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True Tales: Life insurance in action

Doo Hyun Kim

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One-day delay makes a difference for life insurance client

One of my most memorable cases was with my client, Han, who was transferred to me in 2009 due to the resignation of his original advisor. He held three life insurance policies, including a whole life policy first taken in 2006 and a variable insurance policy. 

Unfortunately, he wasn’t taken care of by his two previous advisors, who left their jobs one after the other. When I took over the case, Han had been diagnosed with gastric cancer and had recently filed a benefit claim, which was refused.

As the new advisor in charge, I mediated between the client and the company for two months and helped him get a benefit of about 40 million won (about $37,000). According to hospital records, he actually had a tumor in his stomach before taking the second policy, but he didn’t recognize its severity and ignored it. After receiving his benefit, he took out three additional policies, including a pension for his wife and an education policy for his child.

In 2016, he wanted to sign up for another policy that had a large death benefit. Because it was five years after the end of his gastric cancer treatment, he was eligible to review the new policies.

I visited three hospitals with him to prepare the hospital records for the past seven years (regular checkups on his stomach, endoscopic data) and gather the documents regarding newly diagnosed high blood pressure and diabetes.

I submitted all the materials and documents, about 80 pages, and they passed the difficult screening. If he passed the medical examination, he would be able to obtain another insurance policy. But a tumor was found in his liver the day before the examination and he was diagnosed with liver cancer, which caused the decline of insurance.

His spouse was shocked by this result and upset he hadn’t applied for the insurance sooner. Experiencing the refusal of insurance with just a day’s difference, I fully realized that the financial consultant must come to visit their clients long before illnesses, deaths and accidents occur.

Doo Hyun Kim is a 14-year MDRT member from Seoul, South Korea. Contact him at


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