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gofundme funerals

Gofundme always makes me think. Do you ever just go browse around? It's overwhelming.

It's pretty darn obvious that we need a health insurance system in the US that can cover more people. Obvious catch-22 there. When you're really sick you can't work and we all get health insurance through our work. But I digress...

What I'm thinking about are the other gofundme campaigns that could have been eliminated with other, less expensive insurance. Two main types:

1) House fire - need to replace my things, was not carrying renters insurance.
2) Sudden death - need to pay for a funeral, no life insurance.

For young people, renters insurance and life insurance are both frequently $20 a month or less... less than what you pay for internet. Yes I know there are people who can't afford $20 a month, but there are a lot of people who CAN afford $20 a month, but don't have $15,000 for a funeral, that's the intersection I'm thinking about here.

Accidents happen. Actually they happen a lot, the umbrella "accidents" term tends to rank in the top 5 of leading causes of death. Car accidents, drowning, fire, intoxication, falls, can happen to anyone at any age without warning.

When I was a teenager I remember my parents mentioning that they had life insurance on ME. I was surprised and a little sad that they thought I might die, but they assured me they were pretty darn sure I was not going to die, this is just a thing people do because life insurance for kids is really cheap and it's smart and logical to admit that there's a small chance. Take your emotions out of it, think with your head, and admit that we are all mortal.

Oh but back to the gofundme campaigns. Here are questions in my head. Obviously another system isn't working well because a lot of people are not paying attention to what basic insurance they should have.

If you were in charge of the world, would you just use tax dollars to pay for funerals and house fires? Is it better to be public? How do you draw the line between caring for people, and expecting them to notice these things?

In college I complained about professors who gave us insane tests, and then when everybody failed they accused the WHOLE class of not working hard. Especially in 400 and up level classes where obviously we'd been through some crap to get here, we have proven our competence. If everyone fails the problem is your test, man!

Low cost easy insurance is something that people all over the place are ignoring. Is it a bad system?

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2017 04:58 pm (UTC)
My problem is that I can't get life insurance on myself. We've tried, and I get turned down for being mentally ill. Which, I don't understand. They don't pay out in cases of suicide - how exactly am I more likely to die than anyone else other than a suicide? But even USAA, which has been the most reasonable bank and insurance company we've ever dealt with, wanted $1700 a month to insure me. Uhm, if I could afford that, I wouldn't need insurance I'd just save money to be used for a funeral.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:06 pm (UTC)
USAA is shitty for life insurance, sadly. They won't insure me, because I travel too much, the jerks. I went with someone else who works only with feds, but I am sure there are better options out there.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 09:58 pm (UTC)
Well most companies, including the company my husband's work would insure us with just flat out reject me instead of asking for half my monthly income.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 05:09 pm (UTC)
My council pays burial/cremation costs for children under 18. There aren't that many and it's nice that there isn't an extra thing for people who have to bury a child to worry about. Funerals can be expensive affairs and are unnecessary, but everyone needs to be buried/cremated and it's illegal not to, so it seems like something that could be paid for with taxes.

Edited at 2017-02-23 05:09 pm (UTC)
Feb. 23rd, 2017 05:46 pm (UTC)
I don't think tax dollars should cover unnecssary things like funerals (they don't HAVE to cost $15,000 and there is nothing bad about cremation). As for house fires, I think people who can afford insurance should cover it, but not sure how you determine who can and can't.

I don't know if the problem is the system or just attitudes. Some people are willing to take more risks than others. How do you convince someone who has the money for health insurance but thinks they don't need it to buy it? I guess it's hard for me to see how that is a systems problem unless perhaps related to education.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 06:39 pm (UTC)
Reading over other answers above me, I'm going to add a different take in here. Please do not assume that if you work you get health insurance. The current mandate does not require small employers to cover employees. As such, and working in a very small company, I don't have employer provided insurance. Even with the ACA my premiums are estimated to be over $500 a month because of age and health issues. If I could afford that kind of premium I wouldn't need the insurance.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:03 pm (UTC)

How is that in any way affordable?

Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:09 pm (UTC)
It's not, but that's how they get around those pre-existing conditions, they price it out there. The only way it is ever feasable for someone like me to be insured is through company group insurance
Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:10 pm (UTC)
No funeral needs to cost $15,000. That is a want and not a need. A perfectly reasonable cremation can be had for much less than that (we paid $1800 for my father's, and that included a space for the ceremony), and a simple interment can be done for a third of that. Worst case, there's a pauper's burial clause in the laws of a majority of states. But this is NOT something people should be taking out life insurance for on behalf of their children -- especially not the policies that are marketed for this reason, which are highly overpriced whole life insurance that no one needs, and which are created specifically to prey on the same concerns you seem to be party to.

(I worked for a life/burial insurance company for a year. Generally speaking Funeral directors and whole life and funeral insurance agents are slime.)
Feb. 23rd, 2017 09:28 pm (UTC)
I've gone by the idea that you shouldn't have life insurance on kids, because if they die you're not suffering a direct loss of income. Better to save the premium (even if it is only twenty dollars a month) towards their college which could roll over to another child or be withdrawn for (gd forbid) a funeral or other expense. Or to spend the twenty dollars a month on insurance for yourself that you don't have.

I'm assuming you probably have short term and long term disability, as well as health, dental, vision, and life, but tons of people don't (I don't!) and several of those would rank above child life insurance for me.
Feb. 24th, 2017 12:45 am (UTC)
I feel like renter's insurance isn't a thing people really know about or think about. I always had it as a renter because my mom told me to get it. Should taxes cover that? No, I don't think so. Consider it part of the cost of renting, just like you would have homeowners insurance if you bought a house.

For burial services? A very basic option should be available for those who can't afford anything, for sanitary reasons above all else. I would think something like that exists already though.

It would be nice if schools included some sort of classes on real life stuff. I learned basic sewing and cooking in middle school. Why don't we have training on things like budgeting and whatnot?
Feb. 24th, 2017 02:02 am (UTC)
When I was in high school about 15 years ago, a consumer economics class (basically personal finance) was a required course. I do have thoughts on how it could be improved for this day and age. Less emphasis on how to read and write a check and more on renting your first apartment. I don't even know if they still offer it at my old high school, though.
Feb. 24th, 2017 02:55 am (UTC)

That's smart! My high school had nothing like that.

Feb. 24th, 2017 02:16 am (UTC)
My husband type one diabetic, me - panic attacks. We have life insurance through our employers, but if/when we retire that ends, and we've tried to get supplemental life insurance and we can't get it. I want to donate my remains to my employer so they will handle what to do with what's left but my husband still wants a funeral for both of us, it sucks.
Feb. 24th, 2017 12:04 pm (UTC)
I think it would be a good idea to pay for cremations, with the understanding that you're not going to then go buy a plot to bury the ashes in. All that land could definitely be put to better use. The whole burial industry is a huge con.

As far as using tax dollars to pay for fire insurance, I'd say no. Most mortgage companies insist that you buy insurance, anyway.
Mar. 4th, 2017 03:13 am (UTC)
considering that insurance companies typically want to turn a profit, it doesn't really make me inclined to judge people harshly for not having life insurance, renter's insurance, compared to relying on the social option. They're charging you to bet that you die sooner than you're calculating on. Reaching out in compassion sounds a lot more amenable to my ideal of wizard of oz socialism
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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