Zombies have taken over pop culture already. Now smart insurance agents want to prepare for where zombies will go next.
More than 6.5 million Americans tuned in for Sunday’s midseason premiere of “The Walking Dead,” a story of humans in a post-apocalyptic zombie world. But for many zombie buffs, not content to follow Rick Grimes through any real-life zom-pocalypse, a new option is available: zombie insurance.
A similar young zombie enthusiast, Sam Cooper, created My Zombie Insurance 3 years ago for this very reason. MZI was the first successful venture of its kind. The idea was simple: cheap policies, total coverage—in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
“Each year,” MZI states, “millions of dollars in personal property is damaged by hordes of zombies. And yet, regular insurance companies don’t deal with these claims.”
My Zombie Insurance—a company owned by the registered U.S. limited liability company Zombie Protection Agency—sells an umbrella policy covering home, life and auto. One $9.99 PayPal transaction purchases a lifetime policy. Orders take 2 to 3 days to process, after which an insurance card and policy certificate come in the mail. Claims may be submitted following any zombie-related attack, but there’s a cap at $100,000 for home, $500,000 for life and $30,000 for vehicles.
Of course, MZI customers worldwide know the policies aren’t real. In fact, the MZI website states that it is not selling real insurance, but rather lighthearted entertainment. But this hasn’t slowed sales.
“None of this is about the money,” said June Cooper, head of customer service for MZI and mother of the site’s creator. “We keep it super cheap so that anyone who wants a kit can have one and get in on the joke.”
Even in a soft insurance market, zombie policies are growing rapidly in number. According to June, 2011 was MZI’s busiest year. And though the company keeps its annual revenue statements private, it has sold thousands of policies so far.
In the world of zom-surance, MZI’s success has driven competition. Though My Zombie Insurance still seems to rein king of zombie safeguards, two younger companies–ZAICO and Eighth Day International–are close behind.
Zombie Apocalypse Insurance Co., or ZAICO, has more than 1,450 members signed up through its website, though not all have purchased policies, according to Penelope Luedtke, ZAICO founder and CEO. Compared to last year, the company’s 2011 sales quadrupled.
“It’s a fun and inexpensive way to say ‘I really care about you,’” Luedtke said.
For less than $20, ZAICO provides many services including arms replacement and ammunition restocking, medical treatment, home repair, family relocation, vehicle replacement or repair and zombie incineration. Again, ZAICO customers must accept a statement acknowledging that the company is a parody, for entertainment purposes only.
Eighth Day International has gone another route, providing survival assurance. “Be protected, not infected,” its website says. For $5, Eighth Day International provides Zombie Pandemic Survivor Assurance, providing the insureds a spot in a safe zone upon the day of reckoning—provided they have proper identification.
It remains to be seen which of these companies will survive when the real zom-pocalypse hits—and from there, whether they can survive the wrath of the uninsured zombies.