NOTE: Daily cartoons are now available only through Patreon. Just $1 a month!
In researching my book, I came across the concept of “Alien Abduction Insurance.” It’s a British scam, with all the quirky charm you expect from scamming Brits.
This got me thinking: what’s an insurance scheme that, by definition, will never pay out? An insurance payout would seem to require three things:
- A surviving institution to make the payment
- A surviving beneficiary to receive it
- A surviving currency in which to pay
But what if none of those can be relied on?
My wife has spoken with folks who hoard $20 bills, e.g., by burying them in the backyard, for the stated purpose of surviving the collapse of civilization. Which is a little silly – once civilization has collapsed, who’s accepting American bank notes anymore?
In the book, I discuss how insuring minor risks is silly, because on average, you’re better off just covering the loss yourself. For many folks, this applies to travel insurance.
But these musings suggest that if a risk is sufficiently major – if it threatens the whole system upon which insurance depends – then it is equally silly to insure. Consider, for example, the ludicrous language I found in one textbook’s introduction:
“Risk management”? Really, insurance textbook?
I’m curious – what are other situations when our plans for the worst-case scenario suffer from a lack of imagination?
But there’s a crucial question for those who are saved: Who’ll take care of their loyal pets?
Centre assures potential clients that his staff will still be on Earth after doomsday by testing employees to confirm that they are Atheists. How does he do that? Well, he just asks them to commit blasphemy.