A wise insurance plan is not just about buying commercial insurance. It is about having the security that comes from having the resources, knowledge, and experience that enable us to comfortably maintain our “body” at 98.6 no matter what happens. 

Important factors to keep in mind about "commercial" Insurance:

  1. Insurance companies only provide money, not the products we need to survive or live. We still have to be able to get the money and then be able to purchase the product or service.
  2. The suppliers of the goods we would spend our insurance claim money on and the distribution system to get the money, products, or services to us can be disrupted by bankruptcy, natural or man made disaster, war, political action, shortages, collapse of money or money distribution system, etc.
  3. Insurance companies do not emphasis prevention but fixing a problem after it happens
  4. Commercial insurance does not cover the most important things: relationships, love, self worth

A solid insurance plan in preparing for the future should be done in this order:

  1. Prevention- Of disruption or disaster and losing what you already have: relationships (divorce is a very costly disaster), income, health, assets (home, auto, investments, etc. from fire, floods, robbers, etc.)
  2. Preparedness- is the ability to use Resources, Experience, and Knowledge to turn disaster into just inconvenience: the key ingredients of preparedness insurance plan are:
    • Shelter/clothing
    • Medical supplies (more than just a first aid kit) 
    • Water (drink/cleaning) 
    • Fire (heat/cooking) 
    • Sanitation (toilet/garbage/cleaning)
    • Food 
    • Cash or barter items 
    • Communication (news/contact others)
    • Mental (knowing when "mission" has changed)
  3. Survivability- Survival after a disruption, disastrous, or change of mission. Having the resources, knowledge, and experiences that enables you to meet your basis physical needs to keep your body at 98.6 without having to wait for others, the money, or time to purchase it.
  4. Sustainability -  Long term plan to sustain a good lifestyle after disruption. This includes learning survival skills that work on a long term basis along with a mix of commercial insurance.

Relationships are our most important resource and even more important in times of disruption. Relationships take work. Be sure to invest your first resource here.

  • Do: Learn about personality types (MBTI)
  • Avoid: Bad relationships

Income: Losing ones source of income and bankruptcy are both major disasters

  • Do: upgrade and add to your job skills. Have your own business as a back up.
  • Avoid: Depending on both spouses income to make it, debt, understand the principles of unIncome (income derived from reducing on going expenses) and life Unit (how many hours it costs you to earn each dollar).

Health: Poor health interferes with all areas of your life. Practice preventive health.

  • Do: Healthy eating, exercise, drink clean water, get fresh air, track your weight, blood pressure, and heart rate.
  • Avoid: Smoking, illicit drugs, excessive alcohol, overweight, stress, unsafe sex. 

Assets: (home, auto, investments, etc.)

  • Do: Fire prevention, implement security (awareness, guns, self defense, etc)
  • Avoid: Building in flood zones or going to bars and other high crime areas.


REK (Resources; Experience, Knowledge) to turn disaster into just inconvenience: 5 Pillars of Survival: Personal Health & Security, Shelter, Water, Fire, and Food.


  • Do: Have backup heat source- (wood, propane, insulation, shut off room, warm clothes, blankets), know how to use and have equipment for camping, understand the new military layer system,
  • Avoid: Being only dependent on resources that come from long distances. (gas, electricity, water. Etc)

Medical supplies 

  • Do: Stock more than just first aid kit, Learn first aid and beyond,(ear syringe, ear scope, Hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol, Epson salt have a library of medical books, big stock of band-aids, pain killers, antibiotics (for animals too), tweezers with magnifying glass for slivers, learn how to use wild medicinal plants.
  • Avoid: Standard 1st aid kits and being helpless if there are no medical personnel around.

Water (Drink/cleaning)

  • Do: Use 2 litre bottles to store water, have rain water collection system, know water sources around you (springs, wells, lakes, rivers) and have way to transport water from there to your home- (wheel barrow, cart, barrel, etc.,)  Have pool shock, water filter such as a Berkefeld.
  • Avoid: Being totally dependent on municipal water supply.

Fire (Heat/cooking)

  • Do: Have good supply of food that doesn't need to be cooked and alternative ways to cook your food. ( Hobo stove, briquets , camp stoves, fire pit, wood stove, propane, etc.)
  • Avoid: Being dependent on just one source.


  • Do: Have LED headlight, rechargeable batteries, (Ready to use) chargers that run on AC, DC, and Solar (solar yard lights will work). Use Christmas LED light strings converted to DC to run off your car battery to light your house instead of having to use  a generator.
  • Avoid: Being totally dependent on electricity.

Sanitation (Toilet/garbage)

  • Do: Know how to compost, build a sawdust toilet, have a stock of toilet paper and know what to substitute for it (the India method?), have supply of liquid soap that can do everything.
  • Avoid:  Sickness that can come from unsanitary practices.


