Life insurance is about family
As a life-licensed agent assistant, I’ve always believed in the value of life insurance as a way to financially protect families. But in my Hispanic community, life insurance is not in our culture and is often difficult for some to believe in, understand or even talk about.
Because I’ve been in the insurance business for quite a few years, I understand life insurance. Unfortunately my close-knit Hispanic family had to be educated by experience. Eight years ago, my uncle, (my father’s brother) passed away after a massive stroke. He didn’t have medical insurance or a life insurance policy, and all of his children had to get together and pay for his medical bills and funeral expenses. My cousins still have outstanding bills they continue to pay many years after he passed away.
After my uncle died so suddenly, I talked to my father and siblings about the need for my father to purchase life insurance. A retired dentist/small business owner, my father was 62 and working a part-time job without health insurance. After his brother’s family’s experience, my father was open to it and we all agreed it was the right thing to do. We were able to purchase an American Family Life Insurance Company whole life 10-year/$100,000 policy with a term rider although my father had controlled diabetes and was overweight. My brothers, sisters, father and I all contributed to the premiums as a family.
Four years later, in August 2011, while the rest of the family was in Guadalajara, Mexico, celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday, my father fell ill and was hospitalized in the Seattle area. Without experiencing advanced symptoms except a headache, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer.
Our family was shocked.
After discussion, my father opted to use the accelerated death benefit rider on his policy, and received 75 percent of the benefit proceeds in advance. Until he passed away on Nov. 11, 2011, he was able to live the last two and a half months spending quality time with friends and family in Mexico, including a huge life celebration surprise party we organized for him. The policy also paid for his chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and other medical bills and funeral expenses, all without burdening my mother and our family.
I am thankful for the opportunity this life insurance gave our family. Without it, my father’s diagnosis, illness and passing would have been even more devastating. My story is bittersweet, but I believe in life insurance because I have lived it. That’s why I think it’s worth telling you.
Editor’s note: Need more info? Check out our 10 reasons to buy life insurance. Or give our Life Needs Calculator a try for help estimating the right amount of coverage to ensure your dependents are financially stable.