Action Insurance Gag

Action-oriented films, books, video games etc. tend to feature a great deal of very destructive behaviour: Stuff Blowing Up, car chases (and crashes), vandalism of private property. Some films will lampshade this by having a character ask another character if they have insurance immediately before destroying something of theirs (or say something similar immediately after having done so). Another way of looking at it is that it's a means of lampshading Hero Insurance.

Variants can include the owner having just paid off the mortgage on the property in question (which would make this a sort of material goods equivalent of Retirony).

Compare Pre-Mortem One-Liner, Bond One-Liner. For added irony, one can combine this trope with Impossible Insurance or Insurance Fraud.


Anime and Manga
  • FLCL episode 3 "Marquis de Carabas". The robot Canti falls off the roof of the school building and smashes into the car belonging to Naota's teacher, wrecking it. One of the other students leaning out a window says that the teacher was still paying off the car's loan.
  • Both the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series and the manga by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto feature Misato getting angry (thinking about it in the series, a panicky rant in the manga) about her car being thrashed via N2 Mine going off close to it and having payments left.

Comic Books
  • Calvin and Hobbes. Several Spaceman Spiff strips have Spiff complaining that he just paid off / washed and waxed his spaceship as it goes down in flames, or regretting not taking a better insurance policy.
  • Astérix. The pirates frequently run into the Gauls on their brand-new ships which they just paid for or had to leave some of their crew as hostages/sell into slavery for.

  • In The Rock, Mason yells "I hope you're insured!" out the window of a car he has stolen just after having crashed into another car.
  • RoboCop does a similar gag in RoboCop 3, when he's about to shoot his way through a hotel McDagget and the Rehabs are staying at.
  • In Speed, the protagonist Jack Traven needs to get onto a bus travelling at a high speed. Having commandeered a car, he decides to jump from the car to the bus, but the door is in the way. Jack asks the owner if his car is insured, to which he answers in the affirmative, whereupon Jack reverses the car with the door open straight into the bus, breaking the door off. The owner is suitably upset.
  • The World Is Not Enough. After his caviar factory is destroyed during a fight between James Bond and some villains, Valentin Zukovsky laments "The insurance company is never going to believe this!"
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine, when Victor hears Logan coming after him for killing Kayla, he asks the bartender if he has insurance. When the bartender says he doesn't, Victor says, "Too bad."
  • Poltergeist 2 has the father on the phone arguing with his insurance company about how his house (in the first movie) vanished (into another dimension) without a trace.

Live-Action TV
  • A noncomedic version in one episode of NCIS when Tony gets a car totaled by the Arc Villain. The next episode he's on the phone with his insurance agent, who informs him that, since this is the third car it's happened to, the company is considering dropping him as a client.
  • In the Person of Interest episode "Allegiance" Reese bullrushes a mook straight through a floor-length plate-glass window, whereupon they fall four stories onto a parked car, leaving Shaw and Fusco staring, speechless, out the window at them. After Reese gets up off the poor schmuck, a dumbfounded Detective Fusco comments:
    "I hope that guy had health insurance."
  • In an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati Herb starts selling insurance on the side. He sells a big policy to Les, who shortly afterward gets in a big accident where his scooter runs into a house, severely injuring the two people inside. (quote paraphrased)
    Mr. Carlson: Are you OK?
    Les: I'll survive.
    Andy: Are the people you hit OK?
    Les: They're in the hospital.
    Herb: Did you mail the insurance premium check?
    Les: First thing this morning.
    Herb: WHYYY?!
  • The MythBusters often joke about this right before wrecking/blowing something up. One "coming up next" blurb featured a car hanging from a crane, and Kari with the quick-release cable saying "Find out why we can't get car insurance!" (Though on a more serious note, the show does carry some pretty hefty insurance for when a test goes wrong, and they've had to pay out a few times.)

Video Games
  • In Alpha Protocol, if Steven Heck is your handler for the last mission then you'll get this exchange when your evac chopper is blown up:
    Heck: Hey, Mike. Good news, bad news.
    Mike: What's the bad news?
    Heck: That chopper was our ride out of here.
    Mike: Great. What's the good news?
    Heck: I paid extra for the insurance package!
  • StarCraft II:
    • In Wings of Liberty, when the Odin comes under fire offscreen, Tychus quips "Ah hope this thing's insured."
    • In Heart of the Swarm, one of the evolution missions has you wrecking a city with Ultralisks that can resurrect. You can kill (step on) a car, in which case a Marine pops out of a nearby house and whines "My car, man, I just paid that thing off!"
  • At the end of the early gameplay scenes of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Bowser's Koopa Cruiser is destroyed by Fawful. Talking to one of the Koopa Troopas found afterwards causes him to lament that they hadn't finished paying it off.


Web Original
  • A variant: Cinema Sins has a series of videos on Youtube under the heading "What's the Damage?" that keeps a running count on particular movies.

Western Animation
  • In Frozen, when Kristoff's sled catches fire, he complains that he just paid it off.
  • In Robot Chicken, the producers of a theatrical play version of The Avengers watch as a full costume rehearsal goes wrong when the giant mechanical Hulk goes haywire and the actors all get injured. The producers look on in horror for a moment.
    Producer 1: Uhh... We're insured, right?
    Producer 2: Soup to nuts!
    *Both light up Molotov cocktails to add to the destruction and run*