Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
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Granted, most of us believe that liability insurance is responsible and full-coverage is good risk diversification.
Granted, Joe's enjoying throwing gasoline on the fire. Most of us, I hope, see some good points in there*.
But really, isn't the factual record of the thread that a sailor salvaged his boat without adding to the collective insurance risk history, by working hard and being patient? Yes, there is some talk to the effect that the damaged party was at risk of not being paid, but we have no (or little) factual support for the assertion that the parties were not or are not going to reach a fair settlement (perhaps I missed something). I think it was a very happy ending, as happy as can be expected.
* I have worked mountain rescue and I can assure you that a very disproportionate share of the injured wear helmets, while most climbers do not. This seems counter intuitive, since those wearing helmets must be more safety conscious.
That conclusion contains a fallacy in logic; wearing a helmet mean the climber bought a helmet, thinking it would protect him, not that he understood what it takes to be safe. Helmets are good for small falling rocks but do very little in the case of a fall; it's not their designed purpose.
I think too many people are like that with insurance; they will stand by and watch bad stuff happen or fail to take precautions they should, knowing they have insurance. We all pay for it.
Though I do not agree with Joe on all points, I think we have failed to make the case that Joe is more expensive to society than a sailor who has insurance and uses it as a crutch. On the average, I'm pretty sure I'm right. Insurance makes for an expensive society; I also think it is offset by the stability and predictability insurance brings, by freeing up capital.
I'll keep buying insurance for my own reasons. Yes, my net worth FAR exceeds my insurance coverage and I could pay a very large ticket. I just don't want to worry over it. However, in 30 years of boating I have NEVER had a claim, so I could buy a nice little cruiser with what I've spent!
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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