We have insurance – just in case. Life insurance in case we die – that’s $60 per month. Auto insurance in case we have an accident in the cars that’s another $150 per month. I have health insurance through the VA and my wife provides coverage for all of us through her work – that’s another $200 per month (would be more if she didn’t have the job) – and then we have AAA towing insurance (which is the one that has provided the most value to us through the years) which is roughly $12 per month. We have other forms of insurance, but they aren’t labeled as such so I’ll just stick with these for now. These add up to $422 per month which comes out to $5064 per year. Now, let’s assume that I was a $10 per hour worker – my insurance needs wouldn’t change – so that would mean that I would be working 506 hours per year for insurance. Let me break that down – that’s slightly more than 63 days each year that I’m not getting paid but I’m working for 8 hours. That means that I’m working for the insurance companies for two months out of every year in return for the insurance.
Granted – if we need the insurance, it’s money well spent. However, there is something fundamentally wrong with the way this is done. I can see why there are so many people who go to great lengths to get disabled status (yes, there are people who are disabled but there are many who must make a big stretch to be classified as such). And yes, I could reduce our coverage and pay less. We could cancel the life insurance and AAA, we could sell our cars and use bikes and public transportation, and we could drop the health coverage to the bare legal minimums – but I’m not likely to do that – the society we live in offers too many opportunities for financial ruin – it sometimes feels as if the structure of our society has been constructed BY the insurance companies in order to harness us and force us to work (or to show ourselves unfit to be workers).
Homeowners will be quick to notice that I didn’t include homeowners insurance – we don’t own a home. We probably would own a home if we had been able to keep that $5k per year because then we would have the down payment of $20k but of course, then we would have homeowners insurance on top of the other insurance – which, frankly, to me, always makes it feel a bit like you don’t own the home at all – even after you’ve paid the bank back for the loan you had to take to get the home. After 2007, there were a lot of people who quickly discovered they didn’t actually own the home they called their own – the banks did – and still do.
There are other insurances I do not own. I can’t afford more insurance because I need to work the other ten months to pay rent, electric, water, gas, repairs, food, and to buy the things that we need to live. I appreciate the benefits of insurance, but I hate insurance.