Catastrophic Events That Will Keep You Up at Night

 

Catastrophic Events That Will Keep You Up at Night“The night is dark and full of terrors.”

 

Yup yup. Have we mentioned that we LOVE  Game of Thrones around this joint? We haven’t?…Well, guess what…We do, AND the second season was released last Tuesday on DVD! Can I get a “Winterfell” up in this joint?!? HOLLA!!!

 

“The night is dark and full of terrors,” is definitely one of my favorite lines from the season – which is so uber swank that we’ve already started watching the entire 10-hour season for a second time. Don’t judge. These are the things you do when you are a) nerds, b) parents, and c) live without cable TV distracting you. Of course, Game of Thrones is an HBO show…which is a premium cable channel…but who’s counting?

 

While Melisandre’s words of warning may be correct, there are plenty of terrifying things that we should fear during the day as well. I’m not just talking about going to work or having two teenage daughters. I’m talkin ’bout some wild and crazy catastrophic events that could wipe us all out!

 

Oddly enough, my demented mind began pondering this the other day after reading the news. One of the stories stated that outer space was the “insurer’s final frontier.” By now, everybody has heard about the meteor that drilled Chelyabinsk, Russia. The article theorized about how insurers should consider offering insurance to protect property owners from damages suffered due to catastrophic events like these. Say whaaa?

 

According to the article, each year there is about a 1 in 250 chance of an asteroid between 30-100 meters in size deciding to play poke and tickle with the Earth. Now, how the hell insurance companies plan to tackle this market is beyond me. Still, it got me thinking about other catastrophic events that would be difficult to insure. Here are a few of the more terrifying catastrophes against which we will probably never be able to insure ourselves.

 

War

I’d love to think that the days of large scale wars are behind us, giving way to an era of rational thought and honest diplomacy for the good of all mankind..but, we just can’t seem to stop building things that we can use to blow ourselves up. From the M-80 firecracker to the H-Bomb, you just can’t fix stupid old habits. With this in mind, another war will eventually come, and insuring property against its destruction would be nearly impossible. Strangely enough, I am not aware of any homeowner’s policies that cover these sorts of catastrophic events.

 

Still, I’m always trying to look on the bright side. If a war was fought here and we lost, there is always the chance that our citizens will no longer have the right to own property – in which case, no insurance premiums would be necessary! BONUS! That means fewer out of pocket repairs AND no insurance premiums! DOUBLE BONUS!!!

 

Economic Meltdown

Can somebody please tell me if there is any sort of insurance product that protects the value of your dollars in the event of an economic meltdown? If there is, I may be tempted to buy it. I mean, the Economic Collapse blog is predicting that the global economic crisis is about to ramp itself up a bit. Of course, if the insurance claim is to be paid out in a devalued currency, that wouldn’t help me out much either. How’s a player supposed to get ahead in this joint?

 

Alien Invasion

Now here’s a doozy of a catastrophe! If we were invaded by aliens, would my stuff be covered by my insurance company? Would the aliens honor that contract? Would they even be capitalists? I hope I don’t have to find out.

 

Nuclear Explosion

This is one of those catastrophic events that is fairly likely to happen. In the event that a nuclear power plant decides emit a uranium belch, most insurance policies would not cover your damages. This may actually be something that insurance companies could consider offering as a rider…provided you make it out of the area alive. Maybe they could offer bonus compensation if you grow a third arm.

 

Gamma Ray Burst

Outer space is a very, very big place. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies out there, and our nearest galactic neighbor (the Andromeda galaxy) is about 2.5 million light years away. That is approximately 15,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles if I did my math correctly. (Is that 15 trillion, million mile segments??? I think I just blew my own mind!) That sort of mileage isn’t even comprehensible. Even with all of that emptiness, outer space is contains things that are much more dangerous to us than weeny little asteroids. Let’s talk about the total annihilation of Earth from a supernova’s a gamma ray burst! :)

 

While the chances of being charbroiled by a gamma ray burst seem – ahem – astronomical, it could be more likely than we think. According to researchers, it is believed that Earth took a glancing blow from a gamma ray burst in the 8th century. So, not only is it possible, but it is probable that it will happen again some day.

