Social insurance

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Social insurance [r]: Usually state-sponsored labor insurance for career-debilitating occurrances (e.g., disability, unemployment, death, etc.). [e]

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Arthur J. Altmeyer defined social insurance as insurance for "particular kinds" of occupational and career hazards: "risks, in the first place, [that are] of such magnitude that the average man cannot possibliy hope for self-protection through his single efforts if the blow does fall; risks, in the second place, to which a very large number of individuals stand more or less equally exposed; and risks, in the third place, that are sufficiently spread, in time and in actual incidence, so that protection can be financed through relatively small periodic contributions from the individuals covered by a particular job."[1]


  1. Arthur J. Altmeyer, address before the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 4, 1937 and quoted in John J. Corson, "Social Insurance: Its Nature and Characteristics as Exemplified by the Old Age and Survivors Insurance System," The Social Service Review 16, no. 3 (September 1942), 403.