This panel brings together scholars working on the topic of insurance in different times and places to tease out some of the similarities and differences of how people have grappled with the problem of economic insecurity and social precarity. As the papers all demonstrate, insurance became an important vehicle through which to articulate ideals of normative social life. It thus reflected and helped to articulate visions of the ideal communal body in contexts as diverse as Islamic religious debates, U.S. inter-state rivalries, and Japanese colonialism. At the same time, the papers also emphasize the importance of historical particularity, as the enactment of insurance hinged on religious debate, definitions of poverty, and colonial strategies of governance. In the first paper, Sohaib Khan brings our attention to South Asia, where he explores forms of insurance compatible with Islamic religious traditions. Khan explores how Deobandi clerics in post-colonial Pakistan have reappropriated the precolonial waqf or charitable endowment to fit contemporary needs of privatized insurance. George Aumoithe follows this with a paper on Medicaid reform and the restriction of the category of medical poverty in the United States. As Aumoithe argues, this was a highly contested transformation, which caused great disagreements between states. Aumoithe thus demonstrates how the national political economy impacted states’ ability to expand the security offered by public health insurance to their citizens. Finally, Ryan Moran examines the creation of a Japanese state-run life insurance system in colonial Korea. Moran explores how the state tried to utilize security as a tool of governance and to establish the colony itself as a space where all were united in the project of mutual aid underneath the umbrella of colonial authority. The papers thus all demonstrate an attention to the particularities of historical contingency while simultaneously pointing to historical parallels that allow for the examination of how different societies have managed risk and insecurity.