Do you have the right life insurance coverage?
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Do you have the right life insurance coverage?

 By Darren Barr-Engstrom

Two Stitches Later-Do you have the right insurance coverage?

So the story involves my wife, a knife, avocado pit, making salads for lunch, a trip to the ER and ends with two stitches.  I’ll spare you the details, but lesson learned, don’t use a knife to get a pit out of an avocado.  Fortunately we had health insurance and the cut wasn’t as serious as it could have been.

We lived in New Haven for almost a year, and I’m embarrassed to say that I/we didn’t know where the emergency room was.  I can’t remember the last time I was at an emergency room, and I certainly didn’t have the opportunity to visit one in New Haven previously.  I know that New Haven has fine doctors with the Yale Medical School right here.

Now I want to use this as a lesson for my readers and a coaching point.  We often get very busy in our life and sometimes put off things for tomorrow that we should be thinking about today.  In business this is called contingency planning, or having a plan for when something goes wrong. 


Do you have a plan if something were to happen to you?  Do you have children under the age of 18?  Whether you are a business owner or whether you work for someone else, do you have insurance to cover your family’s income loss if something were to happen to you?  Suze Orman, author of many successful personal finance books suggests that at a bare minimum, you have term insurance to cover your income loss, along with a will and a health care proxy.
A health care proxy is a legal document in which an individual designates another person to make health care decisions if he or she is rendered incapable of making their wishes known.

Do you have a term insurance or life insurance policy that would support your family or business financially if something were to happen to you?

Is it up to date?  Sometimes we have insurance coverage for our family, home, and business that hasn’t been updated to our current income level and that will cover all of our business or home. Does your auto insurance have the bare minimum coverage, or would it actually cover you if you got in an accident and were liable for damages.  If your liability coverage is too low, and you were in an accident where you were at fault, the other person could come after your house and any other assets.

If you are over the age of 55, do you have long term care insurance?

Should something happen to you and you end up unable to care for yourself and in nursing home or needing care in your own home, long term care insurance will cover that.  The cost of care in your own home or a long stay in a nursing home could quickly wipe out any retirement savings that you have. 

Have you talked with your parents about how they would like things handled when they pass away?  What’s their financial situation?  Have they updated their will?  This can be a difficult conversation to have, as money is generally a difficult topic of conversation, and talking about what’s going to happen when you pass away is a real conversation stopper.  But it’s a conversation that needs to happen.  It’s not just about the money, many families have been torn apart when parents pass away and it’s not clear how the estate will be split (or if there will be any estate to split).
Your assignment is to find out what’s going on with your insurance policies, and do something about it.  Create your contingency plan now.  Update your insurance policies (don’t wait for your insurance rep to contact you), talk to your parents, and get a new policy if you need one. Don’t wait until something happens to “figure out where the emergency room is”! (Coaching is about learning, and yes the coach can learn too)




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