Insurance is something that kids do not often think about, because parents usually take care of that for them. But I have some different circumstances that have taught me about the importance of insurance at a young age. My grandfather, way before I was born, was riding a motorcycle and was hit by a drunk driver. In that accident he lost his left leg from the knee down, and I have never known him any other way. The driver that hit him did not have insurance, and my grandparents were stuck with a lot of hospital bills, a lot of debt, and no way to make money because my grandfather was in the hospital so long he lost his job. They were just starting out and their entire future was changed in that one incident where no one had insurance.
I see all the time on billboards and on television commercials how much compensation from insurance companies people get for accidents such as this, and I always wonder how their lives (and my mom’s life growing up) could have been different if they would have had insurance. My grandfather has been without his leg for 45 years now, and he still has physical limitations from it. He never fully recovered financially from that accident, either. This is such an important reason to always have insurance – it can alter a life in no time, and change the lives of multiple generations.
I had a family member pass away a couple of years ago and she did not have life insurance. Her funeral expenses were over $10,000, and the burden was put on her children to pay for the expenses. There were five children who were to divide the expenses, and unfortunately not all of them paid their fair share. This left an unpaid bill with the funeral home, and it also caused many problems between the kids who were to all pay their share. If my family member would have had life insurance it would have covered all expenses, and perhaps even provided money to her children, which would have created a different outcome for everyone involved.
My two uncles are farmers in Wisconsin and they rely solely on their income from that farm to support their families. In 2010 when I was about 10 years old, there was a huge storm that came through our town, and all of their crops on 400 acres of land were completely destroyed. These were the crops they used to feed their animals and to sell for income. They had insurance on these crops, though, and they had someone come out and assess the damage and write them a substantial check to cover their losses. This helped them to stay in the farming business, because without it they would not have been able to survive the year. Unfortunately there were farmers nearby that did not want to invest the money in insurance, or did not have the money to invest in insurance, and they lost all of their crops and did not have any money to continue their farming operations. It was unfortunate to see.
My parents often tell me about the importance of health insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, and life insurance, because they want me to realize that although I may not make a lot of money, this is something that I should consider a “need” and I should make sure that I have insurance before I buy things that are a “want”. It is important to always make sure that I am covered should anything happen to me or to someone else because of me. I do not want to cause harm to myself or another individual that could lead to financial problems, so it is worth the up front costs of insurance to avoid the long-term repercussions of not being insured and having an accident or illness or an act of nature that destroys people’s lives forever. Insurance is one of those things that you pay for and hope that you will never need, and therefore it seems like a waste of money to many people. You pay with your own hard earned money, and there is a chance you would never get that money back, but my parents always say it is worth it, not only for the peace of mind that you get when you are insured, but because one accident, one injury, one illness, and one act of nature can pay you back much more than you ever invested in insurance premiums. This is something that I will never go without.
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