How Much Does It Cost DWTS to Insure Contestants? You’d Be Surprised
Cedars Sinai hospital should build a special wing dedicated to Dancing With the Stars competitors. Or maybe just move the ballroom into the hospital itself. Since celebs and pros get injured just about every week on every season, the insurance has to be pretty steep. Who is footing the bill when Maria Menounos gets her feet checked and Melissa Gilbert has a concussion?
According to E!, contestants usually carry their own insurance and also sign not-gonna-sue-you waivers to absolve producers against any on-set catastrophes. But shows usually back that up with their own insurance.
"The last thing these production companies want to do is leave a contestant hurt with no recourse, no place to go to treat their injuries," Lorrie McNaught, reality TV insurance expert with Aon/Albert G. Ruben, told E! "The shows don't need bad press getting out there. The networks wouldn't keep picking up these kinds of shows if the contestants weren't happy."
How much does it set the show back? The expert estimates, "Insurance rates over the past couple of years have plummeted...you're still probably talking close to between 1 and 2 percent of a show's budget."
That’s a lot, considering how much DWTS already has to budget to pay the celebs, the hosts, pros, judges, band, wardrobe, lighting, camera, maintenance, etc. It’s an expensive show. So when DWTS ratings start to slip, they must feel extra panic to make up a potential loss of advertising $$ — they have a lot of mouths to feed and insure!
Catch the next new episode of DWTS on Monday, April 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.