Lauren P

Many people complain about the need for insurance these days. I completely disagree with their views. The importance of insurance and how it works to protect us is something my dad and mom taught me at an early age. We have not had a need to use it very often but when the occasion required it, I have been educated about its value and how it has helped to protect my family from personal and financial hardship as well as how it rewards healthy habits and good personal conduct.

A few years ago my mom was in a serious accident. The truck ahead of her had a trailer that snapped from its hitch. The trailer hit her on the driver’s side, forcing her off the freeway where she hit a light pole. Miraculously, she was not seriously hurt although her car was totaled. The insurance company for the other driver called her within 24 hours, provided a loaner car and assisted her in replacing her vehicle. It was important to me because I observed firsthand how proper insurance can help to financially cover emergency occurrences that are beyond our control. I saw how insurance helped to defray the costs that otherwise would have had serious financial impact on not only my family but the other driver as well. For example, I knew that a replacement car could have been expensive but the other driver had insurance to cover the replacement without tremendous out of pocket expense. Because the value of the vehicle was already determined, the efficiency of the dealership and the speed in which paperwork was professionally managed made it a far easier process than trying to tackle these challenges on our own. Most importantly, I learned how the insurance agents work with the victims of an accident to resolve the case quickly, efficiently and fairly for all involved.

Although it is there in times of emergency like my mom’s accident, insurance is also important to me because it encourages a clean and healthy lifestyle. Over the years, my parents have shown me how insurance companies provide financial incentives when we take personal responsibility for ourselves. They actually provide us with premium discounts simply by maintaining healthy patterns like routine appointments such as dental or health wellness checkups. For example, I see a dentist for once a year checkups and the insurance company has periodically reviewed my file. Because I’ve maintained regular visits and have a healthy dental record, I no longer pay a deductible for cleanings and annual exams. The same type of discounts have been provided to my family for good driving records and extended to me for both my driving and academic records. I am a part of my parent’s auto insurance plan, I have participated in auto safety classes and I have a record of personal and academic excellence. Because of these attributes, my auto insurance offers good driver and good student discounts. The result is an insurance plan with affordable premiums that I can pay on my own.

Insurance is also important to me because I know it is there as a safety net of protection in the event of circumstances that are impossible to anticipate in advance. A few years ago, my family took a trip to another state to visit my aunt and uncle. Just after we left, a water hose in our washing machine split. Nine days later when we returned, the floors and walls in the laundry room, kitchen, entry and my brother’s room had been completely ruined by water. My parents made a call to their homeowners insurance and within a few hours a service crew arrived to help mop up, start fans and assess the situation. The damage was extensive. It affected four rooms and subflooring. Carpet, hardwood floors, drywall and fixtures had to be replaced and each room had to be repainted. I can’t imagine the out of pocket expense it would have been if we had not had appropriate homeowners insurance. However, the deductible was reasonable, the team highly professional and paperwork was completed in a timely manner. The insurance team helped us find temporary housing while repairs were done and they were diligent about checking in with us to report progress. The support and encouragement from the insurance company made the process a lot less stressful and in no time at all we were back in our home with repairs done and back into our family routines.

My dad recently told me it is never too early to plan for my future and I took his advice to heart. I live on my own and am putting myself through college, so I have signed up for renters insurance and a small life insurance. These types of insurance plans are important because I see how it can not only protect me now but how it can also positively affect me as I grow older. I see these as adult steps to protect myself and my belongings as I begin my personal journey toward success. So many people today lament the need for insurance but I am not one of them. I believe it is an important, proactive way to protect myself, my assets and my future.

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