Introduces the complexity of insurance and questions the dominance of an actuarial model. The actuarial model is associated with distributive, collectivising techniques, and these have also been connected with the growth of an ‘insurance state’. Insurance is identified in this model with ‘loss-spreading’ of a particular form. An alternative, relational model is identified, associating insurance with risk-transfer. The relational or risk transfer model is associated with private arrangements and does not perceive insurance to be a factor extrinsic to party relationships. Further exploring the relational model, the chapter identifies the persistence both of responsibility, and of uncertainty, as important components of insurance relationships, and raises the question of how the boundary between insurance, and other means of transferring risks, might be identified.
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