitely get a term life insurance policy. Heâll be looking at a costly premium, considering his battle track record — heâs higher risk than before he got that golden hand.
Takeaway: Life insurance isnât just for the breadwinner of the family. Both parents provide invaluable support to their family, and a term life insurance policy will ensure that your loved ones are financially protected.
Estimated Age: 22
Occupation: King of the North
Beneficiaries: Sansa, Bran, Arya
Jon Snow knows nothing and will dive headfirst into a dangerous situation without a second thought. Since he has the apparent ability to be resurrected, Jon would benefit from a Return of Premium rider — a policy add-on that returns the premiums paid if the insured outlives the term of the policy.
Takeaway: If you die during the âtermâ of the policy, your beneficiary gets the money. If you outlive your policy, it simply expires — or in some cases, you can pay a little more to ensure premiums are paid back.
Estimated age: 39
Occupation: Hand of the Queen of Dragons
His life insurance risk wouldnât be acceptable:Â Tyrion is most likely of all the characters to fail a driving-while-impaired blood test, and if the blood test doesnât trip up his application for life insurance, a prescription drug check certainly would. Heâs too high-risk for a policy due to his lifestyle choices. (And he’s an illustration of why itâs good to get a policy when youâre healthy). That said, whom would he want to leave the money to anyway?
Takeaway: Bad health means a low chance of getting approved, and if you are approved, your policyÂ will come at a cost. Itâs important to consider one while youâre healthy to save money and avoid the chances a denial.
Estimated age: 18
Occupation: Faceless assassin
Beneficiaries: Sansa, Bran, Jon Snow
A girl has no name — butÂ she is one of the deadliest characters on the show. Arya has a high probability of finding herself (or deliberately putting herself) into a risky situation (or situations). Sheâs also most likely to commit fraud and her body would likely not even be found, which would be a nightmare for the claims department. However, thereâs no clear way for anyone to know these things. That’s why, since sheâs young and healthy, she could lock in a term life insurance policy. Letâs just hope her insurer has good identity verification.
Takeaway: How much youâll pay for your term life insurance policy depends mostly on your age, health statusÂ and how much money you want your beneficiaries to get when you die. When youâre young and healthy, itâs the most cost-effective way to ensure your familyâs protection.
Estimated Age: 22
Occupation: First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons
Beneficiaries: Her two (living) dragons
She walks through fire and rides dragons as her primary mode of transportation, so she would be most likely to receive an “aviation exclusion” rider — meaning her policy would be voided if she died in a dragon-related accident (but we’re certain that wonât happen).
If you think of Daenerysâs empire as a business, sheâd be a prime candidate for Key Man (or Key Person) Life Insurance, a type of life insurance that covers financial losses for an organization that occurs upon the death of a key leader. This helps ensure the continuity of the business for everyone who has a stake in its success.
Takeaway: Jobs that put you at a higher risk of death will impact the cost and availability to you of life insurance.Â
Estimated Age: 39
Occupation: Warrior of House Tarth, former member of Renleyâs Rainbow Guard
Beneficiaries: Arya and Sansa (because she promised Catelyn sheâd protect them)
Brienne is one of the most likable characters, so sheâll probably be one of the first to die. Thatâs beside the point — she has proven herself multiple times to be one of the strongest warriors in Westeros and is lower in risk compared to that of her fellow fighters. However, sheâs anything but risk-averse, so her premium for a term policy wouldnât be cheap.
Takeaway: With term life insurance, there are no restrictions or laws about whom you can name as beneficiary and how many beneficiaries you choose.Â
Estimated Age: 20
Occupation: Lady of Winterfell
Beneficiaries: Arya, Bran, Jon Snow
Sansa has grown into a force to be reckoned with in the North. Both fans of the show and other characters have underestimated Sansa for the whole series (Ramsay Bolton probably did before his dogs ate him). So weâre not betting against her now. Sheâs young, looks after herself and has no desire to confront her enemies in battle. Sheâd get a solid term policy at a low cost, if she felt itÂ necessary to leave something behind for her sister.
Takeaway: People who decide to buy a term-life insurance policy while they are healthy and young may pay the least amount per month in premiums for a sizable policy amount. Other types of life insurance are more expensive.
Estimated Age: 25
Beneficiaries: Gilly, Little Sam
Sam now has a family to worry about. Since heâs generally risk-averse and holed up in libraries, heâd be a good candidate for an affordable term-life insurance policy. Term-life insurance is made for people like Sam — someone who has a family or other loved ones who depend on him, and wants a safety net in the event that something unfortunate occurs.
Takeaway: Term-life insurance isnât an investment. The straightforward nature of the policy means that it is good for only one thing, and thatâs providing a death benefit to your loved ones in the event of your death.
Estimated Age: Who the heck knows? Myths are over 8,000 years old — and he was one of the âFirst Menâ
Occupation: Leader of the White Walkers
Takeaway: You shouldnât take out life insurance when you donât need it.
Thereâs no need for the Night King to have life insurance (how would his fellow undead even benefit?). Besides, he has no pulse and wouldnât pass an exam.
Related:Â Top Ten Reasons Why Investment In Life Insurance Is A Good Idea
Overall, term life insurance policies make sense for most characters (and people). They are the most cost-effective insurance category compared to permanent life policies and are simple and straightforward. Here is a full guide of all types of life insurance policies to continue your education.
So, with the threat of the White Walkers looming and leaders like Cersei as unpredictable as ever, we wish all of our favorite characters the very best … butÂ hope they have their affairs in order. To the King of the North!
Note: All pricing and assumptions are based on the general population of the Seven Kingdoms.