Yesterday was one of those days we dread in the life insurance business. The day we lose a client and begin the process of a death claim. A years long client of mine passed this past week and I received a message from his widow. I immediately went into condolences and claim mode. I want the family to receive their benefits as soon as possible. It is our job as life insurance agents to alleviate the financial burden from our clients allowing them time to grieve and gather up the pieces without worrying where the money will come from to pay for these new expenses and future living. Part of our job, in my opinion, is to be there at the funeral.
When I first spoke to the widow, it was more important she talked than me. She had a burden to bear and I was the listening ear. This does not come easy for my personality type, but I do understand its importance. Second my job was to reassure her the life insurance aspect was my responsibility. Certainly, I needed her help with filling out and signing the death claim paperwork and retrieving a copy of the death certificate, but I wanted to ease her burden of the phone calls, wait time and the occasional unpleasantries sometimes associated with processing a death claim and sending the family their beneficiary check.
Lastly it is important to be present at the funeral. No one I know wants to go to a funeral, except maybe my aunt, but that is a whole other story. Being there to support, hug and console is part of our job as life insurance agents as well. I could immediately feel their appreciation for my support. But I didn’t realize she didn’t fully know the value of the life insurance policy her husband had bought through me all those years ago. The benefit was nearly twice what she had expected and I was able to tell her in person yesterday at the funeral. I could feel the burden on her shoulders release as she gave me the second hug.
It is in these moments, I understand and know why I became a life insurance agent all those years ago. Life insurance agents, do you attend the funeral? If not, you should, it is as much for you and as it for your client’s family.
“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.”—Mark Twain
Image by David Castillo Dominici at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 31 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.