American Family Insurance's live stand-up comedy show, "Stand Up For Family," hosted by comedian Bill Bellamy, made its national broadcast debut on the 24-hour music and entertainment channel Centric in 2013. (Photo: Lisa Sorensen Public Relations)

Few language tools are more powerful than comedy.

And it’s not just silly or hubris subjects that benefit from jokes and satire.

Serious subjects — including finances, healthcare and mortality — become more digestible with a healthy dollop of humor.

American Family Insurance acknowledged the power of comedy to reach its audience and share its message in 2013 when it launched “Stand Up for Family,” hosted by comedian Bill Bellamy. The nationally televised show, taped in front of a live audience, featured several stand-up comics yukking it up with stories about family and everyday life, the insurance company’s logo ever-present during comedian routines and show promotions.

“American Family Insurance feels it’s important to celebrate families by reveling in the deep traditions of family-based stand-up comedy,” Telisa Yancy, American Family Insurance’s marketing vice president, said in a press release about the show. “’Stand Up For Family’ is an occasion to share a good laugh and to celebrate the many reasons we all have to be thankful.”

In that case, an insurance company become the catalyst for a comedy event. Continue on to see other instances, archived on YouTube, in which stand-up comics used jokes to illuminate common issues surrounding the insurance industry.

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Pun in the oven

This “Comedy Short” sponsored by Quote Hero, a company whose YouTube channel is stocked with insurance-themed stand-up jokes, was recorded earlier this year at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, California.

The Los Angeles-based comedy duo made up of Deven Green and Joel Bryant made light of various aspects of the insurance business with the help of such punchlines as “Actuary, it’s not our thing!”

But the sketch may also reflect just how lost some consumers are when it comes to the language of insurance policies.

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Toogie talks public health care

The YouTube channel dubbed “Funny 4 Shizzle” spotlights African American comedians. This is where viewers can uncover a routine posted earlier this year featuring Pennsylvania comedian Toogie Jackson dishing about what it’s like to access health care services without health insurance.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans without health insurance has dropped to 24 million from 37 million, according to recent research from the New York City health policy think tank the Commonwealth Fund.

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ACA angst

The Affordable Care Act certainly had time to mature by 2014, when comedian Alonzo Bodden shared a series of jokes about disappointments with his health insurance during a gig at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California. Bodden may be familiar to many TV fans as he won the grand prize during the third season of the reality-television series “Last Comic Standing.”

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People write the darnedest things

The British comedian Jasper Carrott laid the foundation for a decades-long career in the 1970s by developing semi-biographical jokes about the people and culture of Birmingham, England.

In this clip, Carrott pokes fun at the “truthiness” that some people apply to car accident claim forms. Carrott reportedly spent years collecting car accident claim forms from various countries, and then gleaned pithy statements from them to roll into his stand-up comedy routine.

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Street smart negotiations

During a 2010 appearance at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, Felipe Esparza lamented the number of uninsured drivers on the roads, despite the fact that driving without insurance has been outlawed in many states.

According to 2012 research from the Insurance Information Institute, roughly 12 percent of American motorists, or about one in eight drivers, falls into the uninsured category.

That same research cited Oklahoma, Florida and Mississippi as the states with the highest percentage of uninsured drivers, and Massachusetts, Maine and New York as the states with the lowest percentage of uninsured drivers.

The good news? Nationwide, the percentage of uninsured or underinsured drivers has been consistently declining over the past two decades. Warning: Video contains adult content.

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Premium complaints

For comedians who came up studying stand-up greats like Richard Pryor, comedy just wouldn’t be the same without a few choice pejoratives and curse words. In this snippet lifted from Chris Rock’s HBO special “Bigger and Blacker,” the entertainer highlights the importance of insurance while slamming the way some policies are administered. Warning: Video contains adult content.

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