VOL. 132 | NO. 186 | Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Hurricanes Deliver Pain And Important Message
Tens of thousands are still dealing with the floods and aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, even as at least one more storm approaches the U.S. mainland. It’s gut-wrenching to see all the devastation and havoc these storms have caused.
Even for those who are fully insured from the damage caused by a hurricane, there is still a massive disruption and huge expense to build back a life destroyed by wind and water. Our hearts go out to those impacted.
What’s always amazed me is that some folks who live on the water and in the hurricane target zone choose not to buy hurricane and/or flood insurance. I’m thankful that there is a national backstop of low-interest loans made by the U.S. government when a disaster occurs; but when insurance is available, why do some choose not to protect themselves and their property?
I read too often in the obituary section or see a story on social media about a tragic death, and the resulting plea by family and friends for donations or contributions to a GoFundMe page, or via a church or school fundraiser. I always stop and wonder if the person who died had life insurance, and if so, was it enough. Tragically, most fundraising efforts confirm the worst – little or no insurance.
While wind and water cause major damage and huge disruptions, there is no comparison to the impact on family members and business partners when a loved one or business partner dies with little or no life insurance.
For years, I’ve volunteered for and served as national chairman of “Life Happens” – a nonprofit dedicated to educating Americans about the need for life insurance and what it does for families and business.
“Life insurance isn’t for the dead, it’s for those that live.” That’s the tag line of Life Happens, and it’s true.
Unless you’re independently wealthy, leaving behind family with little or no life insurance after a sudden and premature death is a cruel reality that is discovered by surviving family too late, and with no way to make right at that point. Just like those that live in hurricane zones need flood insurance – you need life insurance if you have a young family, debt, or those that count on your income to live.
Those with no flood insurance and who are in the path of these storms, with Maria now bearing down on them, will find it’s too late to buy insurance for this season. Hope and “fingers crossed” is no way to protect your home and property with a storm on the horizon.
Hoping for a successful GoFundMe page, a successful fundraiser, or the charity of others is no way to protect your loved ones should you not live to fulfill your financial obligations and promises.
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month – Talk to your insurance or financial adviser today – before the storm of life washes away the dreams and plans you have worked so hard to provide for.
Jack Dewald CLU, RHU, is president of Memphis-based Agency Services Inc. and served as chairman for Life Happens in 2010. Learn more at lifehappens.org.