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True tale of life insurance in action

Anne-Marie Li Mei Lee

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I wish I pushed my client to buy insurance earlier

My client Joe was a self-employed, successful massage therapist who was the main breadwinner for his wife and daughter. About six years ago, I had a casual conversation with Joe about his insurance coverage and highlighted the importance of ensuring adequate protection. Given his profession, he would not be able to work at all in the event of a critical illness, which would cut off all income. He believed in life insurance, but his wife thought it was a waste of money.

His wife’s opposition notwithstanding, Joe agreed to review his coverage with me. We discovered his life insurance policy was inadequate, and he had a term critical illness policy worth only about $50,000. I also inquired about his medical insurance. He told me his wife had taken care of it through her friend, who was an insurance agent.

We discussed a life insurance proposal to provide death/total disability, critical illness and accident coverage. Joe asked for time to persuade his wife. This went on for more than five years. Every time I met him, I would casually remind him another year had passed, and with it his opportunity for lower premiums.

Finally, in 2014, he decided to take action himself and started an additional life policy without telling his wife. He asked that the correspondence be directed to the shop where he worked, and his boss helped by redirecting some of his commissions from clients to use for his premiums.

One day last year, a lump suddenly surfaced on his neck. It turned out to be mid-stage cancer. I was thankful I had persuaded him to act on his insurance policy the year before, so there was money to help him and his family focus on his treatment. Joe had to undergo a long series of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.

Unfortunately, the medical insurance was not as comprehensive as it should have been. I was able to help him with all his claims and referred him to a reputed specialist for his treatment. His wife was thankful for my help and the insurance she had originally been against.

While I was able to help Joe, I regret not pushing for more insurance earlier. Thankfully, Joe responded well to the treatment and survived, but he will always suffer from some of the side effects of his treatment. Joe made a gradual return to work as he regained his stamina and health. Fortunately, his critical illness insurance provided for his lost income during his year of treatment, and his life has had minimal disruption because the family could afford to continue as normal with the insurance money. Today, Joe is in remission and back to work full time.

Anne-Marie Lee


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