12:57 PM

Father's experience teaches a life lesson

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month


American Family Insurance Agent Jeremy Jones (South Jordan, Utah) reflects on his father’s death and the importance of having more than just a life insurance policy through work.


My first job out of college was as a life insurance agent with another company. One of the first customers I tried to sell a policy to was my father. I did a life review with him and he told me he had two policies already. One was a $100,000 term policy and the other was a $200,000 policy through work. I commended him for what he had and explained the pros and cons of both. I told him it was great that he had a policy through work, but not to rely on it in case he ever lost the job.

We determined that he needed at least $500,000 more in life insurance. We got an application filled out but he dragged his feet on signing it. I kept following up but he was happy with the policies he already had and did not think more was needed.

Six months later my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Now, getting another policy was out of the question. He fought the cancer and responded well to treatment for years. About six years after diagnosis it got very bad. He became terminally ill and had to stop working. He came to me for help because his medical bills were through the roof. I found that there was an Accelerated Death Benefit Rider in his personal term policy, so we got him $100,000 from that. Ultimately all of that went to medical bills and cost of living.

Dad had a $200,000 group policy through work, and wanted to convert it to an individual policy. To do so, the premium would have cost about $200 a month. With everything going on at the time, and not working, Dad couldn't afford it, so he let the policy lapse. And not too long after that, he passed away without life insurance to cover many outstanding expenses.

This is one of the many valuable lessons I learned from my dad.

I know all too well how important it is, not to rely only on a work-provided life insurance policy and I share his story with my customers in the life insurance review process. I’m sharing it with you during Life Insurance Awareness Month so you have the opportunity to think about financially protecting your family, and to help your customers do the same.

Photo: Jeremy with his parents