This post is made in Nigeria for Nigerians. But there is nothing stopping any non-Nigerian from adopting the suggestions it contains. I’ve made this simple clarification because of those who are not familiar with some of the peculiar issues that I intend to talk about.
Most people appreciate the value of life insurance after receiving full explanations on it. Of course, the initial reaction could be that of resistance and distaste for life insurance. But listening to a good insurance man soon changes all misconceptions. That’s why insurance people are wrongly labeled as having “sweet mouth.”
If you still belong to the group of people who don’t know much about life insurance, please create time to read some of the articles that we have under the Insurance, Pension and Retirement category of this site.
Yes, convincing a Nigerian about the benefits of life insurance is not a guarantee that he will buy one. Instead, what would come to his mind is: “Where do I get the money to pay the premium?” He wouldn’t waste time to direct the question to you as if you have access to his finances.
This may be another avoidance tactic. It may also be a genuine concern. He may truly be thinking seriously about how to get the money to maintain his life insurance policy when bought.
Well, he shouldn’t be blamed, because he actually has a lot on his neck. His monthly budget is full as he has many bills to foot.
But there is a way out. Our man in question can indeed buy life insurance, and maintain it with regular premium payment without increasing his budget.
How? You may ask.
Follow me as we both examine the cost that this man bears every month.
1. Telephone Bills
This man carries three mobile sets around. The least of the three phones cost N50,000 (about US$313) and he paid for all of them in cash!
Two of the phones are based on data packages which give him internet services. But they come at some extra cost too.
Yet, he doesn’t use up to half of the facilities he pays for under each of the packages. So, why must this man be on MTN, Glo, and Airtel when they all offer almost the same types of services?
Those phones are eating deep into his income every month but he doesn’t realize it.
If our man could reduce his three phones to just one; remove the unnecessary packages on them; and minimize the number of calls he makes during peak periods; he will surely have enough money to pay his life insurance premium.
2. Cable TV
I don’t intend to spoil business for anyone oo, but why should a man pay N10,000 (about US$63) for a 100-Channel service when he only watches CNN, his wife watches Africa Magic, and his kids only watch Disney Channel?
Of course he’s aware that DSTV “gets levels” but he’s only doing “big mannism.”
Abeg let him pay N1,500 (about US$10) for 35 channels and save the remaining money for life insurance.
3. NEPA Bills
I know they’re now called Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). But many Nigerians still prefer their previous name of National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). Or, is it Never Expect Power Always as some people claim?
Those guys are fond of serving people with “crazy bills.” How can they slam a moderate residential house of three bedroom with a bill of N50,000 (appr.US$313) in a single month! Dem they weld iron for inside the house?
Our man can save a lot of money and pay his life insurance premium by simply opting for prepaid meter. With this, he pays based on the units of electricity consumed shikena!
Is that not what they do in London and America?
4. Diesel/Petrol Bills
Since NEPA doesn’t supply electricity most of the time, our prospect must have a generator and fuel it almost every day and night. Ha! O ga oo. And petrol price has also gone up.
Though I sympathize with him, there’s still a way out. Let him buy a small “I better pass my neighbor” and use it in the night. That one doesn’t consume too much fuel. He should reserve the big generator for ironing his clothes and pumping water from his borehole.
He will be shocked to notice how much he saves on a monthly basis to allow for his premium payment.
5. Shun the Malls
Does he like shopping? Or is it his wife and children that always “force him” to take them out for shopping? Whatever the case, he must know that those shine, shine shops dey chop money big time. The faster he can reduce the patronage, the better.
By the way, no be the same toothpaste wey dem dey sell for Malls na im Chibuzor dey sell for him shop too? Wetin be the difference?
Let him patronize Chibuzor more than the Malls; he will have more money for life insurance premium every month.
6. Eat Less. Drink Less.
Everywhere you turn these days, you must find one pepper soup joint or the other. Those who go there don’t just eat pepper soup; they also drink beer. And they don’t drink only one or two bottles; they drink in cartons!
If our man is one of them, let him reduce his frequency to those joints, there will be more money in his pocket to pay his life insurance premium.
Is someone getting upset with me already?
Haha! Nigerians know how to parrrry! There is always one or two Owanbes to attend every weekend. And when you attend, you must “spray” some naira notes to show say you dey there. You must also buy aso ebi. When you buy for yourself, you must buy for your wife or galfriend too. Hey! All those stuff cost money!
But I’m not saying you shouldn’t attend your friends’ parties ooo. After all, when your father dies, some people will have to come for the burial. You too must show that you get people.
The point is for you to reduce your partying to the barest minimum. And instead of buying a complete aso ebi, consider buying only fila; or gele for your wife. She will understand. You can also spray N100 notes instead of N500 notes. In fact, shebi it is now illegal to spray at parties. Abi no be so?
8. Dry cleaning
Have you noticed how dry cleaning shops have been springing up in every corner of Lagos? It means business is booming.
Instead of taking your shirts, bed sheets, suits, ties, agbada, singlet, boxers and underpants to the drycleaners, why can’t you do some of the washing yourself? Why must you pay someone to do all those for you? Abi you dey too big to wash?
Abeg, you need the extra change to pay your all-important life insurance premium.
Okay ooo, we are now going cashless shey? Or is it cash light? We are encouraged by banks to use their ATM machines, eh?
It’s a good thing. I support it. But make sure you watch the ATM you use carefully. Ensure that it is your bank’s ATM; otherwise you will pay extra N100 for every withdrawal you make. Imagine withdrawing N1,000 and then pay extra N100 charge. Haa! That’s a lot of money you can save for life insurance premium.
10. Peer Pressure
Maybe this is more palpable among women. But I know that men are equally guilty. We at times do things to impress our friends, or we copy what our friends are doing.
Because your friend has just bought a new car, you too must buy one. Because he has just acquired an iPad, you too must have yours. Hmm, you better be careful so that you don’t run bankrupt.
If you cannot keep pace with your friends’ lifestyle, you better change them before they put you into trouble.
Anyway, e don do! The long and short story is that you should save more, cut your cost, and be in a position to pay for a life insurance cover. As you can see, “I don’t have enough money” is not a good excuse for not having a life insurance protection.
Catch ya soon.