I heard it explained somewhere that much of this proliferation of insurance, including life insurance and others, was created by the banks because all these dead people couldn't pay off their debts, and of course banks are the most common debtors, or else they eventually suffer a loss to some degree when someone somewhere can't pay a debt. It never had to do with providing a service to citizens who couldn't afford to suffer a big loss. It was about banks not wanting to get stuck with bad debts, always making a profit off every human life. That's why these mandatory insurance policies like auto insurance and now health insurance are so frightening; they ensure that people will pay out the ass to the banks no matter who they are or what might happen.
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