Nov 20, 2012

Insurance: Necessary Evil or a Waste of Money?

Insurance—what are your feelings about it?  Necessary evil or a waste of money?  Do you have home or tenants insurance in case of fire or burglary?  And insurance on your car should it be in an accident or be stolen?  Do you purchase travel insurance, even for the ‘short’ trips? Will your family be taken care of financially in the event of your death? Will you be taken care of should you be diagnosed with a serious illness?  Apologies in advance for the topic of this post, but if you’ve been following our blog, you will know that it has not been an easy time for our family lately.  Far from being behind us, it has made us look at ourselves a bit closer and realise that shit happens.  The question is then how can we be best prepared to deal with it when it does?

But first, a disclaimer:  Jim and I are by no means ‘poster people’ for the insurance companies.  Nor have we been the most ‘prepared’ people—probably better than some and worse than others.

I’ve always had tenants and homeowner’s insurance when I was younger, and of course car insurance.  Travel insurance was something that we took out sporadically in the past, although due to having the ‘2 kids in tow’ on this past big trip, we did make sure we were adequately covered.

Becoming parents has definitely changed us in terms of thinking more about the future and of being responsible for people other than our two selves.  But once again, in that regard, we still have a lot of work to do.

In addition, due to our recent events I have become quite focused with making sure that in the event of our early death, as parents, that we have done all that we can now to ensure that the girls will be adequately taken care of. As part of his job, Jim has life and disability insurance so that should something happen to him, the girls and I would have some financial security (or the money would go to their guardians to aid in their rearing). 

But until now, I myself have not had any life insurance.  It’s something that I’ve ‘been meaning to look into’.  Honestly, I am guilty of chauvinistic thinking here—that should Jim who is the main bread winner of our family pass away, we would be financially disadvantaged and would need ‘help’ ie insurance.  But should I pass away first, well, Jim would still be able to provide for himself and the girls, right?

Well, not necessarily.

If I wasn’t here, how would I want Jim to look after the girls?  And would he be able to work full-time while being both father and mother to them?  Who would tend to the ‘domestic duties’ that I currently undertake?  I’d want him to drop everything and put the girls’ care and needs first.  But in order to do that, he likely wouldn’t be able to work full-time and would need to hire help (after all, mother’s DO do the job of at least 3 people LOL).

Which brings us back to the issue of life insurance.

So I finally bit the bullet and opened that can of worms (yes, I like my clich├ęs).  After many hours spent talking/emailing/waiting on hold, I am pleased to say that I am now insured so that if anything should happen to me, Jim could drop everything to look after the girls and not have to worry about working as well.

But then guess what?

Not 48hrs after my policy was in place, we were in a car accident.  Ok, it wasn’t that dramatic, and it was minor in the scope of things, but we did get a chance to utilise one of our other insurance policies (it wasn't our fault but our car was a write off) and boy, did we ever feel grateful that we had that well covered. 

But that’s another story.

Insurance is one of those funny things—it’s a lot of money at the time, and chances are you won’t need to use it but if you do, it sure comes in handy to help make the fall-out from a bad situation a little bit easier.  We’d like to think that we can control what happens to us, and that ‘bad stuff happens to other people’, but in case that’s not going to be true for you, I’d advise you to give the topic of insurance a good long thought.

1 comment:

  1. In my vision, a travel insurance is not a waste of money, because even if we take care, bad situations can appear, we can't know! Personally, I'm happy, because I'm also protected abroad with my California health insurance policy. It's really useful and better to pay a monthly fee, than hundreds.