Insurance is often considered a necessary evil by many people, but why? The issue is somewhat complex and sometimes difficult to understand for certain due to the myriad opinions that are involved. For many, insurance is shrouded in a negative stigma because of certain philosophical perspectives. For others, the insurance industry makes questionable business decisions that add fuel to ever-present controversy.
One thing to understand is that insurance is a for-profit industry. Companies are formed, thrive, and fail based on their ability to do business effectively within a particular market. As such, insurers often make decisions based on the trends that they see in their markets, and these decisions are largely based on their ability to generate profit. This is problematic for some people, as the concept of insurance coverage is somewhat sacrificial in nature.
Many people view insurance coverage as a sort of safety net that protects them from disaster. On the surface, insurers act as guardian angel, swooping in to save the day when someone falls ill or is caught in a series of unfortunate events. This is an altruistic, idealized view of insurance coverage that is quite common. This concept of insurance coverage conflicts with the fact that insurance companies are working to make profit and not serve as people’s self-sacrificing protectors. As such, many people believe that they should not have to pay for insurance coverage, suggesting that the for-profit nature of the insurance industry is little more than a scam.
The fact that someone could go most of their life with insurance coverage but never use it adds fuel to the stigma surrounding the insurance industry. Every month, a policyholder pays a premium for their coverage, but that does not mean that they are actually using their coverage. Many consider this to be a non-issue, but others suggest that they should only pay for coverage when they are actually using it. Again, the for-profit nature of the insurance industry creates a problem for some policyholders.
Much of the negative stigma that surrounds the industry is philosophical in nature. Understanding the business aspects of the industry could dislodge some of this stigma. For many, however, business is uninteresting. They want to see insurers as more than just faceless organizations that take their money. This is one of the reasons why insurers are making an effort to connect with their customers in a more personal way. Engaging consumers through social media, using independent agents to act as their face, and becoming more open about their business dealings may help the industry become less dubious in the eyes of customers.
Despite whatever efforts the insurance industry may make to dispel the negative stigma surrounding itself, people are likely to maintain their negative view of the industry as a whole. This is because insurance is not only a philosophical issue, but also a political one. Insurance is often touted as a political platform and, in the world of politics, controversy is celebrated.