At the start of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Bilbo’s handed a lengthy contract to sign. It’s likely, based on an analysis of the insurance costs associated with the film, that’s it’s mostly a liability disclaimer.
I love the Internet, for all sorts of reasons, but mostly because it’s an outlet for any kind of insane idea you’d care to name. Like, say, how much an insurance company could expect to pay out for all the mishaps that occur during The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey if they were actually on the hook for those costs. A report, authored by Dr. Nils Möckelmann and Andreas Hufgard of Allianz, details both the liability costs — a dead Orc is surprisingly cheap — and the likely property loss damages associated with the film were it reality.
On the liability front, they estimate damages at 3,108,700 euros — that’s roughly $4,633,110 — mostly in the cost of Giant Wargs. You’ve got to feel at least a little bit sorry for the Trolls, though:
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
On the property damage side, the Giant Wargs don’t fare as well
“The ‘giant wolf’ is not classed as a small animal, and is therefore not included in insured home contents within the meaning of the General Terms and Conditions of Home Contents Insurance (VHB).”
Property damages are where the numbers really mount up.
Restoration costs for the cathedral or fortress:
Due to the high policy deductible for stone fortresses hewn into mountains (EUR 1.5 million) in the event of fire, burst pipes, storm/hail and damage caused by natural hazards, our policyholder (the king of all dwarf tribes) has decided to opt for notional settlement. As we have received full approval from the SIGL, and ownership can be clearly traced back to the Dwarf King, according to an excerpt from the land register, there is no reason not to reach a coverage settlement.
The restoration costs for the fortress, which measures 145 meters in length, 85 meters in width and 45 meters in height, were assessed by the experts that we commissioned to be EUR 199,000,000.00 for a standard fortress.
This calculation takes into consideration the requirements imposed by the administrative authorities of Middle Earth.
The total property damage bill comes to an estimated EUR 323,082,250, or around $482,514,617. Add the liability costs, and you’re looking at a tidy $487,147,727 in overall liability, which I suppose goes some way into explaining why Bilbo’s contract was so long.
Mind you, the report also shows that it’s going to be tough to actually get an insurer to pay out in any case, stating from the outset ““As the liability insurer of the Dwarves or the wizard Gandalf, we could easily deny cover, since the injuries and deaths were clearly intentional.”