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True tale of life insurance in action

Marcia Annmarie Richards

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Advisor helps widow handle finances after her husband's death.

I had a client for 10 years, and I had only met his wife once. She was a nurse, and one day I got a call from her saying that her husband wasn’t feeling well.

A day or two later, he was dead.

My client had earned good money working with a bauxite mining company, and he did everything for his family. He paid all the bills; his wife could not drive or pay the electric bill or do anything.

Initially she was scared. Her biggest concern was the education of her children, who were about 16 and 18 when their father passed away. Though she knew her husband had insurance, she never knew the value — nearly $15 million Jamaican.

After his passing, I met her and discussed all the policies he had, the reason he had them and the reason he bought them: because of the love he had for his family.

After we had the discussion, she learned to tally up the insurance. She learned to drive and used the insurance money to buy a car for herself and her daughter. She paid all of the kids’ university bills and still has money left over.

She did her best to let everyone know how insurance helped her in her transition. One of her sisters also bought insurance from me, and now the kids are working and they bought from me too.

In fact, as soon as her daughter got her job, she called me to let me know she wanted to purchase a policy. So the next generation will not be as blindsided, and they’re totally aware of the value of insurance.

After this happened, I now try to meet with the spouse and children, and whether it is a male or female client, I encourage both partners to get involved in the finances. My client’s wife didn’t even know how to insure her car or pay the property taxes. So try your best to get involved; you don’t want people learning only after something happens.

Insuring dangerous professions

When my client died, they suspected poisoning because bauxite can be very dangerous. Yet in our planning, we never even discussed that; I didn’t realize the bauxite might have been harmful. I just sold him life insurance.

I tried to meet with him every year, but we never spoke about the dangers of his job because I don’t think he looked at it in that way. He was not a hard sale; he listened to me, and whenever we met about annual increases, he took them.

But I do emphasize the importance of insurance with clients who have jobs that are known to be dangerous. For example, the crime rate in Jamaica is extremely high, so for clients who are police officers, I emphasize the importance of having insurance because that group is the most vulnerable right now.

The service we give to our clients and their families is so important, and we must always strive to find ways to be connected to them.

Marcia Annmarie Richards is an 18-year MDRT member from Kingston, Jamaica. Contact her at


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