Their wergild, literally meaning 'man-price,' was an early form of life insurance.
Umm...no. It wasn't. At all. Unless you pay your insurance agent nothing, and then your agent pays up iff he/she kills you. I don't think that's what markgritter's company offers, though. And talk about missing a fundamental aspect of the culture! She goes on to earnestly not understand the cultural concepts surrounding it. Of course.
Why is this one so hard? WHY??? Why do so many freakin' idiots go on about other cultures' focus on revenge when our punishment for murder doesn't do a single concrete thing for the victim's family? YARRRRG!