  • Do: Have a few months to a year supply of food on hand. Learn how to preserve food by drying, canning, root cellar, smoking, salting. Learn how to sprout and do square foot gardening. Have traps and a gun to hunt small game and fish catching equipment;. Learn few basic wild edibles in your area, especially plantain.
  • Avoid: Being trapped with no food in the house.

Communication (news/contact others)

  • Do: Have way to gather news and information if internet is down. Have a plan to get in touch with every family member if a disaster happens.

Cash (Banks & ATM's may not work in times of disaster)

  • Do: Have supply of cash in small bills on hand, bag of junk silver if cash loose it's value and barter items

Debt- in most cases is the opposite of investment and insurance. Instead it mostly reduces what you have to invest. It is the opposite of insurance (preparing for future needs) putting your future in jeopardy because you have already spent the money and now have the burden mentally and physically of paying it back.

Insurance basics

Does your Insurance Plan violate the investors rule of: Not having all your eggs in  one basket?

Most all of us are concerned about being prepare for the future. We start out preparing for a life mate (dating) and earning a living (going to school.) As we get older our preparedness concerns center more on being prepared for medical expenses (health insurance), saving for retirement (retirement funds), and caring for those we leave behind when we die (life insurance). Plus many other forms of insurance (unemployment, workman’s comp, house, auto, etc.).

Unfortunately what use to be consider normal: (years supply of canned food in the house, your own garden with some chickens running around, having a gun, friends to call on if your barn burned down, etc.) are now give the radical label of “preppers” and in some cases even considered a “danger” to society. That is: A danger to the “Robber Barons” who prefer you to give your insurance and investment dollars to them, in return for the promise they will take care of everything. To often enabling them, not you to Live Rich.

Just thinking about and investing in conventional insurance is akin to putting all your eggs in one basket. The all depend on the monetary systems as we know it, surviving intact. Remember conventional insurance never provides you with what you need but only gives you money so you can pay for the things you need. There are two possible flaws to this system: 

  1. What if they can’t give you the money because they: go bankrupt, loose it in bad investments, don’t want to give it to you, have it taken from them by thieves or governments, etc. 
  2. Even if they give you money what if  you can’t purchase what you need because it’s unavailable, no one wants to sell it to you, it cost more money then they gave you, etc. 

Remember you can’t eat money, it won't shelter you from the environment, keep your car running, carry away your waste, stop someone from robbing you, or, etc.

There is much “conventional” wisdom on insurance, that may not be the best bases on ones observations of what is going on in the world. 

Leaving our insurance or as we like to call it, preparedness, only in the hands of the professionals opens us up to potential abuse and far to often leads to enriching them instead of ourselves. At times we need and want professionals and the consumer way of someone doing it for us. The Frugal Prosumer’s way of Living Rich on Less is educating oneself on the many free or low cost alternatives to “commercial” insurance. 

At the same time The Frugal Prosumer understands:

  1. The need to keep the balance between the extremes of blindly following the professionals and trying to do it all oneself.
  2. The need of community and relationships to help carry this out.
  3. The deceptions used to take ones wealth and freedom.

Frugal Prosumers are skilled in finding ways they can self insure when possible. They understand:

  • Life insurance isn’t life insurance. It’s death insurance. Insurance companies know selling death insurance is harder since people don’t like to talk about death. Life insurance does nothing to keep you alive. What if you spent that money on real life insurance? --- Lifestyle choices that keep you safe and healthy!
  • Health insurance isn’t health insurance. It’s sickness insurance. It may even have the opposite affect if it makes you more careless. If Americans spent as much to keep themselves healthy as they spend on health insurance (around quarter to half a million dollars in their life time), we would have much less need for health insurance.
  • Insurance is not about preventing problems. It’s about fixing problems. Prevention is far superior to fixing.
  • The best insurance is a lifestyle that keeps you healthy so you won't need “death” and “sickness” insurance.
  • UnInsurance: That a paid off house, emergency fund, food stockpile, minimal fixed expenses, and a community of good relationships are some of the best form of retirement, workman's comp, unemployment, disability, health, etc. insurance.
  • Liability insurance is a civilized form of paying criminal protection money or saying if you mess with (sue) me I have big guns (my insurance companies lawyers) that you will have to face. I.e. Doctors buying liability insurance to protect themselves from rogue lawyers and individuals who use liability suits as a way to rob the wealthy. Or Individuals buying health insurance to protect their family, house, future income, and possessions from rouge medical of financial institutions or being put into a debtors “prison”.

