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The importance of having insurance: bad things don't only happen to other people

by Dan Poole Last updated on June 29, 2016 Tags: Insurance

One of the complaints I hear about insurance advisors is that they sometimes frustrate people by using fear to pressure their prospective customers to buy. When I started as an advisor, I swore to never use scare tactics and tell stories about people in my network who did or didn't have insurance, and the impact it had on their lives. But something happened recently that I felt compelled to share. 

A family friend recently had a stroke at the age of 46. A stroke? I thought. At 46! While I had of course seen and heard about younger people having strokes, I thought it was a rare occurrence that would never affect someone I know. The fact is that while a vast majority of strokes occur in people over age 65 (the risk is 30 to 50 per 1,000 in this group), 10 to 15 percent of all strokes affect people age 45 and younger (a risk of 1 in 1,000). Thanks to early discovery and treatment, my friend is recovering, however he faces many months of therapy and an uncertain future. He is still walking with a walker and has been warned that he may never walk again without a cane. 

Even more unfair, his stroke came at a time when he made a recent commitment to get in better shape. In fact, he had recently lost a significant amount of weight, was stronger and fitter than he had been in years, and even completed the CN Tower Climb in an impressive 18 minutes! He had also started a new job as a night supervisor and custodian at a local automotive plant. He has been unable to work since his stroke and nobody is sure if or when he will be able to return to his job. 

I don't know what my friend's insurance situation is, and I feel horrible about that. I hope he has disability insurance, which provides income replacement while he recovers at home. I hope he has critical illness insurance, which provides a lump-sum of insurance benefit that can be used to make his home more accessible for him, or to replace his spouse's income so she can take medical leave and help him get better. I hope he has life insurance, because sadly when young people have a stroke, it can have serious long-term consequences. A study from March 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that younger stroke survivors are at greater risk of dying prematurely. According to the study, one in five stroke survivors will die within two decades. 

I have seen how insurance can change people's lives for the better. While nothing can take away the frustration and sadness of suffering the loss of one's independence, state of health, or even a life, insurance gives people living with an illness, recovering from an accident, or who have survived a loved-one's death the financial resources they need to carry on as best as they can. Insurance and the advisors who offer it make a meaningful difference in people's lives. That is why we are in the business, and that is why I feel compelled to share my personal story. 

At Invisor, we're happy to talk to you about your insurance needs. But most of all, we encourage you to talk to someone. If you have a friend or family member in the insurance business, call them. If you know someone who has had a positive experience with their advisor, get a referral. Don't put it off because you think 'these things only happen to other people.' It's not true, and the risk of waiting is not worth it. 

To get an insurance quote that meets your needs, as well as the needs of your family and personal situation, visit the Invisor Insurance page.

(Certain details have been changed to protect the identity of the individual.)


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