Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me!

A Sales Story by Thomas Petersen, MBA, RHU, FLMI, HIA, Vice President

The second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie has broken all attendance records. At 12:01 (midnight) the movie was playing simultaneously on 15 theater screens inside our local Edwards Theater, and to a sold out audience! I was one of those who bought our tickets two weeks in advance online, got in line two hours before it started to get good seats, and stayed up until 3:30 a.m. to be one of the few who can say they saw it first!

While we have always had a fascination with pirates, there are two items of interest that I would like to share which pertain to the real world:

1) Pirates and Disability Insurance – There IS a connection!

Pirates are usually thought of as rough, debaucherous, uncaring people who would without concern slit your throat while drinking a ration of grog. The reality is that life as a pirate was more civil than we have imagined.

The crew on most ships elected the Captain. He had to be respected enough by the crew to EARN being the Captain, not just the most ruthless.

Punishment was swift and often severe, which was not unusual, even within the “god-fearing” communities with set laws. Laws set down by the Captain and by those aboard the ship were to make sure everyone was treated the same and dealt with quickly. Any parent can tell you that lingering too long to administer punishment is a burden to all and doesn’t make the point fast enough.

Lastly, pirates understood that a permanent disability was the REAL scourge of the pirate’s life. Booty collected was shared equally between all on board from the cook and powder monkeys to the fighting members of the ship. The only exceptions were the Captain, who often received 1 and 1/2 shares, and the “officers” who would get 1 and 1/4 shares. What would a pirate do if he (or she) could not fight or was deemed ineligible to his share of the booty?

Pirates organized pools of money to be paid to a pirate who suffered a disability . Keep in mind that a knife or musket wound would cause gangrene that could kill you. Thus amputations were the prescription of the day to save a life. The loss of an arm had a value. If using pieces of eight as a financial measure, the loss of an arm would be compensated with 600 pieces of eight. Ironically, the loss of a left arm was often viewed as less valuable and often would be compensated at 500 pieces of eight!

In addition to a lump sum payment, if the disabled pirate could still work aboard the ship in some capacity such as cooking or deck cleaning, he (or she) might be kept on as a member of the crew.

Isn’t it interesting how so long ago, and within a business considered so vile, the financial care and compensation of a disabled person was one of the HIGHEST concerns?

Fast forward to today and we find that most people cannot fathom how a disability can cause such financial harm. With modern medicine we do not see such tragic endings for such common ailments and accidents as in years past, but disabilities STILL happen!

Ask your clients if they think they are better off than living a pirate’s life! Are they as well protected???

2) Pirates Still Exist – Do your clients have the right kind of coverage?

Petersen International Underwriters has been insuring people and things for decades in all parts of the world, including those parts with inhospitable conditions. War zones we see on TV, but few of us encounter those situations first hand. Kidnapping and terrorism is something that happens “elsewhere”.

Last fall the world got to see, for the first time, a pirate encounter on a cruise ship. Fortunately, the ship was able to launch counter measures in time to fend off the attack. Who knows what would have happened had the pirates boarded.

Some parts of the world have pirate problems more frequently than other parts. Nigeria and Somalia are two well known pirate problem areas.

Piracy is estimated to cause losses of over $13 billion each year. While most of these losses are cargo and ship damage, personal life and injury are included in these numbers. Most of the world may seem relatively “safe”, but you and your clients should never assume everywhere in the world is safe!

“Pirate Protection” may take the form of cargo coverage as well as War and Terrorism coverage. Petersen International Underwriters insures many people who voluntarily work in areas where land and sea pirates exist.

“Pirate Protection” also includes Kidnap and Ransom coverage for people traveling or working internationally. Kidnappings happen frequently especially in areas other than the United States. While we may think of South America or Africa as prominent areas for kidnappings to occur, places like Mexico or the Philippines are equally troublesome. What might your clients plan be in the event of a kidnapping? Why not look into securing Kidnap & Ransom coverage? A Kidnap & Ransom policy includes immediate assistance by an experienced response team who will be of inestimable aid if such an event occurs.

Obtaining a quote for any of these programs is easy. Just call our friendly staff and say: “Arrr, I wish to get a Pirate Protection Quote! ” If Disney can capitalize on pirates, why not you? Your clients deserve to know there is Pirate Protection.

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