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Monsters, such as hydras, chimeras, dragons, etc., exist in this world. They plague humanity with random attacks, with certain empires suffering more from these attacks than others. States refrain from using their military to fight them because the army is used to defend against external threats, and can't be deployed every time a new monster pops up. Instead, they gear toward hiring monster hunters to take care of the problem. These hunters are valued because of their experience with handling these threats, or have abilities that are magical in nature. They are often trained by guilds funded by states, and are given licences to work after they complete their training. However, they operate as independent contractors.

The job is obviously a dangerous profession. Hunters risk being burned alive by dragons, crushed by giants, tortured to death by psychopathic elves, eaten alive by gigantic, hungry hungry demonic hippos, seduced by sex-starved nymphs and never be seen again, or worse. Hunters want to ensure that they would be receive benefits should they get hurt or disabled, or that their loved ones would be taken care of if they get killed. A system has been installed by the United federation of guilds, a conglomerate that operates independently from kingdoms. This system keeps costs relatively low while providing a form of insurance to the hunters. They earn a fee for every monster they kill: the bigger or more dangerous a monster is rated, the better the pay. A small percentage of their fee goes back into the guild treasury to handle expenses, paying for staff, care for hurt adventurers, etc. In addition, each hunter is required to pay a premium every month that goes toward their life insurance policies. The more expensive the policy, the bigger the payout in case of death.

With these rules, would insurance become a market for monster hunters?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by a CVn, sphennings, Josh King, Azuaron, Frostfyre Jul 18 '17 at 18:56

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if this is just opinion-based, or flat out off topic for us, but I can absolutely see either approach being valid in a story and having its own implications to the characters. Voting to close as primarily opinion-based, but it could likely just as well be not about worldbuilding. Note that elements of plot, and character-building, are both outside of our scope. Compare What topics can I ask about here? Also, you should probably clarify how these monster-hunters are different from perhaps a specialized branch of the military. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 18 '17 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ For a real-world example for comparison, I recall hearing somewhere (it might have been in From the Earth to the Moon) that in the days of Apollo, nobody would sell life insurance to US astronauts. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 18 '17 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ Insurance is only viable when the odds are known (to the insurer). For early space missions there was nothing to even guess with. I would look at the professional sports world for precedent. $\endgroup$ – user25818 Jul 18 '17 at 16:43
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    $\begingroup$ It seems like in a medieval setting, where medical tech is nearly non-existent, and you're fighting monsters, you'd want life insurance rather than health insurance. $\endgroup$ – Shufflepants Jul 18 '17 at 18:43
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    $\begingroup$ A very important question to answer here is "why would anyone qualify for a form of life or health insurance from the government?" The idea that everyone should have every insurance we can imagine, for free, is relatively new. Why would you government offer such insurance? Once you can answer that question, then you can go on to the corner cases such as Hunters. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jul 18 '17 at 18:48
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Make your hunters members of a monster-hunting guild. If a hunter kills monster, he shares the bounty with the guild. If hunter is wounded, guild sees that his wounds are treated (By the way, what is tech level of your society? In medieval world, healthcare was not that expensive). If hunter dies trying, his family gets some payout.

The guild effectively serves as an insurance company.

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    $\begingroup$ "In medieval world, healthcare was not that expensive" Don't know about that, but I do know that it wasn't terribly effective. A lot of the time, you probably had about equal odds of surviving by just ignoring the injury... $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 18 '17 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling But the ability to take rest and you and immediate family not starving because of it is a major plus even if medical science isn't very effective. $\endgroup$ – Hyfnae Jul 18 '17 at 19:41
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Insurance is always an option, it just gets steadily more expensive when the company's risk of having to pay out gets higher.

In the case of monster-slayers offering life insurance as a part of a sensible compensation package makes really good sense. If a slayer knows that his/her partner and children will be taken care of in the, incredibly likely, event of their death, they're way more likely to be willing to charge off to work.

Like any employer you just need to factor in the cost of insurance as a part of the employee's pay. You'll probably find that offering a solid benefit package will lead slayers to agree to a lower cash pay rate.

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State sanctioned insurance system was pioneered in XIXth century Germany. Before that there was a patchy system of charities, monasteries, laws intended at alleviate the most extreme forms of poverty, etc. If you follow usual trope of medieval fantasy - then no insurance system is perfectly fine and rational.

To motivate people to hunt monsters - just provide proper bounties. Except from that - presumably no one cares much to create a whole social security system.

Someone may offer old age insurance for such monsterslayers... after all it seems like a safe business. ;)

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Should they qualify for a form of life or health insurance from the government? How would a system like this work?

Whatever suits your needs. The job is dangerous. If the rewards are high enough, people will do that job. This can go either way.

High one-off payments (high bounties on the monsters, for examples) will motivate risky behavior. everyone hopes to slay enough monsters to get enough saving so that he/she can retire. This opens possibilities for broke ex-hunters who have spent all their savings.

Or you provide other benefits. maybe the guilds have insurances and pay their members. If the insurance is good, then its just a job like every other, even if riskier.

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Keep in mind that the original insurance started as betting pools of ship captains/owners, betting against their own ships as a hedge against the ship getting lost at sea.

So, a similar origin story would work; the gambling circle meets every week in the town square, insurance agents odds-makers paying 100-1 on the bet that Lord Jack the Giantslayer is burned by the chimera. Of course, as one might expect dealing with bookies, failing to pay your debts is a Bad Thing... and pretending to be dead will probably not stay pretend very long.

Alternately, Sir Mike, the son of the Baron Ron, is wounded in battle with a dragon, along with some of his good friends. While the Baron is wealthy and powerful, he doesn't wish to pay for the recovery and ongoing care of the friends, or really even pay for his own foolish son's misfortunes. So, he convinces the weak-hearted king to raise a special tax to pay for the ongoing care of the injured. Two generations later, the King's grandson is much more strong-willed; he changes this broad tax to a crushing levy only from the now wealthy monster-hunting guild.

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You say they want it; so just make them insist upon it: Upon severe injury or death, the government will pay a large sum (which they must put in escrow (the care of a third party like the Church)), or we don't fight. If we come through the fight with recoverable injuries (including those that can be healed by magic), we get the smaller per-monster fee and your escrow is returned to you, or can be used to provide for another hero.

Otherwise, without us, your monsters will eat your citizens, unrest will develop, you may lose your golden crown, and perhaps the fleshy part beneath it.

If you can't get all fighters on board, then the market will work out; either fighters get insurance because enough of them demand it, or enough are willing to fight without it so the Crown does not need to provide it.

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