Insurance is an everyday part of life isn’t it? Protection for the things we value, in case they break or disappear. We pay the premiums for these insurances because we can’t go a single day without our iPhones, our laptops, and other material goods that can be so easily replaced. We pay for contents insurance in our homes, in case we knock the television off the stand or spill a glass of wine on the carpet. We buy travel insurance when we go on holiday, in case our flights get cancelled or our suitcases go missing – inconvenient yes, but again, very solvable and temporary problems. Granted, car insurance is a legal requirement, but we do not bat an eye when our policies are up for renewal each year.
The thing I find completely bizarre is that so few people are willing to pay to protect what is surely the most important thing of all – themselves. I see it all the time; clients list their regular expenditure, filled with insurance premiums for their things but nothing in place for the owner. More people in the UK have pet insurance than life insurance. For many, personal protection isn’t even something they’ve ever considered. It’s truly baffling to me that, for whatever reason, people are put off by the idea of paying to protect themselves and their families in the event of death or sickness. This should be something that we are happy to pay for!
Now of course, we hope that we never have to make a claim on a life assurance, critical illness or income protection policy. The overriding desire is for us to stay fit and healthy and hope that nothing ever happens to us. If you’re an eternal optimist like me, you probably believe that nothing bad will ever happen to you or your loved ones. However, the reality is that families in the UK and across the globe are devastated on a daily basis by tragedy – this is simply a fact of life.
Imagine a husband and wife with three young children. Everything is going along just how they pictured it; they have a lovely home in their desired location, close to good schools and family. They both love their jobs and earn a decent income to support their lifestyle. They couldn’t be happier with every aspect of their lives. This is something so wonderfully fragile, yet they live so glaringly unprotected from the very thing that can bring it all crashing down. If one of them becomes too ill to continue working, how do they plan to keep up with the mortgage payments? We know how much strain a serious illness can put on people and families – so why are we so reluctant to ensure we can at least continue to support our loved ones financially in this event? If one of them dies and their life isn’t protected, how can their surviving family possibly continue to cope with everyday life after such a devastating loss. Financial protection against death and sickness doesn’t help with the emotional aspect of such events, of course it can’t, yet why wouldn’t we want to at least ease the burden on ourselves and our loved ones in case the worst were to happen?
Instead of being put off by the cost of protection against death and illness, we should simply be happy to pay for it. In the end, we really hope that we waste ever single penny of the premiums; after all, none of us would ever want to make a claim on a life assurance or critical illness policy. Whatever the amount we’re insured for, we should be grateful for every day that we don’t need that money.
Yet wouldn’t we want the comfort to know that, if we were to become ill or die, our families wouldn’t need to worry about money? If something were to happen, we’d have more than enough on our plates without having to deal with the bailiffs at the door. I’ve seen how much difference it can make for families to be protected financially in these events, and cannot overstate how important it is for anyone who has financial responsibilities.
Why do we value our material possessions more than we value our lives? These things do happen, whether we like it or not. We must at least give ourselves the best possible chance when they do.