prepping & preparedness is like insurance

Prepping & Preparedness Is Like Having Auto, Home, Or Health Insurance

Auto insurance. Most states require it. Most everyone has it. Similar to home insurance. Can you imagine being stuck with hospital bills if you required those services without having health insurance? You would be kind of nuts not to protect such a large investment (including your health) with some sort of insurance. I mean just think about owning a $300,000 house (for example) without insurance, and it burns down to the ground… Oh my, my… that would not be good. Well, prepping is kind of like insurance. But it’s insurance for YOU, and there are additional benefits as compared with auto, home owners, or health insurance.

You pay insurance premiums for your auto, home, and health. You pay it regularly. The money goes out of your pocket to the insurance company. They’ve got it figured out such that all of their clients premiums will outweigh the claims they will have to pay during the period. Thus, some profit. You never get that money back (though you do get the coverage for just in case). If you never get into an accident, or your house never burns down, or you don’t require healthcare services, the insurer wins (though you don’t want to get into an accident or have your house burn down, or have a hospitalization event!).

By contrast, ALL of the money that you spend on prepping and preparedness goes to YOU. You’ll never lose (unless you spend unwisely and foolishly I suppose).

I personally feel just fine about spending money on my own prepping and preparedness. Especially during this time of high inflation when dollars are just sitting there losing value like crazy. I like tangible assets that help support the many areas of self-sustainability for ‘living’, and even thriving. You might say that it’s insurance for just-in-case there are problems with any of the many systems that support life as we know it in this modern age. You just can’t lose on this deal…

Great analogy, I’ve used this as a counter argument quite a few times. Friends/family will ask “why do you prepare for something that may never even happen”.

I carry auto insurance, home insurance, and health insurance. Never once have I woken up in the morning and thought, “today is a good day to get into a car wreck” or “I think I’ll get sick today”. Yet I carry insurance for all of these things.

I’d even go a step further and say being prepared makes even more sense. (Besides the whole keeping you and your family alive thing) if we never encounter a SHTF event, I can still continue to rotate and eat my food stores, and most of the items I have, can, and are, used when camping/hiking/hunting etc. My preps are still useful if nothing ever happens. Insurance premiums not so much.

~ rb308 on Modern Survival Blog

It’s a simple analogy. But it’s pretty much similar to ordinary insurance. You can take prepping and preparedness as far as you want. Maybe just enough for ‘minimum’ insurance. Or maybe you pay more for more coverage, so to speak. It’s up to you.


  1. Head over to Fox News and read this headline.
    “California residents stranded in ‘once-in-a-generation’ snow event need food, medicine.”

    1. …And this is even when the storm was being forecast over a week before it hit! Of course, it doesn’t help that the MSM cries wolf with every incoming weather system in the name of “climate change,” making every winter storm and summer heatwave out to be TEOTWAWKI. Having a well-padded larder is NEVER a bad idea no matter WHERE you live!

      I can tell you though, those folks in the hills got A LOT of snow!!!

  2. Ken and NRP & Blue, Timely. There may come a time when conditions will be dire and our only help is ourselves and those with us/nearby. In anticipation of short-term events, prepping for oneself and household is necessary. Those prepping for a longer-term outage would do well to encourage as many allies and neighbors as possible. Earlier this week a friend not too far from here confided he took my urgings to heart. I had given him One Second After a couple years ago. He and his family are now well stocked up. But not quite there for a grid collapse. With all the news re attacks on the grid they are prepping for an infrastructure collapse. A few years back I gave an above ground pool as a present to nearby family members for them and their kids. She told me today that their water had been out for a couple days and that’s what they used for animals and in the house.
    Ken and all, thanks for the shared wisdom. It will save so many lives.

    1. I call my doughboy pool an “emergency water tank I can swim in!”

  3. Good article. Yes, it’s insurance but better. You get to keep or use what you don’t need.

  4. Agreed its like insurance but better! Unfortunately there are still those around me with a bad case of normalcy bias. The government, state, friends, etc will help if something bad happens and it won’t last long any way.

    Well tangibles are best and what I bought a few years ago I mostly still have, still good too.

  5. This week I payed most of my various insurance premiums and discovered that prepping and insurance have one more thing in common. Inflation is driving the cost of both prepping and insurance thru the roof. Now I am deep into gardening which helps with food inflation but I have yet to find a way to fight auto insurance inflation- insurance companies have us by the gonads.

