Joan, a former business associate, recently engaged me to prepare a comprehensive financial plan for her. During the course of my discussion with her, she revealed her experience with what she calls her “life preserver”we call it life insurance.

In 1979, at the age of 22, Joan found herself newly engaged and a new homeowner. Her fianc?, then age 23, had a friend who was in the Million Dollar Round Table and wanted to sell them a policy. Joan remembered thinking that they were “only in their 20s, with their entire lives ahead of them.” Life insurance was the furthest thing from her mind at the time. As luck would have it, the agent persisted with Joan and her husband. He painted a picture of their future and convinced them to start protecting this future by purchasing life insurance. They agreed to purchase two whole life policies in the amount of $30,000. At the time that was all they could afford. The agent assured them that this was the first of many purchases of life insurance they would make.

Joan and her husband were blessed with two children. As her family grew, her agent made numerous attempts to encourage them to buy additional insurance, but they always found other things to do with their growing income. After all, they had the house to furnish, children to raise and to educate, taxes to pay, and all of lifes other many expenses to handle. Life insurance just didnt seem to be a priority. Their employers offered group coverage, which they felt was sufficient.

In 1989, at the age of 33, Joans husband was diagnosed with leukemia. He succumbed to his illness, leaving her alone with a 3-year-old son and a 7-month-old daughter. Joan was devastated. She wasnt sure how she was going to maintain her lifestyle and raise her children in the home they had grown to love. Joan felt like she was drowning.

Soon after her husbands death, she contacted her agent and within 24 hours she received a check for the proceeds of the policy. Her life preserver had arrived!

“Life insurance meant that we had an immediate source of funds to help replace my husbands income. It gave us valuable time to adjust to this change in income, and it enabled me to make better decisions,” Joan said. “Our agent provided accurate and truthful information at the time of our purchase, and he went over all the policy provisions and made key recommendations that really made a difference for us. For example, the paid-up additions feature enabled us to use the dividends to purchase additional levels of insurance above the face amount.”

Joan now owns a $400,000 policy to supplement the life insurance benefit that she receives through her employer. She recognizes the “living value” inherent in permanent life insurance. “The thought of having the ability to access cash from the policy, in the form of dividends or loans, or outright surrender, is so comforting to me,” she said. Her existing permanent policy has enabled her to send her son to a great college.

Joan recognizes that “life may be unpredictable, but the guarantees that come with life insurance create peace of mind and security. It truly is a life preserver!” Not only is Joan covered, but she has secured coverage for both of her children through their own policies, making her a financial role model for her friends and family. Imagine the impact she has made in their lives as she ensures that they understand the wisdom of purchasing life insurance.

Vincent Blazewicz is a financial representative with Certified Financial Services, LLC (CFS), a Guardian Life Insurance agency in Paramus, N.J.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, September 16, 2004. Copyright 2004 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.