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Liability Hazards of 12 Days of Christmas The Price of Risk Management

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Okay, we took a look at the money our lovesick swain would spend if he bought his beloved all 364 gifts from “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Pricey, we said, and we were right.

But that’s nothing to the cost of insuring all these lovely baubles and fowl and entertainers. You might think it’s akin to the feeling of being stuck with the credit card bill once the holiday largesse is over, but this is even worse. Leave it to the liability experts to take a look at what the price tag would be to cover all our heroine’s goodies against loss and liability.

In a witty proposal on risk management issues prepared for one Felicia Navidad, Insurance Journalmagazine and Lockton, the world’s largest privately held insurance broker, teamed up to have a look at “The Twelve Days of Riskmas.” Following are some of their findings.

Ms. Navidad, it seems, has begun a farming operation after Mr. True Love, her smitten beau, presented her with all those fowl. Remember them? Swans, geese, calling birds, French hens, turtle doves, and, of course, the partridge? Well, Ms. Navidad, being of a practical bent, couldn’t see all that largesse going to waste so she set up what sounds like a well-oiled machine that not only sells the proceeds of the pear trees (one for each partridge; made a nice little orchard) and the eggs from the hens, but also specializes in holiday eggnog (milk from all those cows, thanks to those underpaid milkmaids) and the harvesting of down from the geese to make soft goods that are sold onsite and worldwide.

That meant she needed a large barn for the cows, an aviary with a pond for the birds and a warehouse where all the inventory could be stored—not to mention the dairy operation itself: milking machines, processing machinery, storage facility, etc.

Not to be wasteful, all surpluses are donated to the local food bank and homeless shelter—Ms. Navidad is nothing if not civic-minded, fully as generous as her beau.

Then, faced with all those dancers, leapers, drummers and pipers, our heroine decided to go all out and open a performing arts theater to accommodate their not inconsiderable talents. Don’t forget to stop at the concession stand to taste the eggnog, and you’ll find CDs and DVDs at the gift shop so you can take all those wonderful performances home with you.

(By the way, you really should check out the piper recommended by our intrepid editor; he’s quite amazing—the piper, that is. And our editor too, of course! However, being something of a traditionalist, personally I’m rather fond of the Black Watch’s rendition of “The Dark Isle,” which can be found on Youtube.)

Lest you think that Ms. Navidad’s new enterprise is all fun and games, you really must review the risk management plan. Farming operations mean insurance to protect against livestock mortality, and an environmental policy in case of accidents as they dispose of waste in an ecologically sound manner—as well as insuring against bodily injury or property damage to anyone else.

Then, you see, she needs a property policy that includes business income with extensions of perils, including spoilage; equipment breakdown coverage (dairy equipment and egg coolers); a product recall and inland marine cargo policy (remember the egg fiasco earlier this year? Millions of eggs were recalled); blanket liability (all those tourists coming to shows, and children carousing among the livestock) with blanket vendor coverage; spectator liability coverage; a liquor liability policy (you didn’t think that was just plain eggnog, did you? Tipsy tourists can cause lots oftrouble); a musical instrument floater; an electronic data processing policy with cyber liability; workers’ comp; employer liability; directors and officers policy; employment practices liability policy; fiduciary policy; employee benefits liability policy; excess/umbrella liability coverage; and, last but not least, a jeweler’s block policy (to cover those gold rings).


Felicia Navidad may not be feeling too kindly toward her sweetheart when she gets the bill from her insurance agent, unless Mr. True Love also wrote her a blank check to cover the coverage. She has to shell out $464,670 for all those policies. At that rate, it’ll take a while to turn a profit on the operation.

Maybe she should go back to singing “Silent Night.”

Do you suppose the Three Wise Men had that much trouble insuring the gold, frankincense and myrrh?