My first life insurance claim

Published by on

The difficult decision to approach family for business can  save loved ones from financial devastation.


On April 1, 1990, I began my career in this great business with some trepidation. Like many new agents, I was worried about whether I knew enough potential clients to earn a living wage, but didn’t want to approach family and close friends in case this new career didn’t last. The agent who got me into the business — my mentor — provided me with a different perspective. He said that if I really believed in what I was doing, I owed it to my family and friends to tell them about the products I was selling. He pointed out that if I didn’t approach them and something was to happen to one of them, I’d feel awful. This change of perspective led me to reach out to those close to me, including my uncle in March 1991. He ran a welding shop and was the sole supporter for my aunt and their three young children, all of whom were in school at the time. An initial fact-finder revealed that he already had a small whole life policy worth $10,000. (Note: Amounts in Canadian dollars.) My aunt also possessed a nearly 40-year-old small whole life policy worth $5,000 purchased by my grandfather when she was a baby.

We owe it to our family and friends to protect them with the products we sell.


I presented various options, and we determined that the best decision was to apply for $100,000 of permanent coverage for my uncle. He opted to pay annually, and I stopped in at their house every year to pick up the premium.

During a visit in April 1993, my uncle informed me that his business had not been doing well, and he was going to have to cancel his policy. After a lengthy discussion with him and my aunt, we decided to take enough dividends out of her whole life policy to pay the premiums for one more year. The hope was that the business would improve and they’d be in a better position the next year.
Less than a month later on  May 3, I received a phone call from my mother telling me that my uncle had been in a bad traffic accident. The accident proved to be fatal. My uncle passed away at only 43 years old. I called my aunt and told her that once I had the claim forms I’d be coming to visit her, while also letting her know that if she needed anything in the meantime, I’d be there for her. I still remember picking up her brother, my other uncle, from the airport over 18 years ago. When I saw him, he asked me if I’d insured his sister’s husband. I looked at him, emotional but proud, and said yes. His response was, “Thank you.” 
Things have certainly changed since then. Thanks to a wonderful product called life insurance, my aunt and cousins were able to keep their home, and my aunt continued to be a full-time mom while my cousins finished school. She is remarried to a wonderful man, and my cousins are all grown. All of them have life insurance, and it gives me a sense of pride that — should the worst happen — their families will be cared for. Just like my uncle’s family was.