I hated Insurance back then, but I still hate Insurance now. Here’s Why

Posted 18 February, 2016 by Clearly
in Opinion

Few things in this world can elicit as strong a (negative) response as Insurance does. Justin Bieber and child abusers also come to mind, when people talk about things that they hate.

 

JB

If Insurance had a face, this would be the one to punch. Hard.

It might be strange to hear a person working (or used to be working) in the insurance industry say that he hates insurance, but that is the strange truth. Before I started my tenure with an Insurer in Singapore, I hated the idea of Insurance. Years later, after working with 2 other insurers and one local bank (mainly managing insurance sales), I still hate insurance – but for different reasons.

Let’s take a weird journey down (my) memory lane to examine the reasons why. I have broken down the time periods to “Before Enlightenment” and “After Enlightenment”.

 

Why I hate Insurance – Before Enlightenment

 

Its a bloody waste of money!

 

Insurance. Burning Cash. Whats the difference?

Insurance. Burning Cash. Whats the difference?

 

To me, insurance used to represent of of the world’s most useless purchases. Why pay perfectly good money for something that might not happen? At age 21, sickness and death are completely alien concepts to most people.

I mean seriously? Dying? I don’t plan to die, I have party plans with my friends next Friday night!

 

It forced me to confront my own vulnerability

 

This might be me next week? Next month?

This might be my fate next week? Next month?

 

Out of sheer coincidence, while lunching with a friend who happened to also meet up with his agent, he introduced me to her. It was then things like Disability and Critical illness were first brought into my consciousness.

That sucked.

Because it forced me to admit that I wasn’t invincible, and that someday I may have to spend some serious time in the hospital. The worst part was, I couldn’t do anything to prevent to stop it, if it did happen. No wonder people feel the way they do about insurance.

 

It made me feel stupid

 

About as frustrating as it gets

About as frustrating as it gets

 

The particular agent also drew up a plan for my budget – a rather modest 400 dollars a month, and she introduced me to things like a whole life plan coupled with term and a small endowment. I couldn’t have been more lost if I were left stranded on Mars.

Being young(er) at that time, I didn’t want to appear stupid, so I rejected all her proposals. Not that they were unsound, but rather I couldn’t bring myself to admit that I didn’t know a thing about all these plans and what they could do for me.

So I took the easy way out, which is to reject the agent. I hear its still a national past time, though.

 

I couldn’t validate what my agent was telling me

 

How do you trust someone who sells you something you don't understand?

How do you trust someone who sells you something you don’t understand?

 

Inexplicably, my hatred for insurance increased sometime after the rejection. This was because I took the her proposal and went around to my friends and family for a second opinion.

No one could give me a definite (or even coherent) answer as to the soundness of the plans. My parents were civil servants all their lives and never had any training nor exposure to financial products. My friends were all around my age and had about just the same amount of inexperience I had dealing with insurance.

There was simply no one around with the credentials and authority to turn to. Agents are automatically ruled out because of their vested interest, despite their claims to be altruistic. (I’m cynical that way)

 

Why I hate Insurance – After Englightment

 

It was almost by accident that I started work for an Insurance Company, after a headhunter forwarded my resume for a Management Trainee programe. Turns out that Insurers too were looking for Management Trainees, and one thing led to another.

I spent the better part of 8 years working with different insurers and a bank to manage insurance sales. Today, the reasons I hate Insurance are totally different.

 

It’s one of the most essential financial foundations, but also the most neglected

 

While in the bank, I met a couple whose son committed suicide barely a week ago. The mother was still shaken and weeping, while the father was visibly more composed. They wanted to check if a policy their son had was still in effect, so that they could make the death claims. As I pored through the records, the policy was surrendered 2 year ago. There was nothing I could do to help them.

To date, Insurance still remains the single most important foundation for securing a financial future, yet it is the one that is usually bought the last, if ever bought at all. People are all looking for ways to get rich, to get fantastic returns on investment, but not looking for insurance as a cornerstone first.

 

It still has to be sold, instead of being bought

 

You would think that with the advent of internet and the explosion of the information age, mindsets about insurance would change. But nope, we are still pretty much where we were 50 years ago. My first housecall as an agent was met with dirty looks from my client’s relatives, who were visiting her at the time of my call. (and yes, she did buy from me eventually, even with her relatives looking on)

Insurance still has to be painstakingly sold to policy holders today, instead of people actively searching out insurance. And as long as insurance still has to be sold, there will always be people out there with inadequate cover. If anything unexpected happens to them, they might not be able to cope financially. This is highly regrettable, especially in the 21st Century.

 

Simply no way for people to learn about Insurance

 

It is ridiculous that we have apps for dieting essentials, websites to learn beginner coding, tonnes and tonnes of blogs out there that teach people how to dress up, where to do, what places to eat, but till this day no one is interest in teaching their fellowmen about the importance of Insurance.

Our school children are woefully ignorant about Insurance, and will continue to be ignorant well into their adult years if they don’t happen to work in the industry. There are simply not enough outreach and education sources for us. How many more families and lives will be in financial hardship due to all this ignorance?

 

Summing it up

 

The reasons why I hate insurance have changed vastly from since i first started working, but i guess the common theme behind this hate is helplessness. it used to stem from helplessness in my own individual sense, but now it stems from helplessness to aid other people.

But as days go by, I hate insurance even less and less ever since ClearlySurely.com was set up months ago. We’ve taken our collective wisdom, knowledge and acumen and build it up into something that combats ignorance about Insurance – and what a rush it has been!

Perhaps someday, when Insurance is right where it has to be in everyone’s minds, we can then stop all the hate.

Do share this article if it you found it useful!

www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.

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