Things to do with £16 – or why insurance is fear based waste

I could have bought 2 cinema tickets,  or one luxury central London one

and I’d have got into many gigs and theatres for that

 

I could have eaten out or had a bottle of reasonable wine

 

I could have travelled 70-150 miles by train, return

 

I could have had entry to a major historic attraction

 

bought a top or sandals (esp. in the sale)

 

and got a lovely picturebook souvenir.

 

I also could have paid my summer gas bill.

 

Alas, this particular £16 did not do any of these useful, pleasurable things. All of these, even the bill, paid for something I tangibly had. I did have hot water for my summer of showers. I did see that film. I did ride that train, I am wearing the garment, and my body is digesting the pleasant items I put in it. My bookshelf is enhanced with the ongoing enjoyment of the book; my scrapbook bears testimony to the evening out, which I can recall much later.

 

But no – this £16 bought me nothing that I had any use or value of. Apart from the do it yourself print out, I’d wonder I’d spent it on anything at all, or if I just gave the money into the ether. For as my trip was pleasant, and without hiccup, I got nothing whatever back for the insurance I’d paid. I wasn’t going to bother, then something in the news made me think that I might end up paying far more if I didn’t. But then, wouldn’t there be excuses of why the company should not pay, how it was somehow my fault (isn’t blame key to this industry) and the paperwork would be worth £16 in my own time and frustration.

 

But it’s fear of the unknown, the what if, the makes us all believe the lie that insurance is essential. In some cases, it’s required by law – wouldn’t we all like our line of work to be used by everyone by government decree! But it is not actually a necessity. I can’t claim a refund because I didn’t need the insurance. I can’t complain legitimately. Yet I can speak out and say, insurance is based on commoditization and fear and is an immoral notion. I’m not proud to have lived in a city where a famous insurer began his business. I would never look at a suitcase and think, how can I underwrite that… let alone another life. I’d have rather kept my £16 and had something tangible and pleasurable or at least useful, and not lined the pocket of another fat cat.

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Filed under society, travel writing

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