by Jeff Nevison
“This year marks the 11th anniversary of Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), an effort to raise awareness among consumers about the need for life insurance. Americans by and large aren’t saving much money and many households are still mired in debt. Many see value in life insurance, but less than half have individual life insurance policies. According to LIMRA, 30% of U.S. households have no life insurance whatsoever, less than 50% of consumers ages 25 to 64 have individual life insurance coverage and 44% of those without life insurance say they need it. More than 50% say additional living expenses, such as internet, cable and cell phone costs prevent them from purchasing life insurance (throw in the daily latte here too). Now more than ever, it is vital that consumers protect their family’s financial security. Life insurance has been providing this kind of protection to Americans for more than 200 years.” (LIMRA.com)
Life insurance is often misunderstood by consumers and too frequently misrepresented by agents that sell life insurance policies for the wrong reasons. The greatest reason behind consumer misunderstanding is that very few consumers take the time to really research and learn about life insurance. This makes the majority of consumers vulnerable to bad information, often delivered by other uninformed consumers, and very susceptible to making poor personal decisions about life insurance. Many consumer also try to ‘self-manage’ the purchase of life insurance, if they even make the decision to do so, and in today’s world of ‘I can do it myself online’ an uninformed consumer puts themselves and their family at risk of not having the right life insurance when it is needed most. Other results include paying too much, buying too little or giving up because it seems too difficult or too expensive.
Here are a few recommendations to consider when it comes to learning about and purchasing life insurance.
- GET EDUCATED – A good resource to consider for some of the basics is www.lifehappens.org and click the tab ‘Insurance 101’. Also consider meeting with a qualified life agent that can provide industry credentials such as C.L.U. (certified life underwriter) and/or tell you about their experience and level of expertise. Make sure you feel comfortable and go to the meeting prepared with a few questions based on your personal research. RUN (fast) from an agent that wants to sell you something before they take the time to qualify themselves AND to learn about you, your family, your financial circumstances, your goals and especially if they don’t, won’t or can’t answer your questions.
- MAKE LIFE INSURANCE A PART OF YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN – Even if you aren’t wealthy today, life insurance can provide instant ‘wealth and security’ for your family should you not live to accomplish all that you had planned and hoped for your family.
- DON’T PROCRASTINATE – The road of life is littered with families and loved ones that suffered financial hardship because the family provider and caregiver always “intended to get life insurance”. James 4:14 is truth that cautions us about our ‘tomorrows’ and the uncertainties of our lives here. We can’t come back from death for a do over.
- LIFE INSURANCE ISN’T REALLY ABOUT YOU – It’s about those you love that will still be here when you aren’t. It is a gift of financial security that you can leave so that your loved ones can continue to live out the dreams that you shared and helped to foster. Consider Prov. 13:22, 1 Tim 5:8, Rom 13:8-10
- LIFE ASSURANCE IS ABOUT YOU – John 3:16 Be sure in this and then share it with others. This will make the eternal difference in your life and in the lives of those you love.