Love, actually, is reason to buy life insurance
Renato Vergel de Dios, president and CEO of BDO Life
If you are still deciding whether or not to buy life insurance, there is a four-letter word that may just persuade you to make that investment.
Renato Vergel de Dios, president and chief executive officer of BDO Life, the insurance arm of BDO Unibank, does not quite put it that way but the message is the same. Love may just be the motivation people need to get insurance.
He notes that many people usually have their financial plan down pat—savings, investment, etc., especially if they are caring for or have others depending on them.
But they often do not think about the unexpected and unforeseen.
That is why, he says, every Plan A should have a complementary Plan B, life insurance, to ensure protection for a person’s loved ones when the untoward happens. “It is a reasonable, responsible purchase to make,” he stresses.
The BDO Life president promotes Plan B as he stresses the concept of making families financially resilient and secure even after the loss of the main breadwinner.
Plan B is financial continuity for a family. It represents financial protection, particularly against loss of income. Even if Plan A’s goals are not reached, there is Plan B to fall back on.
The pandemic effect
Vergel de Dios acknowledges that many Filipinos still do not see the value of having life insurance. Many with modest incomes do not think they can spare the money for it.
Others just want to avoid discussing the issue of what life insurance is about, unless something happens that makes them realize the need for it. The devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, raised people’s awareness of the need not just for health/medical protection, but life insurance too.
“Logic opens minds; emotion opens pocketbooks,” Vergel de Dios says, is a lesson he has learned in 48 years in the insurance business. “It (COVID-19) made people conscious of their mortality.”
He does not doubt that Filipinos are very caring and will do what they can for their loved ones. Hence, many have financial Plan As to provide for their families’ needs. “But people tend to underestimate [the impact of] premature death in the family,” he notes.
Vergel de Dios adds that with the changing character of the family, life insurance becomes even more important. There are many single people who are heads of families and single parents raising children on their own. Insurance will cover lost income if anything bad happens.
Professional care for special needs children can also be assured through insurance.
“If you have people relying on you, you need insurance,” he stresses.
As for the cost, Vergel de Dios says policies can be custom-fit to a client’s budget and requirements. The more benefits are built into a policy, the more expensive it becomes.
Vergel de Dios says BDO Life is now into blended selling because of COVID-19. Where before all transactions had been done face to face, now agents and clients can interact online and in person.
Insurance remains a very personal business, however, he says. Customers prefer to know the people they have to deal with and with whom they can develop a relationship over time.
Agents, on the other hand, are able to explain better the benefits of insurance, especially with people who underestimate the risks of unforeseen events. It also helps, Vergel de Dios says, when discussions are made with both husband and wife present, as it makes it easier for prospective clients to see the possible impact of an untimely loss.
“Insurance selling is largely education. A person is not buying insurance for himself/herself but for others (those he/she loves),” Vergel de Dios stresses. —contributed INQ