 

The horrific beauty of death by gamma ray burst is that a gamma ray travels at the speed of light…so we won’t even be able to see it coming until it is here. That makes insuring against loss sorta difficult. Of course, if Earth’s atmosphere is blown off and I am suddenly vaporized, I’m not going to be too worried about whether or not my homeowner’s coverage is going to kick in to help cover the damages.

 

Catastrophic Events and Your Future

So…

 

Happy Day!………Right?!?

 

Seriously though, there is so much out there that we can’t control. We do the best we can to insure our financial and physical well beings, but we can’t prepare for every eventuality. Still, if you can build a peace promoting, safe energy producing, gamma ray proof protective shield to surround Earth…that doubles as an alien welcome sign…and moonlights as a global economic stabilizer…you’d be in business! Get to it! Time’s a wastin!

 

As for me, all this talk about catastrophic events has gotten me hungry. I’m gonna go grab a soy “chicken” sammy. Peace out.

 

 

 
About Greg

Greg Johnson is a proud husband, father, and debt crusader who is in the process of becoming debt free. He is the co-founder of the personal finance website Club Thrifty, where he brings the awesome sauce each and every day.

Comments

  1. What, no mention of the ever popular zombie apocalypse?

  2. Nah. I’m not really in the zombie loop.

  3. We don’t get the 2nd season until the 6th of march over here in the backwards land down under.

    I can’t wait for season 3. I watched the trailer the other day and immediately scheduled a game of thrones week to lead up into season 3 so I can be fully up to date.

    Speaking of the night being full of terrors, we have had 3 houses in our street burgled in the last week.

  4. I keep hearing about Game of Thrones and I’m seriously considering starting season 1. Haven’t watched a single episode but I’m always looking for good TV series.

    As far as catastrophic events…there are so many things that could happen. I think it’s the smaller things like fire, flood, job loss, medical emergencies, etc. that we need to prepare for.

  5. Lol! Love this post, though I was surprised not to read about some Zombie invasion too. :) Glad you’re enjoying your G.O.T., I am more of a Boardwalk Empire man myself.

  6. You can’t really put too much attention on these things because they’re so unlikely and if they do happen, all bets are off anyways. I love reading fiction and I am big into ‘end of the world’ type stories.

  7. Well, you got to love the insurance industry. What’s their business? They want to collect more in premiums than they pay out in claims. Right? So what better way to do that than to pick on some really obscure danger? Then you talk it up and make people believe it’s actually a real risk. Then you collect the premiums, year after year after year. And pay nothing.

    And then, when THE BIG ONE really hits and you’re unable to pay all those claims, then you run to the gummint and tell them you’re too big to fail, and they bail you out.

    Wait, come to think of it, that’s exactly what AIG and Goldman Sachs did! Their “big one” was home owners defaulting on poorly written loans.

    Nothing new under the sun… :)

  8. Shazam! Nailed it. I think the sammy will go just fine with whatever foamy beverage you’re drinkin’. You’re on fire, dude. I’m sure there’s somebody out there selling insurance against alien invasion. They’re making a killing.

  9. LOL! This cracked me up. After reading it I guess all I can say is I’m glad I rent then. ha ha! I always thought if there was any kind of major world destruction that I would want to be the first to go. I just don’t think I would be very good being all Mel Gibson in Mad Max. I mean I even hate camping!

  10. Funny article. One thing you are forgetting is that there is the possibility of a mass “Bidencyde” where our assistant commander and chief will accidentally spill a beer on a nuclear launch panel. I’d plan for that before an asteroid. Further: asteroid is one “s” off of being a unintentionally funny word.

    http://snarkfinance.com/2013/02/25/how-many-bosses-do-you-have/

  11. This one made me laugh today. If anything can come from the craziness, it is to make sure to continue living your life how you want to. Don’t go blowing all your money, but make sure to still spend some of it on things you enjoy. You never know what tomorrow brings.

  12. I don’t think aliens would invade us. What with our nuclear waste sites, superfund sites, chemical waste, refineries, etc. we’ve totally ruined the planetary real estate.

    Unless they are aliens who need to EAT these things. Then I’d say we would have the start of a very beautiful relationship. ;)

  13. Living in Cali, I sometimes feel that our time is coming for a huge earthquake, so hopefully the architects and civil engineers knew what they were doing if that time ever comes! If we were invaded by a bunch of E.T.’s, that would be awesome, but the ones from Battleship (which was awful), not so much.

