Originally published in The Canberra Times on July 21, 2012

There aren’t many people who, after 12 months of incident-free driving, focus on the money they wasted insuring their car against an accident that never happened. Similarly, on returning safely from an overseas holiday, there aren’t many travellers who wish they had got better ”value for money” from their travel insurance policy. Insurance is one of the few products people buy in the hope they won’t need it. But humans are a contradictory species. While we willingly spend billions of dollars per year insuring against unlikely events, we like to get a bargain while we are at it. Indeed, our television screens are full of advertisements encouraging us to shop around for cheaper insurance. The irony of course is that all that advertising is one of the reasons insurance is so expensive, but where would the marketing industry be without irony?

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