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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 7

Insurers

The insurance industry has been extremely important in reducing the impact of both major and minor tragedies on our lives. Most people simply do not appreciate what insurers offer, for the total value of the services they provide can be hard to grasp. In this respect the news media seem to see tragedy in the wrong places. Take for example the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and spilled oil into the gulf for three months. The news media described this as a greater tragedy than it was, disregarding that much of the loss was insured. In fact the truest tragedy here was the initial loss of life, including the eleven crewmen who died in the explosion. No insurance policy can bring ...

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