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It's worth a quick reminder that insurance is a product that is unlike almost any other product in our capitalist system. Most things that we purchase we do so for a simple reason: because we want to use them. Also, whoever sold it to us wants us to use it too, preferably to use it up, so they can sell it to us again.

This is the case with everything from cars to candy bars to movie tickets. We buy them because we want to use them. And even for things we don't necessarily want to use, we buy them in case we need to use them. Like: umbrellas or first aid kits. And again, the people who sell these items hope we do use them so that we can buy replacement umbrellas and first aid kits (or replacement weight loss shakes or replacement pest control spray and so on.)

But insurance is different: Sure, like any other emergencies-only item we don't necessarily want to use it. However, the insurance company doesn't want us to use it either. The insurance company doesn't make money by paying our claims.

(This isn't an indictment of the entire insurance industry. Of course there are lots of people and companies that do the right thing and pay out when they are supposed to. But it does create counterincentives that must be managed.)

And it's why we should think about insurance differently than we do any other part of the economy.

insurance.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/23 13:01 by rslaughter