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Living with risk: conduct your own insurance review

Insurance need: we all live with varying degrees of risk and insurance is key to managing it (Image by Ralph/Pixabay)

If you asked anyone, your friends, your family, the person on the street about what they feared or worried about the most, the most common answers would probably fall into just a few categories:

• Fear of losing a job

• Losing money and a relationship

• Losing good health

• Losing one’s life.

We live with fear, worry, and risk every day. We don’t think we do, but risk of losing some component of our being is there as a completely random event or within our control to manage and prevent.

Risk of job loss

You cannot control whether the company you work for changes direction to another jurisdiction or undergoes belt-tightening.

You can, however, routinely prepare yourself for changes in your working environment with continuing education while monitoring your current status.

Never allow yourself job complacency.

Risk of losing money

We all make choices in life.

We can choose to do nothing; then, inevitably spend just as much, if not more, time and money reacting to problem situations.

Or, we can choose to be proactive by staying on top of our financial situation (the reason I write constantly about these financial topics), so that we will always know where we stand – and can weigh the risks before we invest in future opportunities.

Risk of losing a relationship

Fact: money is the biggest factor in relationship disasters.

How you handle it; how he/she manages it; how your parents dealt with money issues; how you can change money dynamics for the betterment of the family.

Risk of severe illness

Everyone worries about health events, retirees most of all. A physical health review is no different than a financial review.

We can control how we improve our physical wellbeing with discipline, work, commitment, and consistency.

The end result – we increase the odds of staying healthy, creative and happy.

You could try taking the “easy, no-strings free, better-health, how are you?” quiz. Offered by Britain’s National Health Service, it is a terrific quick life-health evaluation.

Risk of death

Some consider this a needless concern.

Inevitably, we came into this world with nothing, and we will leave the same way. No matter how much we worry, every single one of us will take the final journey, hopefully after a fully successful life.

But what about those left to mourn us?

From the onset of birth - for most people - our lives become enhanced with broad, purposeful, contacts and community while surrounded by people we care about.

These are the relationships we want to protect against risk of loss.

This is why we insure ourselves, our health, and our property - to protect them.

Reviewing your insurance policies

Life, property, health. Life Insurance is often vilified. We have a tendency to think those salespeople just sit around collecting recurring commissions, because optimistically disaster won’t happen to you. That perspective is a complete fallacy – the business of insuring risk is the largest financial industry in the world.

The better thought is: are you adequately insured?

The thing is, we buy insurance against the day that something disastrous does happen.

I can easily bet that if you added all the premiums you have paid to an insurance company against the cost of self-financing the repairs on your hurricane-damaged residence, paying off the mortgage, or saving every quarter for a college fund, and additional financial safety for your spouse, children, and retirement, you could not do it.

Insurance gives you, at a minimum, the financial resources to rebuild your life after losing a spouse/partner, to rebuild your home, to cover catastrophic illness medical fees and more.

You and your family need life insurance.

If you are single, perhaps, not so much. Your employer may provide a basic term life policy in addition to your mandatory health insurance. Be grateful. It is great benefit that you don’t have to incur the cost.

Reviewing your life policy or policies: are they enough to get your family through losing you, especially if your family is young when you depart unexpectedly.

Buy cheap term life insurance if you can’t afford anything else.

Any amount is better than none.

When you are more successful financially, then consider a whole life policy structure with a cash value included.

Property insurance: year after year of payments can be quite expensive for any budget. Over the hundreds of years of our Bermuda’s existence, thousands of our community have experienced hurricane devastation. One only needs to remember the horrific casualties and loss of Bermuda lives during Fabian.

Almost no one wants (or can afford) to pay for such structural damage alone.

Be very sure that your policy premiums are enough to cover the replacement value of your real estate. Otherwise, you will not receive full reimbursement for repairs.

Check with your local provider, to be certain.

Regretfully, the price of losing a loved one can never be measured in dollars.

Health insurance. What to say? It is expensive.

Do what you can to control this cost. Work on staying healthy by setting up guidelines in the same manner as your financial review. You can do it.

Go through your policy very carefully, line by line. Know clearly what you are responsible for and what the insurance company will pay.

Check with your employer regarding less expensive alternatives. Poor health, poor relationships, poor financial decisions, poor working habits all cost you (and your family) more money in the end.

Use this financial review to lessen the risk of loss in your life.

You’ll feel more secure, healthier, and more successful in planning a happy future.

Martha Harris Myron is a native Bermudian and a retired international financial planner with a Master-in-Laws in International Taxation and Financial Services SCL. Subscribe to her articles, webinars, books and YouTube vidcasts on Bermy Island Finance Blog http://marthamyron.com. Contact martha.myron@gmail.com

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Published September 16, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated September 18, 2023 at 8:12 am)

Living with risk: conduct your own insurance review

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