Fear of Insurance: Is there such thing? How Do You Overcome It?

Fear of Insurance: Is there such thing?

About 5-7 years ago, I would turn down every single person who introduced me to anything about insurance. Any person or company that sells me a policy? I'd just wear my resting poker face look and without a doubt would say, "no thanks".  

In a way, I somehow developed a fear of insurance and anything that had to do with it, and it all started because I was tricked, forced, and pressured. 

Flashback to 7 years ago...

It was one of those December days when the mall was oozing with festivity and positive vibes. I was just done shopping and I happened to pass by some people giving out flyers and leaflets. One of them asked me if I have a credit card

Sounds familiar? 

Anyway, I replied yes. And then, in just less than 10 minutes, I already found myself in an air-conditioned room inside the mall along with several others who were speaking with dressed-up individuals. If not signing papers, they were listening intently to the person in front of them. 

I was sipping their free iced tea and got my promised "freebie" along with a small paper that was supposed to be my entry to win a Honda City. After that, someone already led me to a table and asked me things about my personal life and what my plans were for my fcreduture. 

I proceeded with responding and for quite a few minutes, I was already agreeing with what the person in front of me was saying. She was a complete stranger to me. I didn't want to be there but somehow I felt like there was a magnet (a bad one) that pulled me to that place.

I guess you already know by now where this story is leading? Probably you have experienced this yourself or you know a friend or two who did. 

Yes, it was one of those strategies of one insurance company to get clients - to offer random people in the mall a freebie, ask them if they have a credit card, then tell them they can win a car or something big when they agree to speak with them for just 10 minutes (read: 1 hour or more). 

Anyway, I never hold grudges but I never thought I'd feel so bad about the incident. Perhaps, those people were just like me who were hustling to earn money. Sometimes, some people don't really have much choice because they need to put food on their table (although not always in a good way).

Fear of Insurance: Is there such thing?

So to continue my story, after about 45 minutes of listening to the lady in front of me, I told her that I didn't have a budget yet for the insurance policy and that Php 15,000 per month was too much for me as I was just starting to build my career and my family. 

When it was obvious that I wouldn't budge, I told her I already wanna leave and so her face turned sour and she looked worried sick. But she called her supervisor and the supervisor asked me flat out told me: "just get the Php 5000 insurance policy for the whole year, Ma'am." 

I was taken aback and I declined. But she kept asking me again and again, not wanting me to leave. I was so confused and I didn't know what to do anymore. I honestly got tired of being there so I just succumbed to the pressure. And poof! Php 5000 taken out from my credit card just like that.

That was a hard pill to swallow but one that I probably deserved for being so foolish, especially that it didn't happen only once. The second instance, I was set to give them another chance but sadly, the sales agent lied to me over the phone. She told me that I had something to claim from their office, but when I got there, she just did exactly the same thing as what the previous sales agent did the first time in the mall.

I felt betrayed. That day, I told myself, "I would never trust any insurance companies ever again. I'm better off hiding my money at home." 

To fast forward the story, I've actually accepted an insurance policy offer 2 years ago from a company I trust. Now, I'm still seeking more investments. 

So how did I overcome my "fear" of insurance? Here are the TOP 3 ACTIONS I did that I want to share with you. 

1. I realized that I should not make plans on my own. 

When you already have your own family (and especially when you have a kid/kids), a lot of your decisions need to be shared with your husband, wife, or partner. It's no longer a question of what you like but an honest and selfless compromise between you and your partner. 

After that "scam" incident, I told my husband everything. He got disappointed because he said I should have consulted him first. He even asked me if I really understood what I signed up for. I was ashamed of myself because truth be told, I didn't understand the policy so much. I was too busy and distracted thinking of an exit strategy from that place. 

Had my husband been there with me that time, I wouldn't have fallen into that trap because for sure, he would decline right away. He said that I was tricked into getting something I didn't want or haven't even understood yet. He asked me to cancel the policy and so I did. But the agent told me it would take up to 3 months for the credit to be returned to my account. 

