Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Insurance--pro or con

Insurance is such an interesting thing.  Typically we spend a lot of money on insurance every month.  We have life insurance, house insurance, car insurance, and health insurance (probably some more I'm forgetting).  It's too bad that insurance isn't assurance that everything will be okay.  If we could just pay the money and be assured that everything would be okay, that our house wouldn't be damaged or broken into, that our car would not be in an accident, that our life wouldn't end and that our health wouldn't fail.  If that were the case than insurance would indeed be worth something.  As it is insurance only helps when something happens that is at minimum unwanted and at maximum devastating.

It seems like we have to have insurance for the things that are tremendously expensive and that most of us neither can do without nor afford to pay for.  Who can afford to buy a new car outright or even fix an old one that is in a major accident with thousands of dollars in repairs?  Well I know some folks could but most of us can't.  Especially if we were at fault and had to pay for multiple cars.  And everything else that we insure just costs more than that to replace or repair.

I wonder if other things became so expensive if we would have to buy insurance for them.  Things that seem necessary.  Could you ever see having water insurance so that if the city water became contaminated or the city went bankrupt and couldn't afford to clean the water any more then you could make a claim and have clean water shipped in for all your water needs?  What about food insurance to insure that you would have food to eat.  What about work insurance?  If I lost my job then the insurance company would find me another one or pay me until they could.  Actually we do have that; I guess the premium is our taxes. 

Some things we insure not so they can be replaced or fixed but so we can receive money or the value of the thing if it is broken or stolen.  Some people insure jewelry, athletic ability, or reputations so that even though they can't be replaced at least you can receive its value in money and have something else if you can't have that.

Without insurance our little fortunes and lives are even more prone to huge variations in the circumstances of our lives than they currently are.  So if we were in a car wreck and the car is broken and we can't get another one maybe we can't get to work and lose our job so consequently are unable to pay the mortgage and so forth.  Possibly lack of insurance could lead to being homeless.  So we have laws about some insurances that you must have it if you own those things like cars or homes.  That protects not only the owner but others who could be harmed by our lack of foresight.

What other things would a person want insurance for?  We have it available for if we are sued or even insurance for if we need a lawyer (once again expensive items that could destroy us financially if we don't have them).  What about insurance for if we have a losing season as an athlete?  What about insurance so if we get mugged we get a lump sum--no pun intended?  We already have cancer insurance and other ailment insurance that pays us a sum or a daily amount if we get the ailment.  What about insurance if we want to have children but can't, then we would get a lump sum or better yet that we would get someones unwanted child? 

There are still plenty of things that are valuable enough and irreplaceable that could be insured.  Is there insurance for if the Internet goes down and I lose my blog or my emails?  Is there insurance for wanting to be loved but not finding it?  Could you see that commercial, "insuring love one relationship at a time".  If we couldn't find someone to love who loved us back then we could at least get a lump sum of money to go on a cruise or something.

Isn't there some point when insurance is useless or worthless?  I wonder when that point is?  Maybe like my car that is getting older and I keep repairing it because I don't want to have a monthly car payment.  But at some point my car isn't worth being repaired and I have to bite the bullet and purchase another car.  Some people nowadays are finding that they have a point where it isn't worth it to keep their ailing bodies going with medication when the cost and/or co-pays of the medicine and the doctors that prescribe it are too much that they can't afford the other necessities of life.  Or some might think since they aren't able to enjoy life in a way they were accustomed to it isn't worth it at all. 

Some things can't be insured you say?  That even a lump sum of money or enough to keep you going can't or won't make up for the fateful loss? That may be true more often than not.  Insurance doesn't really protect or secure most things even if it will replace or repair them.  Security tries to do that, but can't insure that it will be successful. 

What did people do without insurance?  Are we that much better off with it?  I can't decide. 

Maybe insurance isn't so much for us as it is for those we love.  So if the fateful accident happens to those we love that some semblance of their life can be saved or that the needed item can be replaced.  I'm thinking mostly of health insurance for our children while we are raising them and being responsible for them.  Or maybe our house that has so many memories in it. 

Does an understanding of eternity affect our reliance/need/belief in insurance?  Should it?  Should we be willing to accept a terrifying eventuality like Job without any remuneration?  Oh, but Job did have insurance didn't he.  Not one he purchased but one he lived which led to his promises from God, who is more powerful and trustworthy than the most profitable insurance companies. 

Insurance seems to be something to stabilize the most drastic ups and downs of life.  Things we hope will never happen to us or those we love but that do sometimes despite our best efforts. 

Maybe our most valuable possession are ones that neither have value or meaning beyond ourselves.  Memories and knowledge.  Memories and knowledge are just part of life and come even without effort.  Of course if we add effort we may be able to improve the qualities of our memories (although the mechanism of recall may break) and with effort, knowledge will increase drastically.  Can knowledge and memories be insured for an Alzheimer's patient?  Would we if we could?  Interesting to contemplate.  Job even had insurance of a sort for the loss of his family another precious 'thing'. 

Maybe my memories and what I've learned are more valuable than my car, home, health, relationships even, I don't know about that last one?  But wait, maybe those are already insured.  Maybe the greatest insurance has been planned and paid for for all of us for a long time.  Our payments to it may be first our acceptance and then our embracing trust of the creator and agent of the insurance.  Our most valuable things we call our own: our families, our memories, all we have learned and know--maybe that is already insured well into the future for all who trust enough to accept the agent and follow his instructions. Just a thought. 

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