COMMENTARY: Do we really need insurance?

Cornwall and SD&G is always touted as a community that is giving and helping and it got me to thinking, do we really need to have insurance through an insurance company? What if we could establish a local fund where people paid into it and those that were hit by tragedy would be able to tap into it? A case in point is the fire this week in Glen Walter. Within hours of the tragedy a GoFundMe page was set up and the fundraising has already exceeded its $10,000 goal (as I’m writing this it’s $11,791). And here we are talking about a small fraction of the population chipping in to help out. The challenge would be how to administer and how to make sure people paid into the fund, which probably negates the idea entirely. But these kind of funds work on a smaller scale. Take for instance, the Amish that have a community fund for health insurance where the community covers medical bills for those in their circle. A community fund like this would also bring transparency to a higher level. Do you ever get your insurance renewal notice and it’s gone up but there’s no explanation why? According to Amish Country News, each community member in Pennsylvania gets an itemized list of who accessed the fund and how much the cheque was for and the cheque number. Pretty clear – crystal clear. The fund is also voluntary – you don’t pay in, you don’t have access to it. But at a yearly share of $92, that sounds like very affordable insurance. I guess one can dream about a system where a community supports itself on a grand scale but for now we’ll be left with private websites like GoFundMe to fill in the gaps.