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When the facts aren't correct

Mitsuhiro Kondo

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I wish I'd really understood my client's financial situation.
The family
The insured was a 36-year-old named Masahiro. His wife was 38 and a nurse. They had two children, ages 5 and 1.

The case
Masahiro was referred to me via a client of mine. I sold him a life insurance policy for ¥40 million ($350,000) with a hospitalization benefit of ¥10,000/day ($88/day). Only one month after the case was closed, he collapsed at home and became unconscious. After a thorough exam, he was diagnosed with viral encephalitis, meaning the flu virus had invaded his brain. He never regained consciousness and died 2½ years later from pneumonia.

During the original fact-find interview, Masahiro told me he had ¥10 million of savings and his employer would pay ¥20 million as a death allowance, and even in the worst-case scenario, his wife and two boys could live with his parents.

She was a qualified nurse, so she could always go back to work if need be. They agreed to the death benefit based on the above “facts.”

When he was hospitalized and his wife initiated a claim for the hospitalization benefit, she shared the real financial facts with me.
  • He had some savings, but not enough to cover the cost of living for his wife and sons without his income.
  • His workplace had the death allowance, but only if he died while working for them. After 2½ years in the hospital, he was not employed at the time of death.
  • His parents and his wife did not get along well, and there was no way she could live with them. Her parents lived far away in a rural area, and it was not realistic for her to move in with them.
  • She was a qualified nurse, but with young children, it was hard to have a full-time job to sustain the income she needed.
  • Their younger son was diagnosed with autism and required more attention.

What I learned
This case was a great learning experience for me. What I prepared was not enough to care for this family financially, and there were many previously undisclosed challenges when the family lost its breadwinner. Also, it was my first experience in learning a healthy man in his 30s could have a serious health issue come on so quickly. I thought I did my best, but there is never too much life insurance.

Mitsuhiro Kondo is a 15-year MDRT member from Kitami, Japan
Mitsuhiro Kondo

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