A friend invited me to lunch recently and, truth be told, I was so expectant because it had been quite a long time we last hooked up. When I got his text message proposing lunch somewhere in Victoria Island, I wasted no time in responding. We later spoke on phone that day and agreed to meet at a favorite restaurant the following afternoon.
I got to the restaurant about five minutes late due to the usual Lagos Island traffic jam. But my friend was not there yet; so I gave a sigh of relief and settled on a seat in the waiting area. It was quite a good opportunity for me to attend to some of the emails that had been dropping on my Galaxy Tab for the past hour or so. I read through the first, second, and third mail. As I opened the fourth mail, my ears caught a conversation going on among the three men and a lady who sat at a table close to me. They were apparently waiting for their food to arrive from the kitchen.
What were they discussing, and why did it catch my attention? Well, they were talking about my profession – life insurance. One of the three men was an insurance salesman, and his friends seemed not to know much about his business. Initially, I did not show any interest until the lady, in the usual feminine aggressiveness, looked at the insurance man straight in the face and exploded, “Mr. Man, convince us on why we need life insurance, that’s all!”
You may accuse me of eavesdropping, but that challenge seriously picked my interest. I waited eagerly to hear my professional compatriot’s response.
Five seconds went without a response from him. But he finally started, “You see … it’s essential…”
“Yes we agree it’s essential, but convince us,” one of his friends interjected.
“But you just have to listen to me,” the insurance man replied.
I peeped at him. I could see the look on his face. He was clearly feeling uncomfortable. And rightly so, because his “interrogators” were not giving him a chance to talk. It was one interjection after the other as he made attempts to speak.
I could see that they were having real fun. But, honestly, I felt they were humiliating this insurance man.
‘Why on earth do people treat insurance salesmen this way?’ I thought. I had an urge to speak. I wanted to intrude. I felt wholesale nba jerseys like coming to the aid of my fellow man, a fellow insurance practitioner. But the careful part of me rang caution. So I restrained myself. ‘Let him defend himself,’ I thought.
A savior finally came in the form of the waiter who brought their drinks. He served the salesman a bottle of water; gave a bottle of Guinness Stout each to the other two men; and handed a large cup of Chapman to the cheap jerseys aggressive lady who I was now beginning to admire because of her forceful nature. ‘She must be a lawyer or something,’ I reasoned.
Immediately the waiter left their table, one of the two men said, “Okay, enough of the assaults, let’s give Wande the chance to talk. I ban the two of you from speaking for the next five minutes.”
They all laughed and sipped their drinks. My insurance friend did the same. He set down his cup on the table, cleared his throat, and loosened his neck tie.
“Guys, insurance is for everyone. The practice of insurance dates back to the era of the merchants of Italy who…” he continued for a while.
The lady giggled. She took another sip and reached for her handbag. She brought out a wrap of chewing gum, threw it into her mouth, and continued to giggle as she chewed.
“Wande, stop!” she shrieked, “You are not talking; in fact, I’m not convinced. We don’t need theories or history here. All we need from you are the reasons why we must have life insurance. Who cares about when and how insurance started?”
“Give him a chance, I’m enjoying his History Channel,” said the guy that sat next to the lady.
They all laughed again; except Wande who was not finding the scene funny. He was obviously embarrassed and probably noticed that I was following their discussion despite my pretention to be busy on my Tab. He surveyed the room, took a brisk look at me, and threw up his hands in exasperation. I pitied him.
‘What a shame! Why is this guy finding it hard to explain himself? Who is asking for insurance history here? Boy, you deserve a spank in the bottom,’ I mused.
Waoh! I had suddenly become the silent judge. I felt disappointed with Wande. Why was he allowing these characters to throw puns at him; and me, by extension and association with insurance?
“Hey Niyi, Sorry I’m late,” my friend announced as he breezed into the restaurant. That quickly diverted my attention and neutralized my fury.
Did I totally forget the discussion after my friend’s arrival? No way! The scene refused to leave my mind.
My friend and I had our lunch, told the usual stories of our exploits in Lagos; talked about our offices; discussed politics a little bit; spoke about our families, friends, churches, recent trips etc; and finally stood up to leave the restaurant after about two hours of stay.
Those four friends were still there at their table. They seemed not to be in a hurry to leave the restaurant. As we passed by, I noticed that they had finally left my insurance “colleague” alone. Their attention had shifted to soccer. I overheard them talking about Yakubu Aiyegbeni and the score he missed in one of the Super Eagles’ crucial international matches.
