Insurance: It's better to be safe than sorry


In group life insurance, the beneficiary declaration is important in effective planning. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Imagine walking down Nairobi's Tom Mboya street; you notice someone following you. You walk faster and turn into a shop; you can feel your heart beating through your eardrums and sweat gathering in your palms.

They pass the shop and vanish amongst the crowds. You heave a sigh of relief, blaming your infrequent visits to town for the growing paranoia.

You smile at the shop attendant as you join the throngs jostling for their business.

You cross the street and proceed to Luthuli Avenue; no sooner have you made ten steps than you encounter the same young man, this time facing you and menacingly flashing a crude weapon in your direction.

“Simu haraka!” He barks; you hesitate; your phone is barely two months old - a consolation gift after saving for a year through your chama.

Someone quickly tackles you from behind, further disorienting you; before you can muster a scream, your pockets are emptied, and the thugs vanish into the crowd.

An elderly lady helps you rise to your feet and expresses her sympathies; everyone else proceeds with their business.

This is how it somewhat feels if you have no home insurance policy.

In our uncertain world, insurance provides certainty in the unfortunate event of accidents or vulnerabilities.

There is peace of mind, knowing there is protection against perilous situations, and several custom-made solutions are available for different demographics.

For instance, homeowners can get a cover against loss or damage to furniture, electronics, cutlery, and crockery against losses resulting from building perils. These perils could be fire or break-ins.

Our health is the most precious thing, far more precious than material items. It is irreplaceable and can be quite expensive to manage.

Transferring this risk to an insurance provider covering preventive and treatment options is better than out-of-pocket expenses. Families have been rendered destitute as a result of prohibitive healthcare costs.

As your family breadwinner, you are an essential asset to your loved ones. Unfortunately, conversations surrounding death or accidents that may affect your earning ability are never held.

Culturally, they are perceived to invite bad omens. However, not having these conversations and not planning for such eventualities will not prevent these incidents.

Isn’t it better to have the comfort of knowing that your loved ones will have some financial cushion in death or a debilitating injury?

If the last three years have taught us anything, we must prepare against any eventuality.

We have learned that truly nothing is impossible and that it is better to carry an umbrella in case it rains than sit pretty because it is sunny outside.

Dr Gatonga is AAR Insurance Group CEO.

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