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.