Wagering and gambling have historically been condemned by organized religions as a challenge to pre-destination as ordained by the divine. Insurance, the act of mitigating the risk of total disaster, is seen as good. Yet it is possible for speculators to gamble with insurance by investing money in mutual insurance funds in the hope of a greater return.
Differences in Intent
Gamblers take unnecessary risks. Insurers are seeking to prevent catastrophic losses when probable events like fires and earthquakes occur. Wagering is an attempt to earn money. Insurance only pays to repair or replace destroyed property. There is no profit motive in insurance.
Differences in Legal Enforcement
Wagers are not enforceable in court. You cannot sue for the unpaid gambling debt. Insurance contracts are legally enforceable in court. The only restrictions are that premiums were paid and that the damage is covered by the insurance contract. If so, the insured party can sue for payment.
Differences in Events
Insurance covers losses in case of specific events. For example, flood insurance only pays when property in a flood plain is damaged in a flood. The risk is known, only the timing is unknown. Wagers cover arbitrary events like dog races or lotteries. The outcome is unknown, though the time the outcome is revealed is listed on a schedule.
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