When telling jokes one ought not lead with the punchline. Though I am not telling a joke, I will lead with the conclusion: It is impossible to escape the trials and tribulations of life and the more that we try to do so, the less we understand life itself…or the Giver of Life.
On my recent radio show, True Money, I discussed the misuses and misunderstandings related to insurance products. I would like to delve deeper into that idea.
Insurance, properly understood, is nothing more than an agreement between individuals to establish a pool of money via voluntary contributions with a plan for use of that money for specified catastrophes. Thus, for insurance to function properly, it must serve only to resolve those RARE phenomenon called catastrophes. Any attempt to make insurance cover non-emergent, more regularly occurring incidents, can only lead to the destruction of the insurance concept itself and, oddly enough, to the morality of those participating in the faulty “insurance” plan. [For the balance of this essay I will use quotations around the word insurance whenever I am denoting the faulty, abusive version of insurance.]
It is easy enough to see how the abuse of insurance is self-destructive to the very thing it seeks to insure. For example, health “insurance” now seeks to cover everything from snotty noses to myocardial infarctions. But are both of these catastrophes? Which should an insurance policy cover? But what, in fact, are modern, “insurance” policies attempting to cover?
It might make sense to seek protection from expenses associated with the rare occurrence of a heart attack, but not so the common cold. “Insurance” cannot cover the common cold exactly because it is COMMON. Yet, this is what the modern purveyors of health “insurance” promise: “Slap down a $10 co-pay and we’ve got the rest,” goes the sales pitch.
And what has this abuse of insurance brought on? Higher premiums, higher medical costs, less coverage, “insurance” fraud, governmental intervention/regulation and, now, the so-called “right” to socialistic health “insurance.” Think about it this way. If your regularly occurring, actual healthcare expenses are $1,000 a year, then how could it possibly benefit you to give that $1,000 to an organization that has employees and overhead to pay? Do you think that you will get your $1,000 back in “insurance” payments? Obviously, the answer is “no” but this is what is promised in the land of “insurance” abuse.
What is even more damning of this whole development is how this reliance on faulty “insurance” has imperiled our morality and virtue. This is a bit more difficult to see and explain, but let’s start with our Lord’s words: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34.
So where is our heart, that life-giving organ that we associate with love, courage and determination? What is it we love? And for what do we courageously fight and determinedly pursue? If we are being honest with ourselves the answer seems to be security and ease rather than the “pearl of great price.”
We try to collectivize everything to prevent any harm coming our way. If I get disabled, the group will pay for that. If I am sick, health insurance or the government will pay for that. If I am out of work, unemployment insurance will pay for that. If my bank goes out of business, the government will reimburse me.
If this all sounds like a giant inoculation from life, then you are beginning to see the picture. Do you put your trust in God or men…or several men calling themselves “insurance” companies?
I am not here arguing for the complete rejection of insurance as properly understood, but rather against that pernicious tendency to trust in the designs of men over the dominion of God. When God told the first of all men, “cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life,” did we not receive the same punishment of the fall? And doesn’t the modern movement to “insure” everything smack of an attempt to escape this Divine reprimand.
So if we escape the Divine, to whom are we running? “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
In the field of finance, it is all too easy to begin to have faith in money, material and the market. As Christian people, we must lead by example and demonstrate our trust in God. We must “seek first the kingdom of God and his justice” and accept with all our heart the “labour and toil” before us.