    1. You can fight auto insurance costs mant way:
      Compare rates. with the selection of the car you drive.
      Don’t buy one with high theft rates.
      Don’t buy a new car.
      Don’t get all the options.
      If you drive a thousand dollar beater as a second car you can drop the comprehensive coverage all together and that reduction alone will about cover the cost of the car in just 1-2 years. Go several years with no claims and you come out ahead even if the beater is “totalled” every 5 years.
      Comparison shop the insurance companies.
      Explore combining your auto, homeowners and other liability coverages into one umbrella policy.

  6. Preps are the best insurance because you are paying the premiums to yourself. Better than a Roth IRA because it’s stuff you already paid for at today’s prices. You are all also diversified in your investments, i.e. “beans, bullets, bandages.” The hard part is the financial preps. If Medicare only pays 80%, you need secondary insurance because a hospital bill can easily be over a million bucks. I saw a local hospital pursue a friend of mine for 17 years over the copay for a bill. Check out your state’s bankruptcy exemptions because you don’t need to file bankruptcy in order for those assets to be protected. The US has the most expensive healthcare in the world, and Alaska has the most expensive healthcare in the US.

    1. Don’t forget property taxes. I think Alaska is the only state where vast portions of the state have no residential property tax. Residential Property tax is the most immoral tax there is. Some states like Michigan have taken homes for a couple thousand dollars in back taxes, sold it for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and kept the difference. Perfectly legal, they say.

      1. @Old Alaskan, not in the vast portion where I have property.
        But they won’t get hundreds of thousands of dollars for it either.
        Alaska is also a state where there are vast portions claimed by the fed gubment too that are not available for private status. I think that all states should charge the gubment property tax on all the property that it claims. But I digress :-D

  7. Ken I have to disagree with the title of this topic.
    “Prepping & Preparedness Is Like Having Auto, Home, Or Health Insurance”

    No its not. Prepping & Preparedness Is Like Having a Whole Life Insurance Policy.
    The money you spend on a Whole Life Policy, you still own.
    Just like buying beans as an insurance against hunger.
    If you never get hungry, you still own the beans; forever.

    The value of Auto, Home, Or Health Insurance (depending on how you buy it) goes away after the term, either 6 months or a year. All the money you put into something like that is gone if you don’t use it. If I add up all the money I’ve paid for auto insurance since I started driving it would make my social security account look like a piggy bank.

    Prepping is really a Whole Life Insurance Policy. You will only get out of it what you put into it. Unlike the other policies you mention in that you will never get anything back out of them if you never have an accident?

    Just sayin’

    1. You will only get out of it what you put into it.
      also means
      You will get out of it what you put into it.
      maybe kinda the same meaning?

      1. Prepared
        One of my sayins on the ranch is “No Deposit-No Return”. If you don’t put the effort in upfront, you’re guaranteed not to get a decent return.

  8. All good points, Prepared. I purposefully bought property outside any borough where I would have no property tax. I also had the same thought about whole life insurance. TMAC, sorry for your loss, I think most of us have experienced that. I did find an 8 year old can of corned beef hash in the pantry. It was delicious, especially since it was paid for 8 years ago at much lower price.

  9. There is a global collapse coming. Look what China is doing to the world’s fish stocks. Look how quickly the world population went from 7 billion to 8 billion. Preps will not be “wasted.” When I saw what happened in Venezuela I thought they weren’t preppers, but they were. Their situation went on for so long they just ran out of everything. There is a lesson for us. If you’re not level 4 you’re vulnerable. Fuel, batteries, ammo, stored food and Bic lighters will all run out, eventually. Not saying you shouldn’t have those things. You should. Just saying you need to be prepared to go prehistoric. There are people, even in America, who are living, today, as hunter-gatherers (not talking about homeless people). Nobody wants to think about living like that, but there is confidence to be had from having the tools and the skills to be able to do it, just in case things get that bad. Think fixed-blade knife, axe, Dutch oven, flint-and-steel, recurve bow — not a huge investment. Learn some bushcraft: how to shoot a bow, how to build a log cabin, how to make rope from wild fibers, primitive traps, wild edibles, worm grunting, net making, food salting/drying/smoking/fermenting, etc. Food, water, fire, shelter. Primitive basics. Peace of mind.

  10. Thanks Wooly bugger, that sums it up pretty well. Did Ken ever do an article on just hand tools, and I missed it? I don’t have time or money to invest in things that don’t work, so hand tools would be a great topic for me.

