When we think of some of the most significant inventions or creations in our history, we think of things like cars, television, cell phones, computers and internet, but rarely does someone consider the creation of insurance to be among the great creations of our time.
Lee Child is the not so known author of the quote, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst,” which I believe should be the motto of all insurance companies, since it seems to summarize the basic reason for obtaining insurance. While there are many people that consider the cost of life, medical, car, and homeowners insurance to be a burden, insurance is important to me because it has touched every aspect of my life in a positive manner following a natural disaster, deaths, and illnesses.
In 2008, hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast destroying homes with high winds and flooding. Unfortunately, it also produced a tornado over my subdivision, which resulted in a huge pine tree falling through the middle of my house while we were sleeping. In addition to the destruction to our home, a large side branch also fell down the middle of one of our cars. I was only 13 at the time but I remember that my dad was overwhelmed with the destruction of half of our home and a car. My mom on the other hand was content with the reality that none of us were hurt, and we had insurance. At the time I did not fully understand what she meant about the insurance, but I have since gained the knowledge of its importance and the role it has played in our lives.
The total damage to our home and car was around $150,000. My dad is a mechanic and he was only making around $45,000 a year at the time. My mom is disabled, so without insurance, the reality is we would have gone bankrupt trying to pay for the repairs ourselves. Fortunately, our homeowners and automobile insurance made it possible to repair both, and within six months our lives were once again returned to normal. This was my first lesson on the value of homeowners and car insurance and it is a lesson that I will never forget. My next lessons on the value of insurance came four and five years later in 2012 and 2013.
In August of 2012, my 44 year old uncle on my dad’s side of the family was diagnosed with West Nile Virus. Unfortunately, he passed away two months later from complications of the illness. I did not realize it then, but I realize now that his medical insurance was the only thing that made paying for his medical care possible. In addition to the medical insurance was his life insurance policy that provided funds to his surviving wife, a stay at home mom, and their 12 year old son. This was also my first experience with death, which was shortly followed by another.
Six months later in January of 2013, my 40 year old uncle on my mom’s side of the family was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, and died a month later. Then five months after that, my grandfather passed away. Once again, medical and life insurance made it possible for both of them to get the care they needed, and prevented their spouses from drowning in the overwhelming debt associated with the medical care and loss of income.
As a child experiencing a natural disaster first hand and three deaths in a 12 month period, I am not sure I could fully wrap my head around everything that was going on at the time. As I have gained more knowledge with age and education, I reflect on those events and I see the important role that insurance played in our lives and the lives of our family. Without homeowners, auto, medical, and life insurance, the lives of four families, including my own, would have been forever changed in a negative way. Insurance made it possible for us to financially overcome all these obstacles and rise above the devastation.
When I think back again to the quote, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst,” we can all hope for the best and hope that natural disasters, death, and illnesses will not affect us, but it is important that we face reality and plan for them. Luckily, insurance was created for such planning and I am one young adult who learned my lessons on the value of insurance early in life.
Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to Life Insurance:
Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.