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No Life Insurance How Will Your Family Survive Your Death
Three years ago, early one morning, my closest friend Peter was out training with his cycling club. A bus hit the group of cyclists, killing three of them, including Peter. Peter had no life insurance, leaving his wife Mary and two children with nothing but their grief.
After months of grieving I watched Mary slowly and painfully rebuild a life for her and her children. Unable to keep up with the mortgage and the maintenance of the family home, she was forced to sell it and is now renting a smaller house in a more affordable neighbourhood. The children were taken out of their schools and moved to neighbourhood schools. As a single working mom, life is tough and finances are tight. No more new cars, gone are the family holidays twice a year and the private education.
I phoned her a few weeks ago to say hi. One thing that she said stays with me: "We get by, somehow. I don't seem to be able to save very much, but what worries me more is how I am going to cope with university fees. Peter and I always wanted to give our children everything of the best “ especially when it came to education."
According to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA), Peter was just one of 95 million adults in the United States who does not have life insurance. For Mary and her children a life insurance payout would have protected them from the financial impact of Peter's death and helped to maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to.
For anybody with dependants, life cover is not optional. The death of a breadwinner is a crippling financial blow for any family. With life cover in place, a lump sum will be paid out to the policy's beneficiaries in the event of his/her death. This payout can be used by the beneficiaries of the policy as and when they see fit:
For example, it can be put towards:
- Outstanding debt
- Education fees
- Daily living expenses
- Outstanding medical expenses related to the deceased's death
Peter's death taught me a lot. I no longer take anything for granted, let alone the time I have been given on this earth. I make more of an effort to spend time with my family “ quality time, away from the television. In fact, I have drawn up a list of the things I want to do before I die, for myself and with my family - like a bucket list. And of course, his death taught me about the importance of life insurance. My wife and I took a long, hard look at our life insurance policies. We have both increased our life cover.
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CESJ is a a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA)