To talk about life insurance with family and people you love can be a difficult conversation to start. It forces us to confront our least favorite subjects, such as dying, finances, taxes, estate planning, powers of attorney, debt owed, and medical conditions. Obtaining protection in the form of life insurance, on the other hand, is an expression of love that goes beyond words. It demonstrates to your loved ones that you are concerned about their future and want to protect them.
1. Start by Asking Questions—and Then Listen
To begin a beneficial discussion, be genuine and compassionate. A good place to start is by asking meaningful questions and then listening carefully to your loved one’s answers. If you’re not used to having these conversations, it just takes a little courage on your part. Here are a couple of examples:
Asking questions about life insurance is just a start. Then, use your active listening skills to create a safe environment for a candid conversation. Make it clear to your loved one that you are listening to their responses without passing judgment. You may believe that your loved one is falling behind in their planning, but keep in mind that any amount of life insurance coverage is preferable to none at all.
2: Share a Story about someone you know
If you think a less direct approach will yield better results, then begin the conversation about life insurance with a real-life example. It could be a story about someone you actually know or someone you’ve just heard or read about.
You could, for instance, tell a story about a friend’s dad who died and how your friend was so grateful that their dad had planned for his death. You could explain how all of their final expenses were covered by a life insurance policy.
From the other perspective, you could give a specific example of someone who died unprepared and left debt and their final expenses for their loved ones to pay. Maybe you’ve seen someone on social media start a goFund me account to help pay for their loved one’s memorial service, funeral or final healthcare costs.
First, consider whether sharing a positive or negative story will give rise to a more open dialogue. If you don’t have a personal example, share one from a story you find online. Then ask your loved one to share their thoughts with you.
3: Bring Up the Pandemic or Other Recent Events
You can also start this conversation by bringing up recent news. According to a recent Life Happens and LIMRA survey, 31% of Americans believe “COVID-19 has made it more likely that they will obtain life insurance within the next 12 months.”
Clearly, the pandemic has made many of us somewhat more comfortable with having difficult conversations about death planning, which you can use to your advantage. Simply be thoughtful and start by bringing up how the pandemic, or another current event, has affected you. Then, before diving into your life insurance questions, ask your loved one how this all makes them feel.
These types of conversations are often hard to initiate but are absolutely essential. Furthermore, we need to talk about these matters sooner rather than later. Develop a Make plan to discuss life insurance with your loved ones.
First, if necessary, spend a few minutes reviewing the basic concepts of life insurance.
Next, make a list of the questions to ask. Use the above list to help you make your list.
Finally, once you understand current plans, take action by speaking with a life insurance professional. We can assist you with customizing a plan based on your family member’s situation.