Hobbit risks

No mercy for the Orcs: An imaginary claim report for the fantasy movie "The Hobbit"

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From an insurance point of view, the events in the movie “The Hobbit: An unexpected journey” are a real disaster. A fortress, a whole village, warriors and a pack of giant wolves. But Allianz experts Dr. Nils Möckelmann, consultant for special claims, and Andreas Hufgard, major claims regulator, quickly realized: “As the liability insurer of the Dwarves or the wizard Gandalf, we could easily deny cover, since the injuries and deaths were clearly intentional.” But who wants to get into an argument with a bunch of heavily armed Dwarves? Or with one of the most powerful wizards in Middle Earth?

On we present the imaginary claim report for the movie. Part one: Liability losses. The second report on property damage will follow on Friday, August 23rd.


Allianz SE
München, Aug 16, 2013

A bad guy's lower arm is severed (this is later reattached with a prosthetic hook)

  • Damages for pain and suffering of EUR 5,000.00 (relatively low, as the bad guy is used to injuries and has an exceptional constitution)
  • Treatment costs of EUR 500.00 (good value, as the prosthesis is not attached by a professional, but is effective)
  • Damages for loss of earnings of EUR 200 (lead baddie estimated to be out of action for only 2 days due to excellent constitution. The leader's salary is estimated at EUR 100 per day.
  • Damage incurred due to loss of ability to run a household does not apply, as the miscreant cannot convincingly claim that he ever helped his co-habitants with housework.

Three fantasy figures (trolls, three meters tall) are turned to stone by magic

  • There are no known relatives who could make claims, nor was the inheritance (the troll treasure in the cave) claimed.
  • Funeral costs do not apply, as the trolls are now acting as their own gravestones.
  • Therefore: no loss

100 bad guys and fantasy figures are - it is implied - injured, stabbed, decapitated, killed (very family-friendly filming! We imagine that the actions went further)

  • Lump sum for damages for pain and suffering of EUR 5,000 per Orc, i.e. a total of EUR 500,000.
  • Treatment costs or funeral costs per orc of a lump sum of EUR 1,000, i.e. total of EUR 100,000.
  • Loss of earnings for each surviving Orc equals a lump sum of EUR 100 (receives starvation wage), total of EUR 3,000.
  • No damage due to loss of ability to run a household as it is hard to believe that an orc would help with housework.
  • As little is known of Orcs' private lives (do they have wives, children?) it is difficult to calculate any maintenance costs.

25 giant wolves (the size of oxen) are injured or stabbed, or fall to their deaths

  • The giant wolves (Wargs) appear to be owned by the Warg-riders (Orcs).
  • Wargs are a species in danger of extinction, meaning that their death is extremely regrettable and the loss is consequently nigh on impossible to compensate. The value of a Warg is estimated to be EUR 100,000, meaning that there is an estimated loss of EUR 2,500,000 for 25 Wargs.

Five gigantic stone giants (ten meters tall) who emerge from the Misty Mountains, throw boulders, attack each other and break into a thousand pieces

  • This process is presumably classed as a spectacle of nature. The group of Dwarves cannot really be held responsible.

Experts' comment: as liability insurer to the team of Dwarves or Gandalf, it must be noted that we could refuse cover to the wizard, as the bodily injuries and deaths were apparently inflicted with willful intent. Due to the Dwarves' well-known capacity for aggression and the incredible magical power of Gandalf, it could, however, be the case that the administrator would refrain from refusing cover in the interests of customer satisfaction.

It seems feasible to deny liability to the injured parties, as first of all, these individuals were fully aware of the risk that they were running by attacking the group of Dwarves and Gandalf. Second, the Dwarves and Gandalf generally acted purely in self-defense. In this case as well, however, it could be that the administrator is not keen to dispute the denial of liability with Orcs and trolls, etc., and would therefore prefer not to raise any objections to the assumption of liability.


Total liability damages: 3,108,700 euros.

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Katerina Piro
Allianz SE
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