8.08.2006

A Theology of Insurance

So I now have a job in the insurance industry, and thanks to being a geeky Fuller grad, I am inclined to try and think theologically about the insurance industry.

Just a few thoughts:

If we want to try and help the world better reflect Christ, then in some respects, pooling our money via insurance premiums, and through them, taking care of those in need, seems to be pretty Christ-like. Now that's nice, but the problem is that all of this is definitely not done for simple altruistic reasons. (Is anything?) There is definitely a profit involved, (which is not by definition bad) but often that profit is created at the expense of those most in need of insurance, by not insuring people with certain limiting factors. Additionally, insurance sales (which I'll be responsible for) play on our fears. On the other hand, being wise and prepared is a good thing. One could argue that by not buying insurance, you're not contributing to the common good, and those in need. (If we all agreed to pool our money and you don't, don't feel bad when you're in need and you don't get anything) On the other hand, there a no shortage of better ways to contribute to the common good.

So in the end, yeah, it's definitely a mixed bag.

What do you think? What are some of your experiences with the insurance industry? In what respects has the industry, or a particular company, reflected the norms of Christ, and in what ways have we dropped the ball? What am I missing here?

5 comments:

rudy said...

a thought upon which i have not reflected...

what was life like before insurance companies? what is it like for people today in parts of the world where insurance is not available?

my son was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2004. we live here in the US. we have health insurance. even if we hadn't had health insurance, we could have got treatment another way. that same month, a friend's pastor in Indonesia learned that his son had leukemia. they had no insurance. they needed 500,000 bucks to go to singapore to get treated. they didn't have it. in july 2005 i saw my friend. he asked how my son was. in remission, i said, and doing well. i asked how his pastor's son was. oh, that boy died in two months. they couldn't get treatment.

so i'm biased. i think the glass is half full. thank God for insurance companies. thank god for Big Pharma. but i don't forget that there is still LOTS of sin, abuse, and power to be wielded recklessly. justice needs to be applied every day within that industry.

David Baxley said...

Thank God for what insurance did for your son. But, as my wife put it, it is a gamble/ we are gambling. Putting our money into somthing hopeing that IF something bad happens we are covered. yet the insurance company's raise your pay in cost or drop older people completly if you actually start using your insurance.
Explain how that is Christ like!

David Baxley said...

Thank God for what insurance did for your son. But, as my wife put it, it is a gamble/ we are gambling. Putting our money into somthing hopeing that IF something bad happens we are covered. yet the insurance company's raise your pay in cost or drop older people completly if you actually start using your insurance.
Explain how that is Christ like!

David Best said...

not gambling, donating ; )

David Baxley said...

I love donating to my local casino... how about you!