Personal Insurance: Why on earth do we need it?
When you come right down to it “Insurance” is probably the worst bet in life. Think about it. What is insurance?
Life insurance is betting you are going to die which is a sure bet and better odds than you will ever get in a casino. It is also saying to everyone else “guess what? You are going to get something from me when I’m dead that you couldn’t get while I was alive.”
A pretty infamous comedian once joked, “I won’t buy insurance because I don’t want anyone to be happy when I die.”
In other words you spend tens of thousands of dollars while you are living just so someone else can spend it when you die. Hmmm.
Let’s talk about Health Insurance. Now there is a pretty sticky wicket if there ever was one. You may spend several thousands of dollars a year to do two things; first you give doctors the incentive to perform needless tests on you and second you shell out lots of your hard earned money hoping you never get sick enough to not regret what you spent.
Auto insurance? Ouch here is a really tough one. You pay hundreds of dollars each year hoping you are a better driver than anyone else you may run into (yes the pun was intended). In reality, the only thing you can count on is there is someone out there who is a worse driver than you who may get away with taking care of you and your car in an accident simply because they “don’t” have insurance. Wow.
So why on earth would anyone ever buy insurance for themselves? The bottom line is you have family you are responsible for when it comes to life insurance, you have a job and family you are responsible for when it comes to health insurance and when it comes to auto insurance, well, you have a society as well as your family and job which you are responsible for.
No, it does not make sense nor does it seem fair, to spend thousands of your hard earned dollars to watch it go to someone else when you die. The truth of the matter is you do have funeral expenses to come up with or someone else will have to. There are those well trained people who plan in advance but can you honestly say you are one of them? Is your plot and burial already paid for? Probably not.
We can’t know in advance when we are going to die so using insurance as a buffer to pay off the mortgage, put the kids through college or just give your spouse something to live on is really the responsible thing to do when we occupy this planet.
Health Insurance? Oh we may think it is a pretty big scam but when you look at the countries which take care of their own there is a system of insurance somewhere in place. Whether it is public funded or privately funded is an issue for the politicians and where you personally believe the burden should be placed. No matter what, healthcare of some kind is a necessity in today’s global economy.
If you have private insurance you are helping keep the burden off the less fortunate, the government and in turn yourself because who is the government but you and others like you. We fund government. If you have government funded health insurance someone is helping you along and you have some responsibility to them.
Insurance on your vehicle? Just have an accident where your vehicle still runs but is cosmetically damaged and you will find out the importance of such coverage. Ask the repairman at the auto body shop how much it will cost to fix the hood and the fenders and then thank yourself for having insurance coverage. The cost of the damage may not be the price of a new home but it could be several months rent.
Yes as much as we might find ways to avoid having insurance the real bottom line is, it is worth having and not just for an emergency but that is a good place to start.
Chantille Watson is a personal finance expert who enjoys giving readers a heads up about money saving tools and sites like the Choosi insurance comparison website.