Obviously, my biggest concern about Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is how they’ll pull off a giant blue CGI Will Smith. But since I write about insurance, I can’t stop thinking about the magic carpet Aladdin uses to fly around the city of Agrabah. You know, the sentient Persian rug that makes “A Whole New World” possible, when Aladdin takes Jasmine on an aerial tour. Since he uses the carpet as a private vehicle, I asked a few experts whether Aladdin could buy an auto insurance policy for it — and a heated debate ensued.
“Aladdin’s magic carpet is way too human to ever qualify as a car,” says Kimberlee Leonard, an insurance analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com. “It’s smart, perceptive, and loyal. Instead of car insurance, Aladdin would be better off getting personal liability insurance.” While auto insurance is limited to your vehicle, personal liability insurance covers you as an individual, and pays for legal fees, medical bills, or property damage when you’re involved in an accident. That should cover any accidents Aladdin might have if he crashes into something or falls off, but what about the carpet itself?
“You can insure a Persian rug for any peril through a personal articles policy,” Leonard says, referring to a common home insurance endorsement that will pay to replace all kinds of possessions, from bicycles and cameras to jewelry and fine art. “But while this would be a way to financially replace the carpet, we all know the magic carpet is irreplaceable, so it’s a good thing it can fend for itself.”
A Whole New Risk Pool
However, some experts disagreed with Leonard. Todd Christensen at MoneyFit.org says an auto insurance company would cover a magic carpet like a vehicle, but since Aladdin would be classified as “high-risk” for many different reasons, Christensen doubts Aladdin would be able to afford the premium (at least in his pre-Sultan and post-Sultan life). Those high-risk pools, according to Christensen, include:
- He is young, and won’t qualify for lower rates until he turns 25
- He is single, and will pay a higher monthly premium until he and Jasmine tie the knot
- As a male, Aladdin will pay a higher monthly premium than Jasmine, even if they both have similar flying carpet flying records.
- Since the magic carpet is a two-seater and open-top, he can expect the insurance company to rate it as a sports model, boosting his premium even further.
- He is not enrolled in school and will not qualify for a good student discount
- His lack of income does not necessarily mean he has poor credit, but Aladdin, as a street urchin, has not had access to the traditional banking system and therefore has no credit. With no credit rating or a poor credit rating, he will pay higher premiums until he demonstrates that he repays debts as agreed.
- Since Aladdin only has one magic carpet and no palace to insure, he can’t take advantage of multiple policy discounts to lower his policy rate.
- Unfortunately, Aladdin’s flying carpet does not come with seat belts, so he can’t expect a safety discount for buckling in.
Insurance expert at MoneyFit.org
“Aladdin’s reality is similar to my own personal experience when I got my first car,” Christensen says. “I purchased a nine-year-old Triumph Spitfire for $1,200. When I was finally able to acquire insurance coverage, it was liability only and cost me $1,600 a year. At the end of the first year, I had to sell my car and settle for driving a 1981 Ford Escort wagon with much more affordable insurance premium rates.”
- See our picks for the best auto insurance companies and ask if they’ll cover independently mobile textiles.
- Get that castle/ carpet combo and save money by bundling your auto insurance with your home insurance at the same company.
- If you’re a fellow street urchin who needs help building or improving credit, look no further.
- Millennials like Aladdin are more likely to try digital insurance companies: here’s everything you need to know.
Image credit: Lifestyle Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo