Life Insurance Knowledge

An important topic missing from this forum is on the many uses of life insurance as a personal and business tool. Did you know that many corporations (e.g. AIG Financial and New York Life among others) profited from slavery? Read here. In my years as an insurance agent, I have observed that few of these insurers go out of their way to offer their products to inhabitants of low-income neighborhoods, and this plays a part in the lack of investment by other large companies in general into Black communities. None or small personal insurance also means no interest by developers to support your 'hood. Their thinking is if you care so little about yourself not to own life insurance to protect your family, why should we build infrastructure around you that will support your longevity?
The first paragraph was written to illustrate the history of the “life insurance game,” who plays in it and who is currently winning and why. This second section will give reasons why, if you are currently uninsured or under-insured, you are playing into the hands of those who want to continue the exclusion of Black people from access to this country’s wealth. When uninsured people die in the United States, they often leave consumer and secured debt to their grieving families. Large numbers of non-Black ethnic groups make sure life insurance is part of their money game plan and because of this, can pay end of life ceremonies and have money left over to maintain their standard of living after the death of a breadwinner. There are some who go as far as to recognize that the death of a loved one can even serve as a financial “come-up.” Uninsured Black parents are one of the reasons why there are so few young Black kids in College in comparison to other races. If you are the parent of a Black child today and don’t have life insurance you are missing out on the best method of inheritance creation you could ever give to your offspring. Don’t believe me? Even the Bible speaks of it in Proverbs “Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly (Proverbs 13:22, New Living Translation).” Owning a simple life insurance plan can not only pay for your burial without your family having to borrow and beg, but the right plan can also benefit you in the event you lose your job, become injured or terminally ill. I remember helping a man in Palm Springs California save his house from foreclosure by extracting the cash value (near $7,000) that had accumulated in his insurance policy. So I know that life insurance is not just about death but can also contain features called riders or “life benefits.” Another great feature of life insurance is that it is disbursed tax-free, meaning you can set it up for the insurance company to release portions of your death benefit to your loved ones at regular intervals as you decide (every month or 6 months or annually) until the money is finished with no taxes applied. I don’t know about you, but I want my family that survives me to have that plan without Government sticking its fingers into my pockets when I’m dead.
In conclusion, I want to say that the “insurance game” should feature in the financial portfolio of every person that considers themselves interested in how money works. The Black community, in particular, needs to learn this information in a hurry in order to correct years of misinformation that has left our families scraping for financial leftovers after the bereavement of a breadwinner. I speak to too many procrastinators who associate conversations with a Life Insurance Agent as an invitation to the Grim Reaper to whisk them away unexpectedly. On a community level, this attitude has helped keep away billions of dollars of investment that our people are owed for the work done in building this country. On a personal level, if you want to know how to use insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones you can reach me at (I removed the email address because I wasn't able to get a response from the author of the status of him in relation to insurance currently.). -zebiggie, Courtesy of UPA (September 6, 2015)

(To the Black insurance providers out here, here’s a network for you to congregate. Here’s a website for people interested in learning more about the different types of coverages out here. Finally, here’s a website that features Black insurance websites from A to Z.)

(Everyone reading this can also reach out to me. I, too, sell insurance. -Derrick Mills)

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