Risking Everything

The comedian Marcus Brigstocke turns a shrewd and sceptical eye on the history of the industry we love to hate - insurance



Why do we buy insurance? And could we do without it? Tracing the industry back to its origins in the Middle Ages, Marcus untangles the ethics of life assurance, uncovers early prohibitions on 'betting on lives', and reveals some of the notorious cases that helped to create today's industry.


It's one disaster after another as Marcus looks at the natural and man-made catastrophes that insurance copes with, from the Great Fire of London and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake to new dangers such as asteroids and e-smog. Fighting through hurricane, fire and flood, Marcus visits Lloyd's, investigates Realistic Disaster Scenarios and asks what's the worst that could happen? And are we covered ?

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Marcus looks at the scandalous history of insurance fraud, from the voyage of an eighteenth century slave ship to the rise of voice stress analysis.

He also takes a truth-detector test and finds out why arsonists should never pack their toothbrush.