Life is complicated, insurance doesn't have to be.
Funeral, burial, grave, loss and other words related to death ignite
survival mode in our brains, viewing death as an event that can only
happen to other people. Although it is hard to admit, end-of-life
preparations help ease these feelings of uncertainty. Selecting the
right life insurance policy and beneficiaries for you and your loved
ones is a great first step toward providing stability for the future.
Why is life insurance important?
When driving, there is no action required by the driver to
activate or use the airbags. Aside from wearing your seatbelt (which
is always a good idea), airbags provide an additional form of
security as you travel. Life insurance works the same way! Without
scrambling or stressing, you can relax knowing that your loved ones
will be taken care of after you’re gone.
Yes, you may have life insurance through your employer, but
it may not be enough. Most of these policies will cover funeral
costs and immediate needs, but payments like mortgage, debt and
legacy planning are not always included. Most employer-based life
insurance policies generally do not continue if you no longer work
for the company. Look into this plan to ensure that it provides
the right amount of coverage for your family.
Read more: How
Much Life Insurance Do I Need? [Free Calculator]
So, why is life insurance hard to discuss?
While it may sound depressing, properly discussing death with
your loved ones can reduce stress levels and lead to other long-term
benefits. Starting the conversation is the hardest part. We searched
the web for psychological reasons why our brains reject conversations
related to death. Knowing these reasons will help us understand and
work through these uncomfortable conversations about life insurance.
What is going on inside our brains?
Our brains are constantly gaining and storing knowledge to be
used one day in the face of danger as a survival mechanism. Despite
your brain’s impressive ability to predict, there is one thing it
cannot quite grasp and that is our own deaths.
Psychological studies have been conducted that show when
subjects are faced with their own death, their brain’s ability to
predict shuts down. In other words, the brain refuses to acknowledge
that your own death is unavoidable.
Why does this make talking about life insurance so hard?
As soon as you start shopping for life insurance, it is
inevitable to imagine not only yourself dead, but life after your
death for your family as well. Your brain cannot “compute” this
reality. As the brain’s ability to predict decreases, it becomes
more difficult to process and accept our own mortality. Some of the
first things you are asked to consider when buying life insurance
include how much you owe on your mortgage and how much income you
want to provide for your beneficiary(ies) after your death.
Imagining yourself dead combats the inherent wiring of your brain.
No wonder talking about life insurance is uncomfortable!
Read more: Whole
Life Insurance vs Term: What You Need to Know
So, how can we make these hard conversations easier?
Talking about death with family members is different for all
of us. Every person brings a unique perspective and experience to
the conversation. You can’t copy and paste a script; rather, the
dialogue should be personal, thoughtful and filled with empathy.
Listen for natural openings in the conversation to bring up these
difficult topics. Sometimes you may need to initiate the
conversation in order for it to happen. Arrange a suitable place and
time and have a plan for what you want to say. Another way to start
the conversation is by asking about other people’s experiences.
Sharing experiences promotes comfort and connection, making it
easier to discuss heavy topics. Be sure to listen actively to the
other person’s story and listen for cues to ask related questions.
Maintaining eye contact is another way to show that you are present
and attentive to the conversation.
Death is a hard topic to digest. It causes many people to feel
concerned and uncomfortable. The more we understand how our brains are
wired, the more comfortable we can feel knowing that we are not alone.
Purchasing a life insurance policy doesn’t have to be a cumbersome
task. Being prepared will help ease your mind and provide you and your
loved ones greater confidence for the future.
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Disclaimer: This article is not expert advice.
The analysis of coverage is in general terms and is
superseded in all respects by the Insuring Agreements,
Endorsements, Exclusions, Terms and Conditions of the
Policy. Some of the coverage mentioned in this
material may not be applicable in all states or may have to
be modified to conform to applicable state law. Some
coverages may have been eliminated or modified since
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