On the back of my first post ‘Term Insurance First…………then the Rest’, thought it would be good to take the journey ahead in spreading awareness on life insurance, by sharing ‘Reality bites’ from my interaction with families who have seen the loss of a bread-winner. It’s an immensely mixed emotion, on the one side it is sadness and empathy (for the loss & challenges faced by the family) and on the other side it is one of admiration and pride (for the family moving ahead with life and seeing the financial protection for the family through the claim paid).
I walked into this small one-room home in Nala Sopara in the western suburbs around Mumbai along with my colleague Gyan Alok. My heart was pulsating with the thought of meeting this family… What will I say, what will they say. But I wanted to meet them since this was the ‘moment of truth’. On behalf of my Company, I was visiting a family who had lost their bread-winner. The man had succumbed to Dengue at an age of just 41 years..
Our Company had already settled the insurance claim of Rs. 1.25 lac (Rs. 125k) for the family almost immediately when the claim was submitted. The nominee who received the claim was the wife and they have 3 children. I went across to meet the family and to understand how they had been coping.
I was surprised to receive a warm and emotional welcome by the family. They arranged special chairs for us to sit down. I tried to start the conversation explaining that we are coming from the Company which had settled the claim and wanted to understand how the family was coping with this loss. The departed member’s wife gave her appreciation for settlement of the claim. At the same time she mentioned about another claim of Rs. 1 lac paid by another Company and a third one of around Rs. 1 lac rejected by another Company.
She mentioned, that the going was difficult for the family since they received claims barely equivalent to a little over the annual income (Rs. 2 lac / Rs. 200k) of the departed member. That would barely be sufficient to support less than 2 years of expenses, that is, if they managed it with great frugality. This meant resorting to pleading the wider family for financial support, loans and the wife having to do some odd jobs and errands beyond taking care of the 3 children, just to make both ends meet.
The initial thought that came to me was that timely attention or detection of the illness could have averted this fatality. There is a lot more to be done to engage with customers on health and wellness to help them live the longest term, improve the quality of life and reduce instances of mortality.
The other thought that came to me was why this family hadn’t received a claim of Rs. 10 lac or Rs. 20 lac or even more and feel financially protected and secure. The answer was clear. No ‘Term Insurance’ had been taken by the departed member. 3 different insurance policies were taken, but all were savings insurance products.
Savings insurance products typically offer 10 times the premium paid as the life insurance cover, which by default tends to be closer to 1 time the annual income considering the premiums one can set aside annually. Whereas Term Insurance can provide a cover of over 10 to 20 times the annual income; it is pure vanilla insurance, as it just provides huge life insurance cover at lower premiums.
One of the reasons to make this visit was also to understand why people are not buying ‘Term Insurance’ as the first insurance option and selecting ‘savings insurance’ products which do not provide the adequate insurance cover to replace the lost bread-winner’s income. Clearly there is a huge lack of awareness, and at the same time there is also an urgent need for insurance companies to better advise their customers so that their real needs can be met.
We explained to our customer’s wife (nominee) we met, mother of three, these real benefits of Term Insurance and the need for more awareness, so that such cases, similar to their family, do not continue to occur. When asked, if she could help us in this effort to spread awareness, she said she would be happy to come forward if it meant it could help others not end up in the same situation.
We need help from all to create this chain of awareness across our families, friends, colleagues and beyond so that every family in India is adequately covered. We need to ensure that Term Insurance is the first insurance bread-winners buy and with the appropriate amount of cover, so that families don’t have to experience the financial distress that this mother and her three children are going through.
While we pray that no family faces an untimely loss of a bread-winner, let’s work towards a goal that if there is any untimely fatality in any family with a bread-winner, the family gets a claim which is large enough (10 times to 20 times annual income) to financially protect and secure the families future. And this will only happen if the first insurance is Term insurance. It’s time to shake-up India, time to wake-up India! Let’s adequately Insure India to make it financially Future Fit!
As in the previous post giving a few lines with a rhyme below to put across the thoughts:
My heart goes out to the Families who lose a bread-winner
99% chances that we will live long enough but 1% chance that life may beslimmer
Why take chances with the ones we love the most, our Family
Let us protect and secure their financial future with online Term Life insurancerapidly
I hope and wish that I do not have to see families receiving no or low insurance
Which hardly supports them for a year or two and is not sufficient forsustenance
The goal is that for every family losing a bread-winner untimely
They should receive a life insurance claim large enough to meet family needsentirely
That can happen with Term Life insurance cover about 10 to 20 times theannual income
So our Families move ahead in life, with no troubles and lots of Fun
‘Cause our Families deserve nothing but the Best