Life insurance myths and offbeat alternatives for awareness month
By Emily Hutto
Every September, the nonprofit LIFE Foundation coordinates Life Insurance Awareness Month to encourage Americans to include life insurance in their financial plans. It’s a reminder to do your reading about the different products available to you.
I recommend starting this research with some quirky media about why life insurance is important in the first place.
1. Life insurance myths, busted
Guardian Life Insurance is celebrating Life Insurance Awareness Month with a new website dedicated to educating readers about choosing the right life insurance products. The website, Uncommon Knowledge, offers advice about life insurance as an asset class and as a managed asset. It debunks myths like “All life insurance is created equal,” and “Whole life is a lousy place to put your money.”
The website goes one step further with an interactive landing page full of other kinds of myth-busters, too. For example, it turns out double-dipping your chip does not add or subtract enough microbes to the guacamole to spread germs to fellow party-goers.
J.D. Salinger, the author of Cather in the Rye, never wanted his novel to become a movie. His book made a recent Huffington Post list of books titled “7 Novels That Should Be Adapted.” The blog quotes a letter that he wrote in 1957 that says, “It is possible that one day the rights will be sold. Since there's an ever-looming possibility that I won't die rich, I toy very seriously with the idea of leaving the unsold rights to my wife and daughter as a kind of insurance policy."
3. Collector’s items
Before Neil Armstrong and the astronauts on Apollo 11 launched into space, they signed hundreds of covers, envelopes signed by crews and postmarked on important mission dates, that they gave to their families to sell in case they never did return. These artifacts became known as “insurance covers,” and were returned to the crew when they arrived home safely.
Read the entire Discovery article “Apollo 11's Unconventional Life Insurance Policies” here.
4. Nontraditional advertising
A new television and radio campaign by West Bend Mutual appeals to the emotional side of life insurance. One of their commercials features an amateur video that one client of his children took on his video camera that was replaced by the company after it was stolen.
Watch the video here.
Now that you're thoroughly entertained (well, at least when it comes to life insurance), you can get the basics on the LIFE Foundation website, lifehappens.org. The site has articles about long-term care and disability, and calculators to help you predict your lifetime earnings and other life insurance needs. It couldn't be a better time to start financial planning.