One of the oldest insurance jokes that never fails to raise a few guffaws is that insurance is like a parachute, if it isn’t there the first time, the chances are that you won’t be needing it again.
Ever since human beings learned to understand the vagaries of chance and the importance of money for survival, life insurance has in one way or the other existed. There are stories about ‘Burial Clubs’ in ancient Rome that paid for funeral expenses and provided financial assistance to survivors.
At parties and gatherings when my fellow guests learn that I am an insurance professional, they ask me an existential question. (After they are reassured that I am not going to try and sell them insurance!) What is the purpose of life insurance? I have my answer down pat. Peace of Mind.
It’s that simple. Forget all the fancy catch phrases, I tell them. Forget all the complicated phrases. It gives you Peace of Mind.
Let me give you an example:
There is a 35-year old with a monthly income of about Rs. 80000. He is the primary bread-winner in the family as his wife has given up her job to care for the kids. He pays EMIs, school fees, gets food to the table. He also arranges annual holidays and little treats for the family.
Now, the question that always lurks in his consciousness is, ‘if something happens to me what will happen to them?’
This is exactly the kind of person who will get peace of mind by taking adequate insurance cover. He is young and has dependents that rely on him for sustenance and existence.
When this man buys an insurance policy, he can sleep comfortably in the thought that his family will be taken care of.
While the primary job of life insurance is to provide a safety net to loved ones, insurance also works very well as an investment option; a retirement planning device and a tax saving product. There are many policies available that can offer a combination of multiple benefits – depending on your age and requirement.
However, despite all the secondary benefits of buying life insurance, for me the primary purpose continues to be Financial Reassurance.
As an aged father once told his young sons, ‘I want to give you a piece of my mind. Always have peace of mind.’