How do I know I watch too much “Breaking Bad”?
On a recent neighborhood walk with my dog, an older man we frequently cross paths with asked me what my name was. I hesitated. Actually, I went full-on Howard Hughes.
Why does he want to know? What is he going to do with this information? I read about this. I think it’s an identity theft thing. I should make up a name. What name? Tanya. That’s it. My name’s Tanya. I’m a Realtor. From Russia. I have seven kids…
I eventually told him the truth, of course. But my paranoid freak-out left me a little disturbed. Why couldn’t I tell my name — a name that’s already plastered all over LifeHealthPro.com, Twitter, Facebook and Google, besides — to a polite, suburban-dwelling neighbor?
Walter White is why.
I spent the better part of the summer catching up on the last two seasons of the anti-hero’s show on Netflix in time to watch its last season (which is currently airing on AMC) live. And the whole project has left my nerves a little more than frayed.
It’s also left me thinking about all the ways “Breaking Bad” characters could have benefited from proper insurance coverage.
Here are three important insurance-related lessons I’ve gleaned from the show so far. If you’re not caught up, be aware that there are significant spoilers ahead.
And if you’ve never watched the show? Please stop reading this blog, lock yourself in a room with a television and don’t emerge until you’ve watched every episode. You’ll thank me afterward.
1. Your clients really need adequate life insurance coverage — and sooner rather than later.
If Walter White had owned excellent life insurance when he received his lung cancer diagnosis, the pilot would have gone something like this:
Doctor: “You have lung cancer. You are going to die soon.”
Walt: “Oh, no. Good thing I have adequate life insurance coverage.”
Not exactly compelling storytelling, but who (besides maybe Walt) really wants to start cooking meth, get pulled into drug trade politics, lie, steal, kill people, chemically dissolve their bodies and eventually become the drug kingpin of the American Southwest? I mean, it sounds exhausting.
Walt’s diagnosis is also a good reminder that cancer — and death in general — can strike your clients at any time, no matter their health or age. It’s better to be prepared beforehand — because their chances of gaining coverage after a diagnosis are slim.
(Confession: In a later episode, when a rich friend offers Walt a job, talking up its excellent life insurance benefits, I snorted and thought, ‘Yeah, I’d like to see that policy get approved.’ Who’s an insurance nerd? I’m an insurance nerd.)