How far would you go to protect your family?

Well, in the case of a zombie apocalypse, the answer can get a bit complicated.

Let’s use AMC’s The Walking Dead (now in its 10th season) to flesh this out a bit. TWD, as fans know it, arguably now holds a spot in the pantheon of great American TV shows of the 21st century. The wildly popular series about a zombie apocalypse revolves around an ensemble cast of characters trying to survive and eventually rebuild society.

Whether it’s Rick’s wits, Michonne’s samurai sword or Maggie’s sheer will, these all serve as tools to protect their families—blood and adopted. But what happens if one of them succumbs to a zombie or a fatal illness or accident? Who will make sure their loved ones left behind are taken care of?

Let’s pretend for a second that life insurance magically exists in this world. What does that mean for each of these primary characters? Spoilers ahead so read at your own peril.


As a former Deputy Sheriff and an all-around tough and resilient leader, Rick plays the role of protector of all. But as we saw in Season 9, Rick disappears and is presumed dead. What does that mean for Michonne, who is Rick’s significant other, and his 9-year-old daughter Judith?

For the time being that doesn’t mean much--it would take seven years after filing a missing person’s report until the official declaration of death is received from the courts and they can legally collect on the policy; however, after that his  whole life insurance policy would provide for his family. By then it could help pay for Judith to go to zombie fighting college—assuming the apocalypse is still happening. 


Notice that at this point in Season 9, Rick is presumed dead. But Michonne still holds out hope that Rick is alive. In case he’s not, it turns out that Michonne has a term life policy  which makes sense given the short life expectancy in a post-apocalyptic world. Should the landscape improve and society gets back on its feet, Michonne may be eligible to convert her term policy into a whole life one.


As a consummate leader, Maggie is always looking out for others. She watches over the residents of Hilltop and cares for her son Hershel. Luckily, Maggie’s partner Glenn had a term life insurance policy that helps out with the many costs of raising a child. But who will watch over Hershel if Maggie is not there? This is a very real possibility given that Maggie also disappeared in Season 9.

If Maggie converts the policy into her own name and ensures she updates the beneficiaries (Hershel wasn’t even born when Glenn purchased the original policy), this will help ensure she is covered and can rest easy. (Granted, it’s TWD, so she’ll never really rest—but she’ll have peace of mind.)

While each of these characters live in a fictitious world, they have very real needs that revolve around family. Many of us in the real world have that in common with them. We can’t predict the future in a post-zombie apocalypse—but we can at least try to prepare for it. 

If you’re curious to learn more about how life insurance works, check out our Life Insurance 101 primer    

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Media contact
Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-6955

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