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I was talking with a professional peer/friend recently – Greg Pearce, who also has a background in the motor sports business and is now a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual (a company for which I am a client personally and highly recommend for client’s insurance, financial and benefits support). I have worked with NMFN agents on everything from typical personal policies, to corporate group benefits and highly specialized policies.

We had some interesting discussions about how clients seem to rank their insurance priorities. For example, virtually everyone you know that owns a car, home or business has auto liability insurance, homeowners insurance or business practices/operations insurance, respectively. But what’s a common denominator on those three forms of insurance coverage? One commonality is that they are independently required by law to certain minimum standards, in order to operate your vehicle, secure a mortgage loan or sign a business property lease.

But personally or professionally, how many of those successful, forward-thinking business persons go above and beyond the “minimum” for insuring the welfare of themselves and their families, or business interests, to a reasonable degree of financial security? There is no law requiring any of us to secure life insurance, disability insurance or even basic health insurance (certainly that particular subject is evolving with the latest federal policies).

And therefore it is surprising how many persons leave their personal or professional dependents with such little to no recourse.

Unless you are truly financially independent, meaning that you can afford to effectively “self-insure” for major to catastrophic events (ex. – 100% loss of home, longer-term disability preventing your ability to earn income thru your occupation, or death), and do not have some form of basic life/disability insurance policies from a reputable and well-established firm like Northwestern Mutual, you are placing yourself and those who rely upon you at significant risk.

Arguably the most interesting aspect of our conversation was the realization that a surprising majority of the persons and/or businesses generate more than sufficient discretionary income to easily cover the expense of such insurance, and yet simply avoid it, or worse yet, try rationalizing that it is somehow an unwarranted cost, or not a sufficient priority.

Speaking from the perspective of someone who has managed clients who have experienced the “unexpected”, from sudden illness/disability to business interruptions, and loss of life, the value of that Scout motto “Be Prepared” cannot be underestimated. Make the time to to review your own personal and business risk exposure, talk to a reputable firm with a qualified advisor on best options for policies to mitigate it, and then re-review those policies periodically as your needs and priorities may evolve.

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