Is Life Insurance Protection or Provision?

I have 13 grandchildren.  At various points in their lives, they have all had irrational phobias.  Some have been deathly afraid of thunderstorms, others fearful of spiders, and one of my granddaughters even had a fear of my wife’s ankle boot when she broke her foot.  As children grow, they naturally go through stages of fear, especially when they begin to realize that the world is bigger than they are.

 Adults face fears as well when they ponder the unknown. As a breadwinner in my home, I battled the fear of what might happen to my family if I were to die or become disabled.  That fear was based in my real desire to protect my family, but if I allowed that fear to drive my decisions, I risked becoming skewed in my decision-making.

Life insurance is often sold based on a theme of “protection” and on the premise that, as the breadwinner, you should do all you can to protect your family from the unknowns.  While there is truth to the fact that you have a responsibility to care for your family proactively, I would suggest a paradigm shift on this particular issue from a focus on protection to a focus on provision.

The fact is, you can never completely shield your family from all the bad that could go wrong.  Thunderstorms come.  Spiders build webs.  People break ankles.  However, you can provide ahead of time for your family’s needs, to the best of your ability.  The life insurance question allows you to take a good look at the honest needs of your family, should you die, and to provide for those needs through a whole or term (or mixed) life insurance policy.  You can provide for them, just like you can kill a spider or cuddle during a thunderstorm or reassure when new, odd things creep up.  However, you will never be able to protect your family from the fact that life does not always go as planned and may not follow the course you have intended. 

I encourage you to view the life insurance question from a perspective of provision and to answer two simple questions:

  1. How much will they need?

  2. What can I afford?

Then, as God’s child, leave the ultimate protection up to Him who does all things well.