I read an article that said the Notre Dame Cathedral was most likely self-insured. What does this mean?
Basically, being self-insured means you have decided to accept the risk of loss yourself. If you self-insure your house for property damage, for example, you are taking on the financial responsibility to repair any damages from a covered loss that insurance would have paid to repair. The cost of repairs for roof damage from a wind storm or damage from fire would be totally up to you. If your house has a mortgagee against it, our lender will most likely require you to obtain insurance rather than self-insure.
All of us self-insure part of our home and cars with a deductible on the policy. You can choose to lower your premium by raising the deductible. Ask your agent to quote different levels of deductibles to see if the savings on the premium are worth the increase in self-insurance. If you decide to go with a higher deductible, be sure you have that money set aside in the event of a loss.
So why would Notre Dame Cathedral be self-insured? Due to the construction and age of the building, and certainly the historical value, there may not have been an insurance company willing to insure the building or perhaps the premiums were too high.
As an insurance agent, I wouldn’t recommend you self-insure your house or any high-valued item unless you can afford the monetary loss. Talk to your insurance agent if you have any questions about self-insuring and/or deductibles.