Friday, December 19, 2008


From Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of Money (2008) at 199 (footnote omitted):
[T]here remains a puzzle. . . [T]he British remain the world's most insured people, paying more than 12 percent of GDP on premiums, roughly a third more than Americans spend on insurance and nearly twice what Germans spend. A moment's reflection, however, prompts the question, why should that be? Unlike the United States, Britain rarely suffers extreme weather events; the nearest thing to a hurricane in my lifetime was the storm of October 1987. No British city stands on a fault-line, as San Francisco does. And, compared with Germany, Britain's history . . . has been one of almost miraculous political stability? Why, then, do the British take out so much insurance?

The answer lies in the rise and fall of an alternative form of protection against risk: the welfare state.
Note that I do not recommend this book, for reasons I hope to elaborate in a later post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Insurance is a fear-based industry.