Non-insurance is Gambling

I argued in one of my earlier posts on this Page that Insurance is Not Gambling  ( That’s right.

It is not insurance that is gambling. Rather, it is non-insurance (i.e. lack of insurance) that it is actually a form of gambling.

How do I mean?

A man who drives on the road without appropriate motor insurance cover is a gambler. He’s not only gambling with his life, but also the life and property of others.

A breadwinner that doesn’t have appropriate life insurance in place is gambling with the financial wellbeing of his dependants. If he passes away prematurely, he exposes his wife and children to financial cold. That’s why it is said that, “Life insurance doesn’t prevent someone from dying, it rather ensures that others (i.e dependants) continue to live.

A businessman without insurance coverage for his factory is gambling with his business. When disaster strikes, he would find himself in serious trouble.

If an airline flies a plane without adequate insurance coverage, it is simply gambling with the lives of the passengers.

When employees are sent to dangerous worksites without adequate insurance protection, their employer becomes a gambler.

When you buy an expensive item without bothering to insure it, you’re only gambling with such a precious property.

This brings to mind some religious arguments that people often propound against insurance, most especially in Africa. Some Christians will tell you that “Jesus watches over everything.” They forget that they need to play their own part as well.

Some Muslims also argue against insurance. While I very much respect their views on certain elements of insurance considered to be against the tenets of Islam, such concerns have actually been duly addressed through Islamic Insurance (i.e. Takaful). Still refusing to insure therefore becomes a form of gambling.

Hadiths tell us that a certain Arab Bedouin once came to the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to find out if it was appropriate for him to tie his camel, or simply leave it untied and pray to Allah for its protection. The Holy Prophet Mohammed in his wisdom advised the Bedouin, “Tie your camel first, then pray to Allah for necessary protection.” It’s like one saying to a new car owner today, “Insure your car first, and then pray to God for its protection.”

Clearly, insurance is not gambling. It is the failure to insure that is actually a big gamble.