An engaging and accessible examination of what ails insurance markets—and what to do about it—by three leading economists
Why is dental insurance so crummy? Why is pet insurance so expensive? Why does your auto insurer ask for your credit score? The answer to these questions lies in understanding how insurance works. Unlike the market for other goods and services—for instance, a grocer who doesn’t care who buys their broccoli or carrots—insurance providers are more careful in choosing their customers, because some customers are more expensive than others.
Unraveling the mysteries of insurance markets, Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, and Ray Fisman explore such issues as why insurers want to know so much about us and whether we should let them obtain this information; why insurance entrepreneurs often fail (and some tricks that may help them succeed); and whether we’d be better off with government-mandated health insurance instead of letting businesses, customers, and markets decide who gets coverage and at what price. With insurance at the center of divisive debates about privacy, equity, and the appropriate role of government, this book offers clear explanations for some of the critical business and policy issues you’ve often wondered about, as well as some you haven’t yet considered.