I’ve read that today is “Insurance Awareness Day.” That’s not exactly a subject that brings everyone together for a party filled with beer, barbecue ribs, and beach volleyball. It’s not really “fun” is it? Well, maybe it actually is all about fun. In recognition of this day, I want to give you a couple of things to think about that might help you have more fun by reconsidering what insurance can mean to you.
Thought #1: Insurance Gives You Buying Power
How many of us can lay down cash to buy a home, a car, a snowmobile, or a boat? Not me. Most of us need to borrow some of the money needed to pay for those things. Even if we could pay for those things, it’s important to keep some cash in the banks for unexpected needs.
Lending institutions like banks and credit unions are in the business of loaning money. They work hard to figure out how to loan you as much money as possible to meet your needs, but not so much that you can’t pay them back. Their math is based on your history and ability to pay them back. But they always require you to purchase insurance don’t they?
Banks can be very good at figuring out how much you can afford, but they don’t know how to figure out the risk of damage to your home due to fire, wind, or hail. They can’t predict the chances that you damage your car or boat in an auto accident. And they can’t guess how much you might be sued for if you injure someone, meaning that you would be less likely to pay them back. If lending institutions had to include those risks in their decisions about loans, they’d be loaning a LOT less, or charging a LOT more. So insurance is giving you buying power.
Thought #2: Insurance Helps You Save For Retirement
I love my work, but I’m not going to spend everyday working until I die. I do plan to retire some day in the distant future, and when I do I’ll need money that won’t come in the form of a pay check. That means I have to save, now.
But I take risks. I drive to work. I have a little boat I like to take out on the lake. I like to ride my bicycle for exercise. I have small fires in the fire pit on my porch. All of these things could end up costing me a lot of money unexpectedly. A car accident could cost me thousands in repairs, and hundreds-of-thousands for injuries to others. I could crash into pedestrians or dogs with my bike, resulting in law suits. Those fires on the porch could cause a lot of damage if they got out of control. The chance that I become seriously ill or injure myself is always on my mind.
All of these things cost money, my retirement savings. Insurance protects my retirement savings by stepping in when these bad things happen. Instead of dipping into my retirement savings to pay for a replacement car and a lawsuit after an accident, I have insurance to protect me. It pays for the damage to my car, and defends me in the lawsuit. Insurance helps me protect the money I’ve saved for retirement.
Thought #3: Insurance Helps to Keep You Healthy
Health insurance is very expensive. But you know what is much, much, much more expensive? Health care costs. A day in a hospital room can be $10,000. The total cost for a broken arm can be $50,000. An injured back, $200,000. Cancer treatments $500,000. Health insurance helps to insulate us from these very grave costs and bring us back to health. It helps us pay for prescription drugs, to pay for preventative care, and for prenatal care. Without health insurance, we’d need a completely different health care system or massive bank accounts to help stay healthy or return to health.
Thought #4: Insurance Protects Workers
Injuries happen all the time in the work place, and some work places are a little more dangerous than others. Worker’s compensation insurance is required for every employer, and it ensures that workers injured on the job receive the best and swiftest care for their injuries. It eliminates the disputes between employers and employees and focuses efforts on getting the employee healthy again. Worker’s compensation insurance also helps employers focus on increasing the safety of their work places. Safe employers pay less for workers compensation insurance than less safe employers. It benefits both the employer and employee.
Thought #5: Insurance Helps Keep Businesses Running
Running a business is risky enough. Business owners have to attract and keep customers, hire employees, provide a work place or store front, deal with competition, trying to balance all the costs and still make some money. It can be very satisfying and fun, but it’s easy to fail and lose everything. Now add to it all the hazard risks:
- employee injuries,
- injuries to customers from products or services,
- injuries to customers while on our premises,
- damage to buildings,
- damage to delivery vehicles,
- and so on,
It’s hard to imagine actually running a business and succeeding. Business insurance helps make it all possible by helping us cope with all these risks. It provides money for repairs, pays for injuries, fixes vehicles, and can even pay for lost income.
Thought #6: Insurance Helps Care for Our Loved Ones When We Can’t
Our death is not something that we like to consider, but we all must face it. Whether by accident, crime, illness, or just old age, we will all succumb to our mortality. When we pass on, we leave behind family and friends who may have depended on us. Life insurance is a way to take away some of the grief associated with our own deaths. It can pay for funeral expenses, your child’s college education, your spouses ability to make a house payment and meet other expenses. It might not be possible to save quickly enough to have these dollars available for your unexpected death, but Life Insurance is an instant solution.
The list of positives that insurance creates is huge. Maybe a few of the ones I highlighted above will help you think a little more positively about how insurance fits into your life.
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