My mom recently bought a new car which seemed to come with a seemingly endless stream of extended warranty offers and additional insurance opportunities. Insurance is an industry that capitalizes on our fears, offering reassurances in exchange for money and promising certainty rather than risk.
Insurance plays tricks on our brains. We somehow think that because we are aware of the risk and we addressed it up front, that the particular calamity will not strike. We unconsciously see our payout as a bit of a bargain with fate – if I pay now, you won’t make me pay later.
We want reassurances that everything will be okay and that disaster will not follow us home. And while some insurance is certainly a wise choice, it can be easy to allow the cost of fear to drain you.
Risk is a part of life.
And no insurance company can alleviate all loss and some pain and suffering is resistant to even the most generous sums.
As I was talking to my mom about her options, I wondered if anyone had ever tried to sell divorce insurance. It turns out that someone has. The policy costs $15.99 per unit per month and matures after 48 months, whereupon it pays out $1,250 per unit purchased. If only protection against divorce were that easy.
From what I can tell, the company is not currently offering new policies. I guess the underwriting proved too complicated even though the actuarial numbers support a hefty profit. Plus, the money only helps to pay for the divorce and rebuilding expenses; it does not provide a happy marriage.
Maybe I can suggest another type of marriage guarantee – the extended warranty. It should be a more sure investment since the warranty is designed to expire before most marriages break down. Here’s what I envision:
Of course it’s not possible to limit marital risk in such a way. Perhaps instead of insurance, we would be better served by developing our own life assurance policies.