In anticipation of this Friday’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum,” I rewatched the first two movies and came to a startling conclusion: John Wick could have saved a lot of time, money, and lives if he knew how to read an insurance policy. Pet insurance doesn’t provide death benefits, so there’s nothing he could have done about the murder of his beagle, Daisy. But there are at least four major incidents in “John Wick” and “John Wick: Chapter 2” that could have been solved with a common insurance claim (instead of, you know, murder).
The stolen Mustang
John Wick would still be retired were it not for his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. In the first 20 minutes of the first film, Wick refuses to sell his car to three Russian mobsters at a gas station, so the Russians follow Wick home, beat him up, murder his puppy, and steal the Mustang. Depending on his auto insurance policy, Wick probably could have just filed a claim for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of the car — somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million dollars.
“If your car insurance policy has comprehensive coverage, you’re covered if your car gets stolen — it doesn’t matter if the thief is a high-level Russian mobster or some petty street criminal,” says Tony Arevalo, a licensed insurance agent at Carsurance. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair (or replace) a vehicle that’s either stolen or damaged by anything other than collisions or rolling over. However, comprehensive coverage isn’t mandatory (unless you’re leasing); it’s something you can add to your policy.
Since Wick’s Mustang has New Jersey plates, we recommend buying his next policy from the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group, since it offers discounts for anti-theft devices, which Wick should definitely consider installing in his next car. See our picks for the best auto insurance in your state.
The home invasion
Later in the first film, twelve Russian assassins break into Wick’s home to kill him in the middle of the night. They fail, but not before shattering three floor-to-ceiling windows and peppering his walls with bullets. “Some home insurance policies actually include coverage for crime scene cleanup, so Wick’s insurer may pay to clean up damage after an assassination attempt,” says Virginia Hamill, an insurance analyst for FitSmallBusiness.com. “However, considering Wick’s line of work, there’s a pretty good chance the carrier wouldn’t automatically include it. If it did, then Wick’s premium would probably be off the charts.”
Wick calls his own clean-up crew to dispose of the bodies, mop up the blood, and presumably caulk the bullet holes, but what about those windows? Wick’s actually the one who shattered them by throwing (or shooting) a Russian assassin. “The self-defense issue strikes me as a little trickier,” Hamill says. “Homeowners policies almost always exclude coverage for intentional, fraudulent, and criminal acts. In Wick’s case, this exclusion may allow insurers to deny coverage for damage he caused — even in self-defense — because of his job as a hitman. The insurer could say any assassination attempt is the result of Wick’s own criminal behavior.”
Assuming Wick lives across the Hudson in New Jersey (as his license plate suggests), we recommend Chubb’s “Masterpiece policy,” since they specialize in high-end homes and valuables. See our picks for the best home insurance companies in your state.
The totaled Dodge
As if losing his Mustang wasn’t enough, Wick’s new ride — a 2011 Dodge Charger — is completely ruined in the final act of the first film. Technically, all of the damage occurs because of collisions, which means his auto insurance might pay for repairs even without a comprehensive coverage endorsement. But most of those “collisions” happen because Wick uses the Dodge as a weapon — i.e., driving it into other cars and pedestrians — so if there’s any surveillance footage of this scene (or if the insurance investigators are really good at reading tire treads), Wick may have trouble getting a payout on this claim.
The home explosion
Most of “John Wick: Chapter 2” is set abroad, but Wick’s home does make a brief appearance when an Italian crime lord blows it up with a grenade launcher. That’s one expensive claim — easily a few million dollars, judging from the size of Wick’s multi-story house. “It would be covered by the insurance company unless you knowingly took out a policy with the expectation of an assassination attempt on you and the house in-between,” says John Espenschied, owner and manager of the Insurance Brokers Group.
Like all of Wick’s other potential claims, it all depends on whether his insurance company knows he’s an assassin (retired or not), and whether they know he previously worked for the same criminal organizations that stole his car, damaged his property, and destroyed his home.
If you find yourself the target of a failed assassination attempt, check your home insurance policy before seeking revenge for property damage.
- See our picks for the best home insurance companies, and don’t mention any connections with the Continental Hotel.
- Check out our research on the best auto insurance companies, and ask for comprehensive coverage if you’re worried about run-ins with the Russian mob.
- Don’t forget about home warranties, since a grenade launcher would probably take out your fridge.
Photo Credit: Lionsgate / The Hollywood Archive