  14. I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but now you’ve got me interested! Going to check it out :)

  15. Justin @ The Family Finances says:

    Ha, very nice! I happen to think that if any sort of major devastation type of event were to happen, it would somehow be caused by mankind. Be it a genetically engineered strain of virus or something like that. In any case, life is too short and I have too many other things to worry about then the never ending scenarios of what could happen. :)

  16. New season in April! For $10/month I’ll give you my HBOgo login… just kidding… maybe…

  17. LOL! Love this!! There should probably be Super Villain/Superhero insurance too. They always seems to leave a lot of destruction behind them. :)

  18. Bring it in! I have chickens, machetes and a lake for drinking water!
    Seriously though I used to live in an earthquake zone and it was really weird to feel the temblors at night, one even woke me up. It was never so hard as to break things inside the house though, and not much you can do apart from keeping up with your life.

  19. I usually only worry about things I have some control over. The rest I can not do much about. As far as insurance for money fluctuations, there is a market and you can hedge against currency fluctuations. There probably is insurance, but you would need to check with Lloyd’s of London. They underwrite anything for a price.

  20. Guns and bullets, whisky, and toilet paper. The three items that you need in the event of catastrophe, either for their intrinsic value or for their usefulness in bartering. Though I’m still undone by the gamma ray burst!

  21. Hahaha, this is great! War would definitely be devastating; I am so glad we live in peaceful times. T and I sometimes talk about what we’d do if war did break out (he was in the army – answer we’d take off to the bush straightaway, appparently).

    I cannot WAIT for GoT season 3 – but we’ll likely be travelling when it comes out – not sure how we’ll keep up with it!

  22. I’ve never watched Game of Thrones, I’m more of a USA guy myself.
    In the world of insurance what’s next? Are they going to start insuring you if your cable/internet goes out during your favorite show? I suppose anything to make a buck and feed off of people’s fears.

  23. I’m a bit worried that the reality TV people like Honey Boo Boo’s family and the Duck Dynasty people might somehow take over the world and we’d all have to go out and eat roadkill or something. No insurance to protect from that!

  24. I think I’m more terrified of Melisandre than any gamma ray incident or whatever. When she gave birth, that gave me the creeps.

  25. I`ve been thinking a lot on how we live in this ignorant bubble in Norway. while the rest of Europe is struggling and trying to stay on their feet, Norwegian consumers are increasing their debt, buying more stuff, and well, just ignoring what`s going on out there, thinking that it`ll never happen here. But things can´t go on forever, can they?

    on another note, I can`t wait for March 31st!;-) Game of Thrones is an awesome tv-show!!!

  26. As a former biologist, the zombie apocalypse is always on my radar. Just the other day, I noticed that the skytrain announcements in Vancouver recently changed to sound like something out of Resident Evil or Dead Space.

  27. Ha – funny! Although, after seeing the level our national debt has attained in the last several years, none of the above mentioned disasters would surprise me in the least. :-)

  28. There are some things I am concerned with enough that I get insurance coverage for them; not because I think it a deal (i.e. on average, I’m certain I’ll pay more in premiums than I’ll receive in claims), but because having insurance allows me to put them further out of mind.

    On the other end of the spectrum are things that are rare, far out of my control, and affect nearly everyone in the world pretty equally. These I don’t worry about because worrying doesn’t help.

    I think the catastrophic events that are most worth putting thought into are those that specifically affect the company I work for (or its sector) and the country I live in. I’m only starting to put thought into how to “insure” against this. A couple thoughts: buying stock indices that have low correlation with the performance of my company or of the indices that track the biggest companies in my country…

  29. Perhaps, but not all extended warranties have terms that bad. More importantly, sometimes I have better information than the people offering the warranty (moral hazard, I believe this is called). For example, I know I’m a monster when it comes to taking the processors on my phone and my laptop to the limit. Suppose the extended warranty costs 25 percent of the purchase price and I’m in the top 10 percent of users in terms of needing my electronics replaced. Us 10 percent get a 75% discount, the 90% get some peace of mind, and the warranty offerers make a profit.

  30. Ha! This is great. I worry about the world getting destroyed by its citizens draining its resources rather than getting attacked by aliens. BUT I’ll add that to the list! :)

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