I can vividly remember the pure state of panic as the fire was unfolding at such a rapid pace. Choices of what to take and leave were made within 30 minutes. All the while my parents were yelling, “Only take what can’t be replaced!”
Just three short years ago I was directly involved in a devastating forest fire in Black Forest, Colorado. Nearly 500 homes were destroyed in this fire. Thankfully, our home was spared, but we had a great deal of damage to our property and the exterior of our house. We were all frantic as we were running through the house trying to take irreplaceable items, yet there was a great deal of internal conflict when deciding what items we could take and fit into just two vehicles. Each of my sisters, as well as myself, was given a large plastic tub to fill with the items we felt we couldn’t leave behind. This task was not an easy one and one that I will never forget.
That evening as we were heading into our hotel, all of our belongings fit on one luggage cart. It was entirely depressing. We were all upset not knowing the fate of our other belongings that were left behind. My dad kept reminding us that we had the most important things and most everything else could be replaced due to our insurance. After all was said and done, our family was lucky to have insurance. It helped to cover the losses we had to our land, septic system, and roof, as well as the smoke damage we incurred within the interior of our house. Without this insurance, we would have had a difficult time covering these expenses.
Others within our neighborhood were not as lucky and suffered complete loss of their homes. Sadly, some of these families weren’t carrying insurance on their homes at the time of the fire. Their devastation was heartbreaking. Three years later these families still have not been able to rebuild their homes. If they had home owners insurance, they would have been able to rebuild their homes and replace most of their personal belongings. I am still saddened every day when I drive by these empty lots knowing that these families will most likely never be able to rebuild their homes in my neighborhood.
Another devastating firsthand experience that I have had that deals with the importance of insurance is when my grandpa was battling lung cancer. My grandpa worked in a steel mill for 41 years of his life. After a short lived retirement, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Without medical insurance, his life span would have been further limited and there is no possible way he could have ever paid for the cost of his numerous doctor visits, chemotherapy, radiation, pharmaceutical drugs, and other therapies. Throughout the course of his 18 month battle, over one million dollars was spent on healthcare costs due to medical bills and experimental medication. The average person cannot afford medical bills of this magnitude. This medical insurance indirectly prolonged my grandpa’s life and the time we were able to spend with him. This is something one can’t even put a dollar amount on as my time with him was priceless.
My last experience has to do with a car wreck. Just two months after I received my driver’s license, I was involved in a seven car pileup. Fortunately, the car that I hit received little damage however my car sustained moderate damage. Had it not been for my auto insurance and accident forgiveness, I would have been stuck with auto bills that I wouldn’t be able to cover. Most consumers simply can’t afford to buy another vehicle for someone should they severely damage that person’s automobile nor can they afford to buy a replacement vehicle for themselves. This incident helped me to further understand why there are times when you may not want or need to use your insurance due to your deductible. I had assumed that if something was damaged you could just submit it and move on. Little did I know the lessons I would learn throughout this experience as well.
Life is full of ups and downs and none of us know when something unexpected can or will happen. Insurance is one of the best forms of security that we can purchase for unfortunate incidents. Without automobile insurance, you might lose everything that you have, including future earnings in order to pay these damages. Without homeowner’s insurance, you might lose the greatest investment you will ever make. Without health insurance, you may have limited time with those you love the most. When you truly need insurance, it’s extremely important to have.
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