Insuring Against the Uninsurable

An amazing story about the deceased Neil Armstrong featured on NPR recently:

"Not surprisingly, a life insurance policy for somebody about to get on a rocket to the moon cost a fortune.
But Neil Armstrong had something going for him. He was famous, as was the whole Apollo 11 crew. People really wanted their autographs.
"These astronauts had been signing autographs since the day they were announced as astronauts, and they knew even though eBay didn't exist back then, that there was a market for such things," Pearlman said. "There was demand."
Especially for what were called covers – envelopes signed by astronauts and postmarked on important dates...It was life insurance in the form of autographs.
About a month before Apollo 11 was set to launch, the three astronauts entered quarantine. And, during free moments in the following weeks, each of the astronauts signed hundreds of covers.
They gave them to a friend. And on important days — the day of the launch, the day the astronauts landed on the moon — their friend got them to the post office and got them postmarked, and then distributed them to the astronauts' families."
Obviously, the 'insurance' wasn't required as Armstrong and his fellow Apollo 11 crew mates returned to earth safely. And, most people don't have the ability to generate instant income from something as easy as signing and mailing some envelopes. Therefore, there probably aren't any lessons that average Americans could take from this story as far as insuring against risks. Nonetheless, it is an interesting piece of history, and a nice reminder of the risks that many Americans have made, and continue to make, for the glory of their nation.
Tip of the cap to S.W.

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