The American Statistical Association offered at their annual meeting a T-shirt bearing the motto: “Uncertainty: One Thing You Can Always Count On.”
Nothing is more certain than risk. The insurance business is just one of the ways of dealing with risk. Having government agencies come to the aid of disaster victims is another. Mutual aid societies helped victims of social or natural disasters long before there were government agencies charged with this task. Individuals have spread their own risks in various ways and families have sought to safeguard their members for centuries— longer than any other institution has taken on the task of cushioning people against the inescapable risks of life.
Whatever social mechanisms ...