Think different! Think UnInsurance! Some ideas:

  • Building a stone, partially underground structure that reduces the need for fire or storm insurance?
  • Becoming judgment proof, by having no assets, that lawyers can get their hands on?
  • Have a pound of pool shock on hand. (It’s Clorox in crystal form and can last for more then ten years while Clorox after 6 months start to  loose it power) It can purify 10,000 of drinking water, used to sanitize and clean up body fluids if there is sickness or disease, used to clean out wounds (called Dakin's Solution), and we won't mentions its use as a weapon

Health insurance

Health insurance in the USA is bathed in a big web of lies. I’m not saying we should not have it or that it is all bad, but it is a rather touchy area filled with emotions. One can easily be manipulated by it.

First of all, it is not health insurance. It is sickness insurance. The purpose of most health insurance is not to keep you well but to compensate you for the cost of treating illnesses and accidents. Further, health insurance can be bad for your health. Why? It can tend to make you more careless about your health as you don’t feel the pain of the monetary cost when you get sick. If the treatment for a possible self-inflicted condition is insured, one tends to lack the strong incentive to avoid risky behaviors or lifestyles.

In America, health insurance companies are so powerful that they get part of your paycheck even before you do and even before the very powerful IRS gets its share. For this we thank them for saving us from being taxed on that part of our income. The employee has no choice in the matter. Try saying that you want the cash instead and will spend the $10,000 on your own health plan (or fun). In most cases this is not an option. Part of the reason the system is so inefficient, is that the people who purchase the insurance (the company you work for) is not the person (you) using it. This is a violation of the economic principle of keeping prices down.

You may say, “I’m not paying $10,000 a year. My company pays it for me!” Who are you kidding? That’s $10,000 more they could be paying you. “But,” you may say, “I need health insurance!” When I was in my early twenties as a self-employed business owner, I sat down and ran the numbers. I figured health insurance was going to cost me somewhere between a quarter to half million dollars in my lifetime. That was only if I remained healthy and didn’t have to use it. Being sick would cost me much more. Needless to say I figured it was well worth taking months of my time studying to see if I really wanted to invest my money that way.

Health care and insurance are powerful social tyrants. Those without insurance are a single accident or disease away from losing their savings, their home, their possessions, or being slaves to a medical debt they will never be able to repay no matter how hard or long they work. The fear of this nightmare scenario keeps people securely bound to jobs that have health insurance. This means that many Americans are either in a job they are not at liberty to quit, which is a form of indentured servitude, or are one accident away from becoming slaves to their medical debt, which is another form of indentured servitude.

Note: As this is written the big thing is the national health insurance bill. Do not be distracted by all the ins and outs of it. There is no way anyone can understand all, much less part of the thousands of pages. Understand it for what it is. It is another grab for money and power by the robber barons. And as usual, what always tends to works, some form of a ponzi scheme is hiding in it. Spend the time to learn how it can be beneficial to you instead of just complaining about it.

Some reasons you might want to invest in food insurance?

We all need food and cannot live without it, yet many people have less than seven days worth of it on hand. “food insurance”.

If you compare having food storage to something like life insurance or saving for retirement there are several similarities as to why people don’t take action. They have heard all the benefits of protecting their family’s financial future with insurance and retirement savings but put off preparing for a later time, which by then it’s too late.  Food is even more vital because you can only go several days without it! Okay, maybe 40 days.

When it comes to food many people have a hard time believing that their supply could be cut off for a prolonged period of time. People have gotten so comfortable with a plentiful supply of food because there’s a grocery store within a couple miles of most homes. 

They know it’s a good idea but they never actually ran out of food for an extended period of time and prices have been pretty stable the last 20-30 years. The only people that experienced long term food shortages are those that were affected by a major flood, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster. 

Other than preparing in case of a natural disaster, why start your own food storage? 

  • Inflation –   Because there’s not much you can do to control the price of the food you buy.
  • Disruptions in the Supply Chain – In many areas throughout the country the food supply is not generated locally. In fact, we import a large portion of our food from countries with no safety standards for insecticides, fertilizers, bacterial and chemical contamination.

Because most of our food is not from local sources we are much more susceptible to a variety of disruptions not only in the US but now globally as well.  Any of the following events around the world could cause food shortages: natural disasters, terrorist attacks, crop failures, major shifts in political power, spike in fuel costs, etc.

  • Unemployment –   From downsizing, etc. Take away the possibility of losing a job for a moment and let’s say you had some kind of illness for an extended period of time.  Would you have the money and/or food storage to see you through until you were back on your feet?

In the end, the biggest reason for starting your own food storage is self-reliance.  If a natural disaster, unemployment, inflation or even hyperinflation occurs, those without food storage and basic supplies will be reliant on someone else which in many cases will be the government. 

Will there be a time in the near future that we experience food shortages for whatever reason? No one knows for sure. The worst that could happen if everyone has a lot of extra food is that they have to eat it and share it with others. When/If times do get tough, the stronger communities, families and individuals will be those with plenty of food on hand. 

There are many ways to start your own food storage. Many people are educated and skilled at canning food while others use store-bought items and do well rotating it on a regular basis.


AuthorJohn Johnston