When you share your big plans with your partner, you get to engage in a healthy and open discussion about the best insurance company that will take care of your needs. The "scary" investment will not seem scary anymore because you are sharing the accountability with someone you trust.

Fear of Insurance: Is there such thing?

2. I did my own research and drafted a plan for my family's future. 

A few months after the "incident", in what was a very timely turn of events albeit sudden, my father got into a motorcycle accident that required a leg surgery. And that's when it hit me, if an accident happens to my family (God forbid), where will I get the money? I had zero savings and no actual insurance aside from the one provided by my employer which did not really cover so much. 

I tried applying for loans just so I could help with the hospital bills but ended up getting declined. The thought of the accident just lingered in my head but still, I turned my back from any offers of insurance or savings as if my family and I were immortal. 

When I quit my corporate job, my company insurance went with it. With no real insurance to rely on, I began to panic inside. Seeing how many accidents can happen in a day, I went back to the what-ifs and thought about my husband and son. I'd be dead myself just thinking of how I could pay anything in case we get sick or worse. 

So I did my own research about what's the best insurance policy for my family. I even found out online about that insurance "scam" and a lot had been victims as well, which was why I've learned my lesson. 

It just goes to show that when you are not knowledgeable and you don't have proper financial education, you get taken advantage of easily. Let's just say it's not entirely their fault because I technically had the choice to decline and had I just been firmer and guarded, I would have walked out of that place without a dent in my credit card account. 

But still, I really believed their ways of acquiring clients were not acceptable. I'd say that when a certain insurance company or a financial advisor wants to "sell" a policy to you, they should genuinely care for you first and give you enough time to understand the benefits and the value you will get, so that you can make an informed decision, not a rushed and pressured one. (This is from my standpoint.)

Through proper internet research and speaking with my trusted friends who were also financial advisors, I was able to draft what my husband and I really wanted for our future. We were able to weigh our options and validate the need to have an insurance and savings policy. 

As what I've once read from a travel blog, "insurance is the only thing you need to have that you never wish to use at all."

Eventually, we were able to gain knowledge and make an informed decision about the things we should invest on. It's really important to be armed with financial knowledge first before deciding on something big. 

3. I attended every free financial literacy seminar or talk I could possibly attend. 

Back then, I usually did not entertain invitations to financial seminars of some sort. As I've mentioned, I've somehow closed my mind after the "scam" incident. I would often tell myself, "it's just another insurance company trying to get money from people." Clearly, I did not have any idea or was not knowledgeable enough. 

But with the turning point in my life when I quit my corporate job and decided to work from home, I have opened myself up and decided to listen, although more carefully this time. I asked myself, where is this fear really coming from? 

The "scam" incident had already happened and I could never go back to that point anymore. I had to push myself to move on from that and accept it as part of the past - a learning experience that should help me be more mindful next time. 

I also told myself that I'm going to take advantage of any kind of financial education coming from a reputable company or person - especially if it's free. So I did. I joined the seminars and talks initiated by Sun Life Financial. There were even so many times when I got teary-eyed just listening to the speakers and their experiences.

Sun Life Financial

Those times, I could finally feel that I could relate and I felt truly connected with the people who shared their experiences. I felt that they really cared. I like that Sun Life made it an advocacy to educate people about financial literacy. They usually invite speakers who walk the talk and show people what they have done to improve their finances. 

I have drawn so many inspirations from the financial talks I attended. I wasn't scared anymore. If any, I was more empowered to make informed decisions. For me, that's a win!

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

If you had the same experience as mine, I know it's hard to move on when you feel like you've been cheated on. But it's also unfair to generalize all insurance companies; you might miss a great opportunity. Sometimes, some things have to happen so we can learn our lessons.

If there's anything you and I should fear? It's actually NOT HAVING insurance and savings. I wish I had known and understood sooner. I've learned that the best time to start saving and getting insurance was MANY YEARS AGO, but I didn't start, so the next best time for us is TODAY. Thankfully, I already started two years ago. Day by day. Pace by pace. One step at a time.

The best thing to do is to punch fear in the face, learn from experience, and although there are always risks involved, learn to trust again but be extra careful next time especially when it comes to finances. 

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