top of page

Principles of insurance applied to the elections

By Michael F. Rellosa

THERE are certain principles that guide and ensure the proper functioning of an insurance contract, the acceptance of which is critical to its success. A review of these principles in the light of the electoral process our country is currently going through, and which will culminate in the May 9 elections, shows an uncanny applicability of these principles to the entire process. Inasmuch as the coming elections, again, thrusts the country into another do-or-die scenario where much is at stake and where the future of our country hinges on, insights gained may help us in our discernment process to choose candidates, who have the wherewithal to make a difference, with the good of the majority in mind and the will to carry the country through the pandemic and its attendant issues as well as the minefield called geopolitics.

These principles and how they may relate are as follows:

Uberrimae fidei or utmost good faith – This doctrine used in insurance contracts legally obliges all parties to act honestly and not mislead or withhold critical information from one another. The same is true between the elected officials and the people who elect them, more so on the part of the elected. As we put our trust in them, they must be eminently worthy of such trust. We expect them to lead us. But how can they lead if they do not have the moral ascendancy nor the capacity to be truthful. It just won't work. The lesson here is to vote only the trustworthy!

Causa proxima or proximate cause – This simply means the nearest or proximate or most immediate cause. In insurance, the cause of the loss for it to be indemnified is for the cause to be the most immediate and not remote and for it to be a peril insured against. Taking it in the context of choosing the right candidate, it would help to investigate the proximate cause of their running. Is it because of a genuine desire to help our fellow man or is it because they want to protect the status quo or ensure a dynasty (which the Constitution prohibits).

Insurable interest – A prerequisite for a person to insure a property is for that person to have insurable interest in it, the test being if the person stands to suffer if the subject matter is saved or kept whole, or if he stands to suffer if it is lost or damaged. We all have an insurable interest in what happens to our country, as we stand to suffer if our country goes down the drain, and we stand to gain if our country rises to heights it so badly deserves. The point is, as we do have an "insurable interest" in our country, let us do what we can to ensure its stability by voting for the right candidate.

Indemnity – When compensating for an insured loss, the principle of indemnity must be followed, and this is to pay the insured the equivalent of what was lost, no more no less. In other words, no one is supposed to make a profit out of insurance. This is true, too, for our officialdom. No one is supposed to profit out of the positions entrusted to them by the electorate. So, choose servant leaders who are aware of their role and who, like insurers who imbibe these principles, have the Solomonic sense of justice needed to fulfill what is expected of them in their elected positions.

Subrogation – To be put in place of another in situations where there is legal right to claim. Applying this to the elections may be a bit far-fetched. However, what screams at me is the phrase "to be put in place of another," which leads me to the word empathy. Our chosen leaders must have this quality to lead us. How can one lead if throughout their lives they had nothing but a life of power, riches and ease? They will not have the capability to feel what the majority of our compatriots feel and therefore may not be in the best position to make the appropriate decisions.

There are other principles, but I have run out of space. I hope this can at least spur you to make the right decision, the future of our country depends on it.


bottom of page