Business: Insurance
Massive Apocalypse Insurance   (+7, -1)  [vote for, against]

If you're afraid of a massive globally-imacting apocalypse, you want to make sure that you'll be OK afterwards if you're in the 0.5%* of the human race who'll survive.

Such a cataclysmic event might be:

- Really serious pandemic
- Alien invasion
- Big lump of rock hits the Earth
- Yellowstone Park supervolcano explodes
- Atlantic or Pacific super-Tsunami
- Rapture
- etc.

Your chances of dying in a big catastrophe are quite high**, so you should probably get insurance which 'pays out' if you survive. The problems with this are:

- It's hard to know what shape the world will be in, and hence what you'll need.
- Money will be useless, if civil socety breaks down
- It's hard to be sure that the insurance company will honour it's commitment. It doesn't really have an incentive to, because if civil society has broken down, you won't be able to sue it.

So, the best I can come up with is that the insurance company has to prove it has certain assets you might need after a massive catastrophe - e.g. a castle, a stockpile of weapons, medicines, and tinned food, a self-sufficient farm in Canada, a big boat, etc. - and provides the insured parties with keys to access several of these depending on their preferences. Then, after the apocalypse there's a first-come, first-served race to the caches of goodies you've got the keys for, after which you change the locks. Not perfect, I know, but I'm not sure of a better insurance-based solution.

* figures given for illustrative purposes only

** if say, 50% of the human race is wiped out by a huge meteor impact every 100,000 years and the human lifespan is 100 years (to make the calculation easier), then your risk of dying in a massive meteor impact on Earth is 1 in 2000. See, surprisingly high - and that's just the meteor impact risk.
-- hippo, May 09 2009

Rapture Insurance Rapture_20Insurance
At least raptures should leave some infrastructure behind. [Aristotle, May 10 2009]

Wouldn't self-insuring be the much more reliable method here (i.e. survivalist training, weapons and unperishable food store, etc)?

We need distributed power generation, too -- I'd love to run a wind turbine on the hill behind the house -- but no way woud the town let me do that today.
-- theircompetitor, May 09 2009

If you caught a nasty disease that made you dance around to a particular type of rhythmn popular in places like Trinidad, would this be called "A Pox Calypso"?
-- xenzag, May 10 2009

You're not getting confused with one of those dance tunes by by Franz Liszt are you? ("A Polka, Liszt").
-- hippo, May 10 2009

The thought globally-imacting apocalypse never scared me. I'd just get a good agent or something.

I thought you might be interested in the apocalypse insurance plans available in the U.S. They can involve purchasing a home, stockpiling it with canned goods, getting lots of firearms, starting a religious cult, forming a compound, etc. So far, none of these policies have paid off... so far.

A few other policies involving the development of windmills, solar power, and home gardens provide annual dividends that seem to far exceed their benefit as a one time use policy.
-- ye_river_xiv, May 10 2009

Insurance companies generally rely on the fact that a small number of large misfortunes can be compensated by a large number of small(ish) premiums. When an "act of God" occurs, everyone has a large misfortune which cannot be compensated by small payments that have been made to the company.

Effectively I would have to buy stockpiles of food, accomodation, guns etc. Which I may as well do at home.

PS does anyone do deja vu insurance?
-- Bad Jim, May 10 2009

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