There’s something special about Christmas movies. Maybe it’s the life lessons they contain, their feel-good happy endings, or their ineffable spirit. Whatever it is, no December is complete for me until I catch a few of my favorite flicks.

During my annual movie marathon this year, an idea struck me: these movies not only teach us about life, but they also impart valuable lessons about insurance.

It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s Christmas Eve and the bank auditor is coming for a routine audit on George Bailey’s family business. There’s a snafu, though — Uncle Billy loses $8,000 on his way to deposit the money. Fearing bankruptcy, scandal, and jail, George contemplates cashing in on his $15,000 life insurance policy to save his family from potential ruin.

It’s a drastic measure and definitely not one we recommend (no amount of money is worth your life). Thankfully, George reconsiders and his family never has to file a claim. But it does highlight the key benefits of life insurance. In addition to serving as a catalyst for plot, a life policy could:

  • Generate an inheritance after you’re gone (the natural way, of course)
  • Give financial support in a time of need (life benefits are 100 percent tax-free, so your beneficiaries will receive the full amount)
  • Provide peace of mind

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

He’s a mean one, Mr. Grinch! And he hates Christmas! “The whole Christmas season!”

It’s no surprise, then, that he concocts and carries out his diabolical plan. Disguised as Saint Nick, the Grinch steals the stockings, presents, and roast beasts, too, while the Whos soundly snooze.

Now, we all know that despite his best attempt, he couldn’t stop Christmas from coming. Thanks to the Whos’ indomitable spirit, the Grinch learns that Christmas doesn’t come from a store.

But let’s suppose that his heart never grew and he didn’t return the stolen gifts. How would the Whos in Whoville recover from their loss? My guess is that since they’re a responsible lot, they had homeowners or renters insurance. Thus, even if the Grinch really had stolen Christmas, they could have continued to be merry because they’d be protected against theft and a whole lot more.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The mishaps that occur when Clark Griswold invites his family to spend the hap, hap happiest Christmas together are hilarious. Comedic aspects aside, his misadventures also stress the importance of having homeowners insurance.

Here are just a few instances of when homeowners would have stepped in to help.

The giant Christmas tree

Clark brings home a giant tree. It’s so big that it breaks his windows while he unties it. Thankfully, Clark has homeowners insurance, so the damage is covered. And, if presents and other personal property had been damaged by broken glass, those would be covered too.

Uncle Lewis burns the tree down

Uncle Lewis is about to enjoy his after-dinner cigar in the living room and somehow ignites the tree in the process. It’s fiction, so the fire chars only the tree. If, however, the fire had spread and burned the entire house, Clark’s dwelling protection coverage would have helped him rebuild it from the ground up.

Clark breaks his neighbor’s windows with ice

Accidents happen. And they generally happen to Clark. Luckily, his homeowners policy also covers liability. So, when he shoots a giant icicle through his neighbor’s windows, his finances won’t be damaged because he’s protected by homeowners insurance.

The lessons learned

So, what can we glean from all of this? Whether you live in Pottersville, Whoville, or the Chicago suburbs, sooner or later you’re going to need insurance. After all, no one ever plans on losing 8 grand, or running into the Grinch, or burning down a Christmas tree. If you don’t have the right coverage for all of your needs, maybe now’s the time to give yourself the gift of great insurance (freeing Santa up to bring you the really cool stuff).

Related links

How to green your holiday season
Avoid fires and more with these holiday safety tips
Get in the spirit by checking out these spectacular light displays

Insurance 101


about Anne

If variety is the spice of a copywriter’s life, then Anne’s career at Esurance was akin to sassafras. From 2010 to 2014, she added a touch of zest to topics ranging from cleaning with baking soda to becoming a first-time homeowner.