Insurance companies define risks in absolute terms but individuals assess their risks and protect themselves according to their own context. To do so, they adjust this protection in order to cope with the events of their life.

People assess their risks according to the context they live in
Depending on their moment of life, individuals don’t assess the same risks and don’t protect themselves the same way. They reassess what should be protected and how. For instance, for my first second-hand car I can decide to lower my insurance policy and deal with minor damage on my own.


Individuals have several ways to protect themselves from risks
Depending on the risks they face, individuals have several ways to face them. They combine insurances, savings and behaviours to protect themselves.
To face up to car accidents, I can get an insurance, keep savings aside or refrain from using my car.


But banks and insurance companies ignore the different ways to protect from risks
Banks and insurances don’t help people to coordinate the use of their own products. They have to manage risks by themselves, by setting up the right combination of insurances, money and behaviors.


To protect and to insure
Individuals set up and make evolve their protection facing risks. Rather than coming up with more complex products, what if banks and insurance simply help people to coordonate their protection ?


Enquête sur la perception des risques et leur protection

Insurances have a limited and absolute vision of the risks and manners people have to protect themselves. Those preconceived ideas organize insurances’ products and the relationship that they foster with individuals. These lessons are some conclusions from ou study : Enquête sur la perception des risques et leur protection.
However, the way people protect themselves are various and deserves a deep reflection. Do the perception of risks and the practices of protection match the preconceived ideas of insurances?


The field research was conducted in part during summer 2015, and then during fall 2015, throughout 20 in-depth interviews. It was completed with participant observations on some locations where people practice high-risk sport. The panel was constituted of strongly different type of profiles in terms of age, life cycle, revenues and possessions, marital status, living areas and level of exposure to the risk.

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GUILLAUME MONTAGU - Anthropology & Strategy
After following a sociology and political anthropology research program at La Sorbonne, Guillaume has offered his social sciences skills to companies. He joined unknowns to lead researches and studies.

Social sciences assume that individuals have reasons to do what they do. It’s our role to understand and explain their behaviours.


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All icons used in visuals come from Creative Commons – Attribution (CC BY 3.0) 
Thanks to the authors : Kevin Augustine LO,  Mister Pixel,  Michael Thompson,  Bradley Ashburn,  Nicholas Menghini,  Nicky Knicky,  Aha-Soft, Martin Lebreton,  Rohith M S, Jessica Scott, Vineet Kumar Thakur, Thomas Helbig, parkjisun, Yazmin Alanis, Pablo Rozenberg, Rediffusion & Kenneth Von Alt, Arthur Shlain, Caitlin McCormick, layerlv, Creative Stall, Adriano Emerick