Is Life Insurance Immoral?

Is Life Insurance Immoral?

I was reading an article I found on reason.com where in the early 1800s that life insurance was deemed to be immoral. How can a product that is both legal and beneficial be thought of as immoral? Well it seems that religious traditionalists believed they should trust in God’s providence, not a financial contract, to care for their loved ones after death. Others, pointing to arson to collect fire insurance, worried that it might encourage murder. A few influential people deem something as beneficial as life insurance, money to care for family members left behind due to an untimely death, is immoral and the followers fall for it. Seems when it comes to influence some things never change.

Life Insurance in the early 1800s was still a fairly new product. We all know when things are new there are always two kinds of people. Those that see an opportunity and embrace change and those who are afraid of their own shadow when it comes to change. It is easier to criticize and ridicule new changes than to admit fear. Whether it comes from religions or governments, people of influence impact masses of people in very negative ways to compensate their own fears.

Fears that are reinforced with plausible stories, like those folks not able to handle sudden wealth, increased murder rates or purchasing life insurance on a loved one would attract death, were all used to disparage those from purchasing it. There were even some that referred to life insurance proceeds as blood money.

Today, these explanations seem preposterous, but at the time were as real as our fears today. We now understand that life insurance is far from being immoral. It helps families keep a roof over their heads, keeps the lights on, educates the children and pays expensive final bills of their deceased loved ones. Don’t be afraid of life insurance or procrastinate. Be sure your loved ones are cared for today by purchasing life insurance and filling out a will. Your loved ones will thank you someday.

“It can alleviate pangs of the bereaved, cheer the heart of the widow and dry the orphans’ tears, yes, it will shed the halo of glory around the memory of him who has been gathered to the bosom of his Father and God.”-1800s Life Insurance Pitch

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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 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.

11 Responses to Is Life Insurance Immoral?

  • Best morale business because we dedicate our life to the service of humanity

  • Riazul, I couldn’t agree more.

  • An outdated notion in an industry that is still misunderstood. We have a responsibility to educate and raise awareness about the “gift of life.”

  • No. Not buying one is immoral.

  • Putting people in a better position when they lose a spouse, child or business partner is definitely not immoral. It is sad that in the early 1800’s, religion and political people would rather see them poor and dependent on others! I agree with Ileana Bravo–it is an outdated notion in an industry that, to some degree, remains misunderstood. There are still too many people out there who should have it for various reasons and don’t. That’s risky for all concerned and always leaves someone “holding the bag.”

  • We can all agree to disagree with anyone who thought family protection was immoral, two hundred years ago, but was not the chief concern in those days that proposers were taking out life policies on strangers and in particular, public figures; in another word, gambling? We would frown on that today and in practice, decline for lack of insurable interest.

  • Christopher I did not see any indications of taking out life policies on strangers, just family. I think even then underwriters required an insurable interest.

  • The best part of the article! I think I will add this as required memorization in my training of new agents. ““It can alleviate pangs of the bereaved, cheer the heart of the widow and dry the orphans’ tears, yes, it will shed the halo of glory around the memory of him who has been gathered to the bosom of his Father and God.”-—1800s Life Insurance Pitch

  • Death usually brings 2 types of problems, financial and emotional some times one drives the other. The greatest equalizer with either problem is money.

  • Allow me to rephrase that question. Is providing for your family in the unfortunate case of your untimely demise immoral?

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