Stories About Life Insurance That Stick with Us

Stories About Life Insurance That Stick with Us

Life insurance is an integral part of estate planning – no matter or big or small your estate is. Even taking care of your funeral costs with a life insurance policy is huge. Who wants to leave family members with the burden of funeral costs or debt?  

In honor of Life Insurance Awareness Month, here are 3 stores about life insurance that have stuck with us over the years.

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1. Life insurance is for all ages

Most people think life insurance is for older people. I am here to tell you it is for everyone, young or old. On July 23, 2000, I received a phone call at 11:30 pm from my brother telling me that my nineteen-year-old nephew, Philip, had been killed in a car accident.  

Philip had a job and health insurance but did not have life insurance, because who would’ve thought at that age you would need a policy? I have always believed in life insurance because who wants to leave a financial burden for loved ones?  

From that moment forward, my perspective on who needs life insurance has changed, because life happens. There was no question that my brother was going to pay for Philip’s funeral expenses but having life insurance in place would definitely have helped.

-Patty Gogerty

2. $1 million income tax-free inheritance

One of our agents had written a survivorship policy, which is also referred to as a second-to-die. The way those are written is the death benefit isn’t paid until both people die. They’re written a lot in estate cases, and they’re very popular with farmers.

The agent wrote it, and in less than a year, the couple was in Colorado and had their grandson and his friend in the car. They hit a state truck on the side of the road, and in the tragic accident, they all perished.  

The claim was filed, and it was close to a $1 million death benefit. This was part of their estate planning – they wanted to ensure their children got an income-tax free inheritance.  

-John Hockaday

3. $15,000 for a baby boy in tragic drowning accident

I sold a juvenile policy to a young couple who had their first-born baby boy. The couple both worked and had great jobs, so the $46 premium for the baby boy was no big deal. On the first anniversary of the policy – the little boy was now 2 – I got a notice that the policy was in the grace period. I called the father and asked him what was going on. He said they did not need the coverage and was not going to pay it.  

I told him I was paying it, and he could repay me in lunches for the next year, and we laughed about it. When I got the notice that we were in the reinstatement period, I went ahead and paid the premium for him. There was a letter that went back to the parents on reinstatement, and a signature was needed that the little boy was healthy. They did not respond to the letter and the $46 of which I paid was mailed back to the parents.

A few months pass by, and the worst thing any parent can imagine happens. The little boy drowns while at the babysitter’s home. He was almost two and a half years old and had somehow gotten out of the house and went to get in the boat on the dock behind their home. He did not make it, and they found him in the water at the edge of the boat.

The whole time, I am thinking I am so glad I paid that premium – at the very least, they have some money to pay for the expenses of a funeral, headstone, and all the other expenses from this tragic accident.

I filed the claim, and it was denied as the premium had been returned since they did not get the signatures for reinstatement. I was now in shock and soon learned how everything had transpired.  

The insurance company was a small company in Oklahoma, and after I pleaded the case to please pay the claim, they called me and said they were going to pay the $15,000 death benefit – not because they owed it, but because of the moral obligation to do the right thing.

That company was Standard Life of Oklahoma. I was never prouder to work for that company as they did not owe that claim. I was so happy to deliver that check, and it was a very emotional time, but a good feeling to have good news to give a family that had lost it all in losing that little baby boy.

I believe that was one of the best days to have a good outcome on the insurance side for the worst day of that family’s life.

-Jeff Sams


Insuring your life is one of the most important purchases you can make, no matter your age. The reason you need life insurance will change as you age, but the need for life insurance is constant.

If you don’t have life insurance, talk to an agent! There are many affordable insurance options as well as unique plan options that bundle different types of coverage together, such as life insurance and long-term care insurance.

Related: 8 Times Insurance Helped Our Clients In a Crisis

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