Wipeout! Insurance for reality TV

'The Amazing Race'
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The Amazing Race

Reality TV invites us to vicariously chase across continents in "The Amazing Race," vie for the affections of a beautiful "Bachelor" or "Bachelorette," test our stamina as a "Survivor" and be hired -- or more likely fired -- by Donald Trump on "The Apprentice."

But the next time you gag along with some average Jane as she chokes down a grub worm in "high def," give a high-five to the insurance company whose risk is your reward. Because without insurance from major players like Aon/Albert G. Ruben, Fireman's Fund and Travelers Cos., "Wipeout" would be a wipeout and "Downfall" would never get off the ground.

"The big thing is, it's not scripted," says David Seaman, vice president of national programs responsible for entertainment at Travelers. "You have real human beings, not just actors, and you don't know how they're going to react. That's part of the excitement, but it's also what can make an underwriter a little nervous."

How do you insure that the real world won't intrude on "The Real World"? That "The Biggest Loser" won't lose too big? Here's a look at the behind-the-scenes damage control it takes to make reality TV a reality.




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