‘This lady again,’ I thought. She was discussing soccer with so much passion. I’ve always wondered why our ladies have suddenly developed a serious interest in soccer. Maybe it’s because wholesale NFL jerseys of the women soccer that has now become quite popular across the world. Or, is it simply a fulfillment of the adage, “What a man can do, a woman can do better?”
Later in the evening of that day, my mind flashed back to that restaurant and my insurance friend, Wande. I then asked myself, ‘Why, indeed, should people have life insurance? Why do they need it? What did that guy fail to say at the restaurant?’
I reached for my notepad and started scribbling. Was I surprised about the number of pages I wrote within a few minutes? Oh yes! There are so many reasons and sub-reasons for life insurance. But I have decided to compress everything into four categories. Incidentally, those characters at the restaurant were also four in number. I very much pray that one of them sees this post to ascertain what life insurance can do.
I have also decided to write in a rather comical manner, knowing full well that some people don’t like discussing life insurance. I’m adopting this style in the hope that it will provoke you into action. You may take me as Wande for this purpose, because I am probably helping him to address his friends at the restaurant. Wande could have been any life insurance man, and his audience could have been any of our friends too. It could have been YOU.
Life is full of risk! I dare say that life itself is a risk. As we sleep, we run the risk of not waking up. Anything can happen in the course of the night as we cease to be in control the moment nature takes us away. It is therefore not too surprising that some people describe the period of sleep as a “temporary death.”
As we wake up again we face various risks. You, my friend, probably wake up every morning, say your prayers, do some exercise, take your bath, dress up, have your breakfast, proceed to your place of work, do the work for the day, create some time for leisure later in the evening, return home, take your evening shower, have dinner, sleep again, wake up… And on, and on… your life goes. But for each of this action steps, you have different kinds of risks attached.
First is the risk of dying too young. Anything could happen at any time. Accidents do occur, and people do fall ill. People die. Open the newspapers, you will find announcements there; obituaries of people who died “after a brief illness;” news about people who died in motor accidents; people who got shot dead by armed robbers or trigger-happy police officers etc.
Examine the lives of these people and you will realize that they were breadwinners, people with young children at home, people who owed one bank or the other some money, people with plans for their families, people who prayed to live long but sadly died young. They did not expect those kinds of death.
Life insurance exists to einen protect you against the risk of dying too young. That is point number one. “How?” you may ask. I will then answer that “Life insurance exists not so much because you will die, but because someone must continue to live after your death!” It is very simple. If you die today, who takes care of the children? Who pays the bills? Who repays your bank loans? I can go on and on. But I’m sure you can get the picture. You need life insurance to make provisions for the negative financial effects of your possible premature exit. Nobody prays to die young, but there is always that big word, IF. What IF it happens? Think about the effects your death could a have on the family.
“How does life insurance achieve that? How does it help my dependants financially?” you may ask again. Just wait a little. Let me run through the remaining three reasons, I will then talk about the kinds of life insurance products you can buy to meet each of the needs.
Now to the second case; life insurance exists to mitigate against the financial risk of you living long. That is the number two reason for you to have life insurance. I’m sure you must be thinking wholesale NBA jerseys that I don’t know what I’m saying. Something could have shouted, “Contradiction!” in your mind. Don’t worry. I will explain myself.
You see, just as you may die too soon, so you could live for too long. I know you can easily understand the issues associated with premature death. But you wonder, “What could be wrong with long life? Is that not what we all pray for?” Well, they both have their peculiar risks. Let us reason together, my dear friend. Who takes care of you if you continue to live till age 80, 85, 90 …? Did I hear you mention, “My children?” Ooops! That sounds to me like an unconfirmed promissory note. Someone once said that children of nowadays are becoming rather selfish; their parents toiled day and night for them to be something in life but when they become adults, get married, and have their own families, they tend to “forget” their parents. But can you sincerely blame them? You must realize that they have their own challenges too as adults. Don’t ever blame them. Instead, blame yourself for not taking full responsibility for YOUR LIFE. It’s your life, not theirs!
Don’t say it, because I already know. You are thinking about what the government and your former employer promise to do for you in retirement. Hmmm, listen to my words of wisdom; those good days are gradually disappearing. Governments all over the world are now pushing away that kind of responsibility. They expect individuals to take care of themselves because of the heavy burdens associated with such promises. If the government is running away from such huge financial responsibilities, how do you expect your employer to be your Messiah? Take my advice; forget those two sources. Take care of yourself NOW. Plan your future. If your employer or the government eventually does something for you, let it be additional. I’m sure you don’t want to start going to them with a bowl in hands later in your old age. And don’t you ever forget that you won’t be the only one. There would be many of you, so why would your personal situation be of any peculiar interest to them? In doing anything, they will put you in a group; a group of pensioners, a group of retirees, a group of old people in the society. Remember, you don’t want to lose that special YOU tag. Do you?
