Thursday, June 13, 2013

Being Insured

Why do the Swiss have more insurance than any country on earth?

Not only do the Swiss hedge their lives with a vast network of bomb shelters, they also hedge their paper, with more dollars of insurance per capita than anyone else on earth.  Bicycles are regularly (and well) insured, as are printers and dogs.
The national obsession with insurance points up two different though not necessarily opposing aspects of Swissness: pessimism and perfectionism.

Today’s Swiss have by virtually any measure achieved one of the highest standards of living of any people in human history.  They remain convinced, though, that it will all fall apart soon enough.  Depending on your feelings about the relative fullness of glasses, you may consider this attitude commendably pragmatic or intolerably cynical; regardless, it is entirely Swiss.

Their native perfectionism means, though, that even in their pessimism the Swiss do things right.  Confronted with the possibility of losing everything, the Swiss neither bury their heads in the sand, nor crack open a crate of whiskey and unplug the phone. 

Instead, they call their broker.

No comments:

Post a Comment