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You need insurance.

May 19, 2010

It’s happened again.  A fire has destroyed an apartment building and the public is being asked to donate to help the tenants of the building.  Two people actually had insurance.  Good for them!  Everyone else in the building has lost almost everything and now they have no way to replace the items and many have no place to live.

Will this event finally encourage more people to get tenant’s insurance?  It only costs about $100 per year.  One tenant actually said “If I could’ve afforded insurance, I would’ve had it. People who live in an apartment like this, they live here because they can’t afford insurance. If they could afford insurance, they would be living in their own house. It’s that simple.”  That’s ridiculous.  There’s a vast difference between the cost of insurance and the expense of owning a house.  When listing what people had lost, I kept hearing about televisions and cellphones and computers.  Why no insurance?

I’ll repeat what I said a year ago.  If you own stuff, you need insurance.

Should people who do put high priority on the purchase of insurance be expected to support those who don’t?

Last question:  Has anyone considered suing the person who tossed the cigarette?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    May 19, 2010 7:32 pm

    I’ve heard that a lot of the tenants there were on welfare. I’m surprised welfare doesn’t actually fund tenant insurance, it seems somewhat counter productive not too.

    When I was a poor student I had tenant insurance that went through my parents insurance. The added cost to them was something like 20-30 bucks a year.

  2. May 20, 2010 9:32 am

    It’s far too often that we hear phrases like “we can’t afford insurance” from people who very obviously can. If we foster and encourage irresponsibility by demanding that the community support people like this, we then foster future irresponsibility. Why on earth should ANYONE have insurance if the community will be expected to reimburse them for losses in the event of catastrophic loss.

    I think people do need a step up when they’ve fallen flat on their face but in cases like this, it should be nothing more than a place to sleep for a couple of months and maybe some very basic food provisions. Rebuilding a life is the responsibility of the person that has that life, not every one else around them. The more we encourage responsibility, the more we foster non-productivity and general sloth.

  3. Rob Huck permalink
    May 20, 2010 3:49 pm

    You could buy insurance for the price of a pack of cigarettes once a month.

    Obviously at least one person in that building could relate to that amount.


  4. Scott Down permalink
    May 31, 2010 11:03 am

    Ya. It’s really nice to piss on people whose homes just burnt down.

    Way to go, team.

  5. Michele permalink*
    May 31, 2010 2:27 pm

    Actually, I’m hoping that other people whose homes have NOT burned down YET will realize that they need to get insurance because no one else is going to replace all of their stuff.

  6. Scott Down permalink
    May 31, 2010 3:38 pm

    … That is a good sentiment, Michele. I was more upset about what Rob had to say. I should have been more clear. My apologies.

  7. Michele permalink*
    May 31, 2010 4:25 pm

    Why would that upset you? Insurance does cost the same as one pack of cigarettes and it was someone who was careless with a cigarette who caused all of the damage.

    Rob speaks the truth.

  8. Scott Down permalink
    May 31, 2010 4:40 pm

    Well… On second reading, it’s probably because I misread and now feel very foolish.


  9. Scott Down permalink
    June 1, 2010 11:03 am

    OK. I’ll try this again…

    Why don’t we call ‘insurance’ ‘living in a city’. No one wants their neighbour to be homeless… Wouldn’t it be good if none of us required insurance because we could depend on our neighbours to step up when unfortunate things like this happen? Why should insurance companies get rich on our misfortune?

  10. Michele permalink*
    June 1, 2010 4:02 pm

    Why should I be responsible for replacing what my neighbors are too careless to take care of themselves?

    I pay for insurance based on my risk level and how much coverage I need/want.

    We don’t smoke therefore we pay less for insurance.
    We have a security system therefore we pay less for insurance.

    Insurance companies don’t make money on misfortune. They make money for accepting risk. If claims are low (ie., less misfortune), they make more money. If claims are high (ie., more misfortune), they make less money.

  11. Michele permalink*
    June 1, 2010 5:52 pm

    Another thought.

    Purchasing insurance is a way of sharing the risk. In your scenario where people help their neighbors, you’re assuming that everyone would help. Many people would expect help if they needed it but would not contribute to help others. Insurance divides the risk among those willing to purchase a policy. Purchasing insurance is a gamble where you might spend money with no direct benefit if you don’t ever make a claim against the policy.

  12. Scott Down permalink
    June 2, 2010 10:28 am

    That last thought is a very good one. I guess I’m being overly idealistic… It would be nice if we lived in places where insurance was unnecessary and we could all count on our neighbours to help out (and on ourselves to help out our neighbours) – you’re (unfortunately) probably right that we don’t live there. Good thing I have tenant insurance.


  1. Did you mean to donate to that cause? « Because No One Asked

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