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> Personally, I'd rather car insurance were tailored as individually as possible.

Aren't you then saying that ultimately you would prefer if insurance didn't exist?

I mean, that would asymptotically approach a prediction of your personal future losses, and thus your premiums would asymptotically approach your future losses, and thus what's the point of giving your money to an insurance company only to get it back later?

But why wait for insurance to not exist, really? For most things, you can actually get exactly and ideally, without any approximation, what you wish for: Just don't buy insurance, and you will only pay for exactly your individual risk--there is no way to tailor your insurance more individually than that, is there?




I don’t think you can predict risk well enough for that to come true. No matter the predictive power, real life still carries probabilistic nature. We can assign 0.0001 probability to somebody’s house burning down, but in real life it either will, or will not.

They can then choose to skip insurance, and carry a very small risk of loosing a lot of money. Or buy insurance, and carry a very high probability of wasting much smaller amount of money.


> I don’t think you can predict risk well enough for that to come true.

Which doesn't change that that is the ideal goal that GP is suggesting, right?

> No matter the predictive power, real life still carries probabilistic nature. We can assign 0.0001 probability to somebody’s house burning down, but in real life it either will, or will not.

The question was not whether the goal is reachable. The question was whether the goal is actually a good idea. And in order to evaluate that, you have to consider the consequences of the hypothetical case that it is reachable.

> They can then choose to skip insurance, and carry a very small risk of loosing a lot of money. Or buy insurance, and carry a very high probability of wasting much smaller amount of money.

What do probabilities matter to the outcome here? If a hypothetical insurance company managed to achieve the ideal goal with regards to fire insurance, in that they made the insurance as individual as (logically) possible, that would by definition mean that they would charge a premium only from exactly those people whose houses would in fact burn down lateron, and then pay them back when it does indeed burn down. Not insuring yourself gets you exactly the same end result that you would get in that hypothetical world: If your house does not burn down, you don't pay anything and you don't get anything back, and if your house does burn down, you pay/save massive insurance premiums that you later get paid back/have in your savings account. Or rather, you don't, in the latter case, because you can't afford it. So, if you think that that is a goal to strive for, why not realize it for yourself now?


> The question was not whether the goal is reachable. The question was whether the goal is actually a good idea. And in order to evaluate that, you have to consider the consequences of the hypothetical case that it is reachable.

So: yes, it would be ideal if we could predict all traffic collisions and all home fires. And indeed if that were true, insurance wouldn't exist. But that's not a very enlightening scenario.

> If a hypothetical insurance company managed to achieve the ideal goal with regards to fire insurance, in that they made the insurance as individual as (logically) possible, that would by definition mean that they would charge a premium only from exactly those people whose houses would in fact burn down lateron, and then pay them back when it does indeed burn down. Not insuring yourself gets you exactly the same end result that you would get in that hypothetical world: If your house does not burn down, you don't pay anything and you don't get anything back, and if your house does burn down, you pay/save massive insurance premiums that you later get paid back/have in your savings account.

Indeed, but that's because the insurance company can accurately predict what will cause house fires. And people could use that prediction: if taking up welding means my insurance premium goes from 0 to 300k because I'm definitely going to burn my house down if I take up welding, I can use that information to make an informed decision about whether to take up welding.

> So, if you think that that is a goal to strive for, why not realize it for yourself now?

How? Where can I get a quote, now, on whether a given hobby/lifestyle change is going to lead to me burning down my house?


Only if "as individually as possible" means perfect prediction. If you assume that there's a limit to how well the future can be predicted, insurance still has value.

Also, car insurance specifically is usually legally mandated. There's a tangible benefit to having it (being allowed to drive) besides the risk mitigation.


> Only if "as individually as possible" means perfect prediction. If you assume that there's a limit to how well the future can be predicted, insurance still has value.

The question was not whether insurance has value if that ideal goal is not going to be reached. The question was whether the goal makes sense in the first place.

> Also, car insurance specifically is usually legally mandated. There's a tangible benefit to having it (being allowed to drive) besides the risk mitigation.

Which admittedly does not allow GP to realize this now with regards to car insurance, true.


> I mean, that would asymptotically approach a prediction of your personal future losses, and thus your premiums would asymptotically approach your future losses, and thus what's the point of giving your money to an insurance company only to get it back later?

If we could estimate that well, risk would no longer be a real thing, and then there would be no need for insurance at all. However, you can't just take ideas to the absolute theoretical limit and expect the results to come out making sense in the real world.


> If we could estimate that well, risk would no longer be a real thing, and then there would be no need for insurance at all.

Or maybe there would?

> However, you can't just take ideas to the absolute theoretical limit and expect the results to come out making sense in the real world.

Erm ... yes, you can, and you should? If you don't actually mean "as individually as possible", then you presumably mean "more individual than now, up to the point where I wouldn't agree anymore", which is essentially a vacuous statement.

Either you actually mean your idea, or you don't. If you don't mean it, then it's up to you to clarify, not up to me to make assumptions about what you might have meant.


Take "as individually as possible," to mean, "as individually as practically possible," rather than, "as individually as theoretically possible," and you'll have a better understanding of what I was trying to communicate.


Well, where I live that is not allowed by law. You must have an insurance and if you don't you will get an expensive one automatically to protect others. The second problem is that if somebody causes an accident for me, that person needs to be able to pay. Without an insurance what's ensuring me that there's money on the other end? The only viable alternative to monthly payments is to have a big sum up front or the safety to take a loan if something should happen.




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