Best to Plan Ahead

It seems that not a day goes by when one or all of the Jewish news agencies post pleas from chessed organizations who are asking the klal for donations to help families who, R”l, have tragically lost a parent. The situations are obviously terrible and these stories break our hearts as well as open them to the needs of these desperate families.

However, while I may be admonished for what some may perceive as insensitivity, the question begs to be asked: Was there no life insurance that could have averted financial calamity for these families? To be sure, some may have had and it still may not be enough to cover the cost of illness, R”l, or there may have been pre-existing medical conditions for which no life insurance was available. I’m fully aware of these possibilities. However, I think that, statistically, it may not be the case in all these situations.

After the birth of my first child, and I mean immediately after his birth, my husband and I both took out term life insurance policies to cover the cost of his care should something happen to one of us. We had no money, barely scraping up enough to pay rent and buy groceries, but we considered this to be equally as important as a roof over our heads and food on our table. We were young, healthy, and the policy was cheap (and still is, relative to a person’s age and health). As our family increased, baruch Hashem, we took out the maximum that our income would allow in order to cover the costs of caring for our children should something have happened to us, G-d forbid. Baruch Hashem, they’re all grown, married, with children — and they all have life insurance, which we have insisted upon!

By the way, I am neither an insurance broker nor an agent. I get no commission for advocating this. I simply feel — obviously very strongly — that it is not an optional expense or a luxury if one has even one child, much less many.

I hope that anyone reading this who is in a position to guide newly- or even “oldly”-married couples, or young people as they enter into shidduchim, will speak to them of the vital importance of planning for life until 120 but still taking the necessary steps to insure their family’s financial security no matter what may happen.

Jan Cohen