    1. – Old Alaskan,
      Just so you are aware, Ken has done three or four articles on hand tools over the past few years, and others on related subjects. Just put, ‘hand tools’, in the search box up at the top. Best bet for best quality, buy used American-made. Unfortunately, that is also the slowest way to stock up.
      – Papa S.

  11. What a timely discussion. Since I own the house and the major cost is now insurance and taxes, would I be better off self installing a fire suppression system in the house and forgoing the cost of fire insurance? From what I have witnessed when a few of my friends have had to collect a fire insurance claim, it doesn’t fully cover the cost of losing the house and all the things inside.
    I know I can self install a fire suppression system that would adequately protect the house from total devastation. I know it would offer more protection than the voluntary fire department could ever hope to provide here. My house would be gone by the time they make it out here with their water truck and pumper truck. The choice is clear, don’t rely on government or somebody else to solve your problems.

    1. not so sure,

      You don’t really know for sure if you have insurance or not until you have a claim. You should make sure you always have enough set aside to fund the ensuing legal battle. If the insurance company finds out that you don’t have any money for a lawyer… I look at it this way: if you don’t have small kids or chronic drunks or chain smokers living in the house, and you don’t have enemies that want to burn your house down, and if you’re not a complete fool, like the guy who was washing raincoats in his basement with gasoline, how likely is it that your house will burn down? Even if you have a fire you won’t necessarily lose your whole house. There are so many other risks to your house that are not covered by insurance (acts of God) that you can’t really feel secure anyway.

      1. I forgot about wild fires. That would be a consideration. Does insurance cover that?

        1. More food for thought. Had a monster wildfire come within ten miles a few years ago. I think the forestry department wants us to clear the area up to 50 feet around our cabin, or they won’t make it a priority to save it from a wildfire.

        2. I live just a couple miles outside of town and we (small senior manufactured home park) are on a well. Insurance is getting spendy with some companies no longer insuring due to now being designated a wild fire zone. My rates have almost double in 5 years.

    2. @Not so sure – ABSOLUTELY YES – INSTALL THE FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM! I speak from experience after my husband and I saved our home and others on our block from the 2018 wildfires. Homes in our neighborhood on the street that crosses ours all burned to the ground completely in minutes. We were prepared with pumps (note the plural – we had to loan one to a neighbor when his failed – only 4 of us stayed in our entire area and we saved our whole street) and 40K gallons of water. Do NOT expect water from the municipal water provider nor for there to be power. In our expereince we needed not only the fire fighting gear (pumps, water and now gutter mounted fire suppression WASPS – look them up, invented by a fire fighter) but also personal protection gear. When the fire came up the hill to us, it was hot enough to melt aluminum parts we had in a garden shed. We have the nomex gear, fire boots, helmets, respirators, etc. We were successful but careful, with back up escape plans. Wildfire is very dangerous. And yes, our neighbors on the street connecting to ours who all lost their homes had hassles with the insurance companies, who turned around and sued and recovered from the electric company that started the fires. The utilty wound up settling class action suits from the homeowners also to make them whole.

  12. We just took out a huge and very expensive “policy.” Our apple trees are starting to show their age and there are a number of gaps in the orchard where we’ve lost trees over the years. Last fall we decided to plant a new, mini orchard with semi-dwarf trees so that meant we had to build a tall fence to keep out cows, deer, and elk. Water pipes were installed so we can put water timers on the young trees. Over 200 fruit and nut trees were ordered 6 months ago. They have been delivered and planting will begin as soon as the ground dries out enough to get the tractor out in that area.
    I don’t need more fruit trees right now, but my grandchildren might. Trees don’t mature overnight so if I want future generations to have fresh fruit, I have to invest money and labor today. It has been quite the process: laying out the orchard, ordering trees appropriate for our area, installing an 8 foot fence, making gopher-proof root baskets, setting up the primary water for the drip system, prepping trees for planting, waiting on the multiple storm systems for good planting conditions, etc. It is definitely like an insurance policy. I hope our efforts will benefit many, many people in the years to come.

    1. I HEAR you on the whole planting for the next generation idea. Not sure we will live past a few years harvest of all the fruit vines and trees we have planted…but certainly hoping the next generation or two will enjoy them!

  13. Debt – It is the anti-prep. Or the anti-insurance. If you fall on hard times, for whatever reason, it can cause you to loose a home, loose a car, loose other property and assets.

    Absolutely get completely out of debt. All your other preps can become worthless or lost due to debt.

    1. Bill, you are smart. People who say, “my only debt is my mortgage,” will lose everything, i.e. their home.

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