Take Woodstock. Lose the headline acts. Add fantastically decorated "art cars" and theme camps. Multiply by Salvador Dali. Allow to rise in the desert sun. Then flambe.
That's Burning Man, a week-long communal artistic experience that occurs each year in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, culminating in the ceremonial torching of a giant humanoid figure.
Woodstock with open-road vehicles -- what could possibly go wrong, right?
Enter coverage for Burning Man participants, offered for the first time by California-based Heffernan Insurance Brokers. For a premium of $500 to $850, the policy provides property and liability coverage for claims against participants in a theme camp, art car or artistic installation at Burning Man, from setup to breakdown.
Heffernan's Amy Vitarelli and Ben Stern spent two years developing the unique coverage. "As 'burners' ourselves, we know the risks inherent in an event like Burning Man," Vitarelli says.
They're also aware of the irony.
"There is no insurance requirement; that would be very un-Burning-Man-like for the organization to require anyone to purchase insurance," she says. "When you say insurance and Burning Man, it's like this oxymoron -- like wait, those things go together?"