When I came back from my vacation last week, reality set in quickly. A best friend was in the hospital. When I went to see him it became quickly clear he was going to pass. For a short time I was able to speak with him alone. He immediately began talking about his life insurance. He asked questions about taxation and how the money would be distributed. He wanted some of the money to go to paying off his children’s school loans.
While I was answering his questions and hoping I could comfort him, my mind keep thinking how in his last moments of life, all he thought about was his family.
When I started my career, like all insurance agents I reached out to my friends. This friend had no family. In fact, he did not even have a girlfriend at the time. I explained how life insurance was cheaper when you are young and if you purchased a cash value policy the cash would accumulate and could help supplement your retirement. At the time I thought he purchased the policy because he was my friend and he trusted me. Years later I realized he had a personal experience of a losing a parent at an early age and knew the value of life insurance.
Over the years we added more policies as he married, purchased a home, had children. He purchased policies on his children and used the cash value in his old polices to help educate them. When I went back to my office, I immediately reviewed his policies. By looking at the purchases and transactions we had made over the years I could quickly remember the events in his life and the reason for each purchase and transaction. I was pleased that the benefits I had promised him would be there.
Over time my business grew and as I added employees they began helping him and his family. One day when we were socializing he started asking a question, then stopped midway to say nevermind; I’ll just call your office. I thought to myself here was someone who could walk into my office at any time without an appointment, yet respected my time – a true friend.
My articles have tried to explain financial products in easy to understand words. How does one explain love? If you feel love, then you want to take care of the people you love. When you are not here to provide for your loved ones, then life insurance is the financial tool that can provide for the people you love. I have seen people not buy life insurance because they could not decide between term life or whole life insurance. I realize today those people could not decide if they really loved someone.
This article was written for the people who truly love someone and want to take care of them. Reach out to a life insurance agent and buy the life insurance you need to protect them. I also write to the life insurance agents struggling to sell policies. After 47 years of paying death claims, what you do is important.
I apologize to my readers for not being as informative as in my past articles. I took this time to grieve.
Buying life insurance is an act of love. I will remember my friend as a man who loved his family and took care of them.
Bob Hollick is a State Farm Insurance agent based in Washington. His column appears every other Friday in the Observer-Reporter.