Shel Bachrach, Hollywood Insurance Pioneer, Dies
Shel Bachrach, Hollywood Insurance Pioneer, Dies
Shel Bachrach, an insurance giant whose work behind the scenes helped movies like Cliffhanger, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and Ali get made, died on Monday in Palm Springs at the age of 80.

Bachrach provided financial protection and mitigated risks associated with possible problems like drug-related filming delays (Courtney Love in The People vs. Larry Flynt), actors required to fly aircraft (Harrison Ford), and directors who might be sidelined by age issues (David Lean in A Passage to India) or medical issues (John Huston).

Bachrach also facilitated risk management on stunt-filled films, ensuring companies were covered in the instance of injury, and wrote policies for magicians and “Big Cat” performers in Las Vegas, as well as for game shows like The Price is Right, where contestants are able to win great sums of money.

Bachrach was born in Detroit on April 7th, 1944. He wrote his first entertainment insurance policy in 1983 and quickly developed a reputation for “insuring the supposedly uninsurable.” In 1990, he wrote a life and disability policy valued at more than $140 million that got him into the Guinness Book of World Records. Bachrach also provided insurance services on other films such as Medicine Man (1992), Colour of Night (1994), Cutthroat Island (1995), Evita (1996), and The Shadow Conspiracy (1997).

Bachrach was President of the Entertainment and High Net Worth divisions for USI Holdings (acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2007) and president of Beverly Hills-based Albert G. Rubin Insurance Services before he launched Bachrach & Associates in 1990. Bachrach & Associates merged with the Insurance Office of America in 2014.

Bachrach’s survivors include his wife of 42 years, Cathy, his children, and grandchildren. His family will keep a place on the Board of Governors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was also a member of the Amie Karen Cancer Fund for Children for over 20 years and the Assistance League for more than a decade.

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