Friday, December 17, 2010

Why do people buy insurance?

Do you sometimes think "Why do I keep paying insurance premiums for my car, boat, house, personal liability, camera etc?  I hardly ever make a claim".  In all the years I have been paying premiums, I have only once made a claim on my car insurance, and that was when one of the local semi-evolved simians stole it and drove it into a ditch.  Would you consider not insuring your house?  Would you be able to continue with business as usual if your offices burned down?  The chances of making a claim and getting some of the premiums back are quite small.

The probable reason we continue to pay is that it gives us peace of mind, knowing that if we do smash the car into a BMW or Rolls Royce, we won't be bankrupted by the repair bills for the other car.  We can drive, secure in the knowledge that we have that one covered.

Pasteurisation of milk is insurance and free.  A mild heat treatment kills all the pathogens that might have got into the milk during milking and transport, leaving the nutritional value essentially unchanged.  Why would you even consider drinking raw milk or eating raw cheese, knowing that there is a small chance that it could result in illness that would change your life or that of your family for ever?    There has been plenty written about the dangers of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other STECs, so I'm not going to go over it again here.  (See other posts on E. coli by clicking the E. coli label at the RHS of this blog).

Please, this Christmas season, if you really want to eat and drink raw milk products, you can make an informed choice.  But don't give these products to children - they don't have that choice and a dose of E. coli O157:H7 can lead to HUS, which will probably ruin the rest of their lives.

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