THERE is no doubt that the ongoing pandemic has turned our world upside down. We found ourselves doing things we were not doing before the pandemic such as wearing face masks or observing physical distancing or working and studying from home. We were prioritizing and de-prioritizing items in our checklist, moving things from nonessentials to essentials. What we used to take for granted now takes a front seat in what matters to us. Just consider how the pandemic changed the way many Filipinos look at life insurance, and you will better appreciate what I am saying.
Life insurance is one of the most overlooked and bottom-of-the-list in the priorities of many Filipinos pre-pandemic. Many preferred spending their money on new gadgets, traveling or dining out instead of spending it on life insurance premiums. Many believed that they did not need life insurance as they were still young, healthy and earning. They felt secure, provided and protected as is. Then, the pandemic happened with all the disruptions it caused, and people realized and acted on the importance of having life insurance. As the pandemic brought uncertainties and made us all vulnerable in the face of the unseen enemy, people started worrying and planning about their own future but more importantly, of their loved ones.
This interest was reflected in the growth of the industry in 2020 and even more in 2021, during which most industries were just trying to stay afloat. The latest data showed that premium income increased by 64 percent during the third quarter of 2021 and industry insiders believe that it is more likely that the two-digit growth was sustained until end of last year and will continue this 2022. This is fueled by the public’s increasing awareness of and appreciation for life insurance.
Here are three reasons why people are seeing the importance of buying life insurance during this pandemic.
It protects your loved ones from life’s uncertainties. As they say, you buy life insurance not because you must die but because your loved ones must live even when you are no longer around. Not only to live but continue living their lifestyle as if you were never gone. The pandemic has already claimed thousands of lives. It did not discriminate… rich or poor, healthy or sick, young or old, male or female, employed or unemployed. Suddenly, we all faced our vulnerability, our mortality. And during these moments, we ask ourselves these questions: What happens to my loved ones when I am no longer around? Who will provide for them? Will they be able to keep the house and the car? Will my kids be able to continue their education? And so many other questions. These are the questions life insurance is here to answer and provide for. Life insurance kicks in when you can no longer provide for your survivors’ needs. It provides financial security when the source of income or the breadwinner is removed from the picture. It provides funds for death-related expenses, your family’s day-to-day living expenses, payments on house and car mortgages, your children’s education, among others. Sadly, especially during this pandemic, we have seen relatives and friends not only mourning for their loss, but having to worry, big time, on how they will continue living empty-handed. We have seen drastic changes in the lifestyle of the surviving family members with the passing of the breadwinner. If only they had life insurance… We sure don’t want our loved ones to carry the burden when it’s our time to go. How are you preparing and ensuring that their future is secured and protected?
It has living benefits that can protect your finances. This prolonged pandemic is not only considered a health crisis but an economic crisis as well. People were taking pay cuts, losing jobs or closing businesses. Imagine the financial impact caused by a smaller take-home pay, or a sudden loss of job/business or a medical emergency. It has certainly made a huge dent on our finances. Luckily for some, they have life insurance. While the primary purpose of life insurance is protection, it has evolved into savings, health and investment products, which provide living benefits. Meaning, no one has to die to enjoy some of the product’s benefits. Those who suddenly found themselves in a financial quandary had to rely on their life insurance products. It provides benefits in order that your finances and other forms of savings will not get depleted while you deal with unexpected expenses and other uncertainties. One of my female friends, who lost her job in 2020, was very thankful that she bought insurance plans years ago and was now providing for the educational funds of her daughters during the pandemic. This enabled her to send her three daughters to college despite her being jobless and without her having to exhaust her savings. On the other hand, I saw how the family savings of another friend was drained when he became critically ill with Covid and had to be confined. He had no life or medical insurance. So, he had to pay for all the medical expenses using his life savings. Thankfully, he recovered but had to rebuild his finances from scratch. Having insurance products with living benefits will help ensure that your finances will not be wiped out from a single hospitalization or from sudden loss of income. For sure, we all want our finances protected whatever crisis may come our way. How were you making sure that your hard-earned money was safe and protected?
It provides peace of mind. Stressed, stretched, worried or burdened; these are just some of the words that can describe the state of mind of most people nowadays. While we cannot control the twists and turns of this pandemic, we can do something to manage its impact on us. Having life insurance can make us calmer and more at peace amid the risks and uncertainties that surround us. We can sleep soundly at night, knowing that we are covered in case we experience medical emergencies and other unexpected events. While insurance may not answer all of our worries and fears, it can definitely lighten what could be a big and heavy load on our shoulders. You can focus on recovering and getting well, instead of worrying how to settle your hospital bills. You can focus on guiding your children with their studies instead of worrying about their tuition fees. You can properly mourn the loss of a loved one instead of worrying how to survive the next few days. Life insurance will allow us to focus more on the things that really matter. One financial advisor shared that at the peak of Covid infections and deaths, a client called her to check on his insurance and to purchase additional coverage. When she asked the reason for the additional coverage, the client calmly replied, “I need to have the peace of mind that my family is secure and protected if ever Covid will get me.” Somehow, life insurance empowers us to “buy” our peace of mind. What are you doing to have that peace of mind you deserve?
We do not know what lies ahead for all of us. This pandemic has shown us that anything, even the most unimaginable, can happen to all of us in an instant. That one day, we can just wake up in a world much different from what we used to know. During these times, it helps to know that we do not have to carry the financial burden all by ourselves and that we have something that we can rely on with certainty. There is no financial product in the market, other than life insurance, that can provide these benefits. As my friend, agency leader Nina Anover, said in a recent interview: “It still amazes me, that just for a small amount of premium we pay, there is a product where different forces come together to provide for us and our family, when we need financial help the most. Only life insurance can do that.”