There’s no doubt that the MCU has been a game-changer for a number of actors. However, that is no more true than when it comes to the actor who was there from the start: Robert Downey, Jr.
Before Iron Man, RDJ had already started making a comeback, but he was playing catch-up. His drug addiction had led to him being fired from Ally Mcbeal, and he had to stay in a court-ordered rehab center. Studios were still unsure whether he could prove a reliable presence.
Thirteen years later, RDJ is the most recognizable MCU star. Excluding Michael Douglas, he is also the richest MCU star, with a net worth of $300 million. He made himself indispensable to Marvel, and proved his staying power with one unforgettable performance after another.
But it could have been very different. In 2003, he was almost fired from The Singing Detective because he couldn’t afford liability insurance. Studios feared he would be a liability and insurance companies priced accordingly. Only when Mel Gibson paid for his insurance did things start getting back on track. Incidentally, Mel Gibson’s career has taken a very different trajectory.
As Americans, we spend endless time thinking about insurance. We also spend a lot of money on premiums. And we don’t have nearly as much money to lose. What does it cost to insure someone like RDJ?
Let’s look at the factors.
When choosing the value of your life insurance, the common advice is to times your annual salary by ten. This means that if you are a high earner, with a hundred thousand dollar a year contract, you might consider getting a 1 million dollar life insurance policy.
It may sound like a lot, but the reality is that it is supposed to be a lifeboat for your loved ones in a very difficult time. Keeping them financially stable may cost that much, as they no longer have your salary.
What about RDJ? In truth, with the kind of wealth he has, life insurance is probably the last thing on his mind. But if you were to times his salary by ten, you’d be looking at a payout worth tens of millions of dollars.
A person with as much money as RDJ may not be too worried about car insurance, even if they have a number of luxury cars. It’s unwise from a financial standpoint to be so lax, even with this wealth, but it is understandable.
However, insurance is mandated for drivers in most states. At the very least, every car needs to have third-party liability insurance which will pay out third parties who incur damages caused by the driver of the vehicle.
For full coverage insurance of the most expensive cars, you can expect to pay upwards of $10 thousand a year. If RDJ had as many cars as Tony Stark, car insurance alone would cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The most expensive insurance RDJ likely has is his home insurance. He lives in a so-called super-mansion, worth over $13 million. We can estimate that insurance for a home of this value will cost over $20 thousand. But this is not the only real estate he owns.
RDJ is reported to have homes in Malibu. He also owns a property in Venice that cost a pretty penny even before he spent $5.6 million on transforming it into a headquarters for his entertainment company, Team Downey.
Stars, they’re just like us, right? Well, they may have insurance policies on all the same things we do, but those policies look very different. Marvel’s richest star, Robert Downey Jr, likely spends over a hundred thousand dollars a year on home and car insurance alone. If he did have life insurance, he would be paying big for a policy worth tens of millions of dollars.
The numbers may be mind-boggling, and they do make RDJ seem like he lives on another planet, but it bears repeating that only eighteen years ago, he couldn’t afford liability insurance to act in a comeback film. While Mel Gibson keeps covering himself in ignominy these days, we do have him to thank for paying RDJ’s fees long before the Iron Man star was worth hundreds of millions of dollars.