What, then, is the place of life insurance in Miami Dolphins Jerseys all this? Again, very simple! Life insurance helps you to plan for your old age. It ensures that your retirement is financially guaranteed. With life insurance, you can be rest assured of continuous income in your old age when you are no longer working; when you need medical attention; when you need care. I can assure you that if you are financially comfortable gebruik in old age, you will enjoy life. That is when you can continue to look young, and remain young at heart.
Okay. Let’s now move to point number three.
As you go about your business on a daily basis, you could become a victim of accident or ill health. This is quite different from point number one which is about early death. Here, I am talking about possible disability due to accident or illness. Again, let us reason together: What if you get hit by a crazy commercial motorcyclist (okada man) and your leg gets broken? What if that leg is lost forever? What if that leg is so crucial for your continuous employment and you are now denied of it? Did I hear you murmur, “No, I have my car, I don’t use okada.” Give me a break! Check last week’s dailies, you will find a story there; the story of a man who quietly parked his car and was hit by an okada rider as he was about to cross the street. Poor him! He did not notice that the crazy okada man was coming from the opposite direction, breaking traffic regulations.
Maybe I’m belittling you by making reference to okada. Pardon me; I often forget that you are a “big man.” I remember now that you have a Jacuzzi bathtub in your bathroom at home. That’s not for the poor. So let’s talk about it. Can you remember the day you broke your ankle as you were coming out of your Jacuzzi after a warm bath? Good, I’m happy you still remember. Now, think about it. What if you had broken your neck on that day? What if it had been your back? Or your waist? Think about how much you would have spent in the hospital?
Wait a second! Have you forgotten about car accidents? Is this not rampant nowadays? Even when you drive so carefully on the road, never you forget that you are not the one driving the other vehicles plying those roads. What if you get hit by one of them and, thank God for his mercies, you escape death but receive serious bodily injuries leading to incapacity?
Are you still with me? I know you always cherish your body. Yes, you once told me that a healthy body is a healthy mind. You prefer to go to standard hospitals when you are under the weather. But who ever writes an invitation letter to sickness? What if you suddenly fall ill and you must be admitted. What if you are so broke at that time? What if the illness Relationship occurs when you have just paid your children’s school fees? That is my number three message for you. Life insurance exists to take care of your risk of becoming disabled.
I know that I promised to give you four key reasons; rather, four categories of reasons. Here is the fourth one. Life insurance is a good avenue for you to save money for the future. Testimoni Aha! I can see the beautiful smile on your face. It sounds good to have a pot of money. We all like to have money. We want to have it when we need it. I know you have been thinking about getting married but the thoughts of the corresponding financial commitments send shivers down your spine. How about that beautiful house you dream of buying one day? Or, is it the business you plan to start when you leave paid employment? I cannot agree with you less, you need money later in life. One assurance I can give you is that life insurance is a veritable way of accumulating fund over time to meet your future projects.
I must not forget to tell you something else about this fourth reason. Life insurance is a solid vehicle for planning for the education of your children right from the time they are infants. You can arrange it in such a way that the insurance money is made available when each of your children gets to different stages of their education, for example; primary, secondary, or tertiary institutions. That is the beauty of life insurance. If something happens to you before the due date of the insurance payout, the insurance policy (i.e. the contract) can still provide the amount originally agreed; in which case you have a combination of life insurance cover and savings for the benefit of your children!
You look amazed! Please don’t be. It’s just because nobody has ever discussed life insurance with you this way. But you know me quite well, I cannot lie to you. Life insurance does all that I have told you. That is why it is often said that “Life insurance takes care of you from the cradle to grave.” It is true. It takes care of every stage of your life – childhood, youth, and adult stages.
So, let’s recap: Life insurance exists to take care of the risk of someone dying too young, someone living so long, someone becoming disabled, and someone requiring future cash sum. My simple gospel is that you should examine each of these areas and make a choice, or a number of choices. Buy a life insurance policy to do the work for you, while you go about your daily life with absolute peace of mind.
Here is my warning: You cannot afford to die before you take a life insurance policy on your life; your death will be too expensive!
Have I forgotten a promise? Not at all; I remember my promise to tell you about the products you can buy from life insurance companies. That will be dealt with in the second part of my oration – Types of Life Insurance Products.