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Oh. Hello. And good evening. It’s a nice night, isn’t it? Kid is finally asleep after a long day. Pretty soon I’m going to hit this button behind me and the Roomba is going to go around and clean up all the bits of food and assorted other things that she left in her wake in the course of the day. I got a nice cup of cold seltzer water in the mug. And once again, it’s time to sit back, relax, and talk about insurance. I’m Rudy Lurz, and this is Insurance: After Dark. Episode 3. Tonight’s topic is catastrophic coverage.
Tonight I am seated at the kitchen table because this is where a lot of conversations about insurance happen, and I encourage you to sit down with your loved ones after this episode, specifically in the area of catastrophic care. In terms of insurance, catastrophic coverage might be one of the toughest things to sell, even tougher than life insurance.
One of my favorite cartoons that I’ve seen going around social media begins with the first frame with a man on the ground and a woman at his side, and she’s saying, “Help! Help! I need a doctor! Is there a doctor around?”
A man walks up and says, “I’m a doctor of philosophy.”
The woman says, “He’s had a heart attack. He’s going to die. He needs help!”
It pans back to the doctor of philosophy who says, “We are all going to die.”
(Takes sip of drink) As a non-medical doctor, I see the wit in that statement. Very “philosophy class” sort of joke there. In terms of life insurance, people generally accept the fact that, yes, we are all going to die. They accept the fact that life insurance is necessary (long pause), they just put off buying it; they don’t want to think about that. But catastrophic coverage is an even tougher sell than life insurance. Because people definitely don’t want to think about that. In terms of the well-being of your family, death is bad. But it is not the worst thing that can happen to you.
Your income is gone when you die. You can no longer provide for your family. That’s true. But it’s not the worst thing that can happen to you. The worst thing that can happen is a catastrophic illness or injury that not only leaves you with no income, but it costs a lot of money to get you healthy. (long pause). If that is possible at all. That’s a catastrophic scenario that really requires some protection. Because while your death might be awful for your family, a catastrophic illness or injury is even worse. Because your loved ones will pay anything to get you back on your feet again, even if that is not possible. And in doing so, it might mean the ruin of your family’s security. Because all your savings, all your assets, they might not make it. And your loved ones might be ruined as a result. That’s something that people want to think about even less than…they don’t want to think about that at all. They don’t want to think about death. They definitely don’t want to think about having a heart attack and three months of rehab, or cancer, or an injury that leaves you severely hurt and, again, lots of rehab (pause)… modifications to your home that might be necessary to get you back on your feet again. These types of scenarios are the ones that can cause bankruptcy. Even if you have health insurance.
The stat I mentioned often, that Harvard study from a few years ago that noted that 62% of personal bankruptcies were a result of health care bills. And 77% of those who went bankrupt had health insurance. They didn’t anticipate the loss of income and the additional costs that insurance didn’t cover. The insurance will cover your surgery. They’ll cover your chemo. They’ll cover the efforts your doctors make to save your life. But your income’s gone and there are often costs that your insurance didn’t cover (pause), there are gaps (pause), there’s a deductible that you have to pay. For a lot of folks that deductible can be in the thousands. And a lot of folks don’t even have one thousand dollars in the bank. And they think, “Well, I can’t afford insurance.” Well the good news is, in terms of catastrophic coverage, it’s very affordable. Because it’s rare. Because it doesn’t happen often. That makes it a lot more affordable than other types of insurance. Yes, in terms of, “Will you need life insurance?” Yes. Everyone does die. Will you need [to make a claim on] a catastrophic policy? Most likely not. But yet, if you do, that’s when it’s really necessary to have. And in terms of when to get it, if you get that type of policy when you’re young, and healthy, you can get a catastrophic cancer plan or critical illness plan, for heart attacks and strokes, for (pause), sometimes just 9…11 dollars a month. If you want more extensive coverage, maybe 15…18…20. 20 dollars a month! That’s for really good coverage, that’s 10 dollars every paycheck. For just minimum coverage to make sure you’re not financially ruined, that 9-11 dollars a month, maybe 12, that’s 6 dollars a paycheck. And then, with the right insurance company, for instance, with my company, that remains level. You can just hold that.
Because some other stats are scary, too. What’s most likely (pause), what are the leading causes of death for Americans? Heart disease and cancer. So getting that policy when you’re young, and paying 6 dollars, 10 dollars a paycheck, is a lot better to have that for when you’re 50 or 60, and all of those conditions are a lot more likely than while you were younger. And then, if you have the right policy, you can pay into that for decades and the first time you need it, it pays for itself. And if you live to the ripe old age of 90 and never needed it, then at least you protected your family for just 6 dollars a paycheck. Because these events happen. There are people in your life…you might know them. (long pause) You might just not be aware of it. But if you ask around, you’ll find people in your life who have had a catastrophic injury, have had a catastrophic heart attack, stroke, or cancer, it happens! And sometimes, it happens when you’re young. In your personal kitchen table conversation with your family, talk about what you can do to protect your family now against the events that are coming when you’re older. Like the heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. But you got to start protecting against these things when you are younger and specifically that coverage is affordable to keep and hold all those years. Because as I said before, that fate is worse than death for your family’s security. So why not guard against it? If all it costs is 6 dollars every paycheck? Why not do it? There’s no reason to leave yourself open to such a fate.
Even though you don’t want to think about it, it’s very affordable and necessary to guard yourself against it. So the advice I give my clients is, it will be best to get accident insurance, cancer insurance, and some form of critical illness insurance for heart attacks, strokes, and organ failure. Just wrap yourself up in a protective bubble. But that’s not [financially] viable for most folks. Especially when you’re younger [on an entry-level salary]. So talk to your parents, talk to your grandparents if they’re still around, and talk to them about what’s the biggest risk to your health. What’s your family history look like? Is that risk cancer? Is that risk (pause) heart attacks and strokes? [Chances are it’s one or the other]. Start there. Because both of those catastrophic policies are very affordable when you’re young and healthy. If nothing else, then you can get an accident policy, because that risk exists for Americans of any age. How many car accidents happen in the United States every year? How many of those result in serious injuries? (long pause)So these type of policies that would provide $200, $300, $500 a day every day you’re confined to the hospital or ICU, or lump sum amounts for major health events like cancer or heart attacks, these are very important policies to get.
So consider them, and if you have any questions at all or want to talk further about any of these ideas, you can call me at (540) 520-3069, text me, same number. Or send me an email at Rudolph_Lurz@us.aflac.com.And in your personal kitchen table discussion, talk to your family about what’s the best option for you. So, be good to each other, and I’ll see you next time. END OF TRANSCRIPT