In 2005, David Foster Wallace arguably made the best commencement speech of all time. As with many great speakers, he opened with a simple yet poignant fable about an opportunistic meeting between three fishes.
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
David went on to elucidate the value of stating the obvious. What we often assume to be the truth turns out otherwise. Random thoughts popped up in my brain as I was reading his fantastic speech. Most of them might be mistaken as the musing of an insane person and thus, instantly forgotten. However, there was this particular thought that got stuck.
What the hell is insurance?
To a lawyer, insurance is a contract between two consenting parties.
If you catch hold of my fellow writer, he will rattle on about how much he hates insurance.
To someone who just has her car premium increased, the answer is probably in the lines of something expensive yet useless.
Those are observations by different parties that have been clouded by their own experiences. They are right in their own ways. Yet, the whole point about insurance may be missed out due to tinted perspectives.
So yes, we are going to state the obvious.
You probably know but have already lost sight of.
This is insurance.
The Goalkeeper of Your Assets.
It is trite law that a goalkeeper’s job is to prevent the opponent from scoring.
In the financial planning, insurance plays the keeper’s role.
It zealously guards your financial assets against those you have chosen to protect against.
Whether your goalkeeper is Manuel Neuer or Massimo Taibi, it is entirely your decision.
You get to customise your keeper and equip him with skills that can be bought with your insurance premium.
A hospitalisation plan empowers your keeper to keep out the in-patient bills from breaching the score-line; your bank account shall not be depleted by an injury if you have had a Disability-Income plan as your goalie.
Looks like someone has forgotten to equip Leno with kicking skills.
How well your keeper can protect the goal-mouth is also dependent on how much premium you pay.
If you are faced with a strong invader such as a dread disease, you must strengthen your keeper’s attributes before even stepping onto the pitch.
Usually, you have to pay a higher premium to put up a stronger resistance.
At times, a little comparison allows you to obtain a higher sum assured with the same amount of money!
What a goalkeeper cannot do is to increase your goal count.
It is simply not his duty to do so; the outfield players are responsible for that.
As obvious as this is, many have failed to recognise this.
Whole Life, Endowment and investment-linked policies are not just insurances.
They are insurances with saving/investment components.
They are a team with a goalie, defenders, midfielders and the glory-hunting strikers.
If the outfield players are misfiring, you should not blame the keeper for a goalless draw.
Although the keeper may score sometimes, getting goals isn’t part of his job description.
We have to recognise insurance for what it is and what it is not.
It conserves your assets but it does not grow it.
Insurance defines you.
You are not defined by the things you own.
You are you because of the people around you, your way of life, your personal memories and experiences.
Insurance helps preserve these things so that you can continue to be you.
This is Insurance
This is no rocket science.
It is easy to understand the value and power of insurance.
But it is not difficult to lose sight of the obvious when faced with negative stories about insurance and the industry.
This is why we have to state the obvious.
We sieve out the layers and layers of subjective interpretations and unravel the true face of insurance.
Boy, isn’t it a pretty sight?!
This is insurance.
And this is where you can begin your journey from the unprotected to being properly insured.
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.