Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Insurance against death?

Two days ago, I was involved in a minor road accident. I was in a bus on my way to Nyahururu from a place called Wanjohi, high up the aberdare ranges, when the front tyre burst and the driver lost control. The bus veered off the road, landing in a ditch. No one was injured. 30 minutes later, we were back on the road and my thoughts were racing... What if it had been more serious and I died? The faces of my wife and two kids flashed in my mind and I couldn't help wondering how their life would be without me. This is a thought that has crossed my mind so many times and I decided to do something about it while I have the chance since death is inevitable. The first thing that came to my mind was life insurance. I have a personal insurance cover that guarantees my family around KShs. 400,000 ($5,715) in case of my death through an accident (expires in July this year!), but no life insurance. The other thing that came to my mind was organizing my business so that it would survive after my demise.

The first thing I did was to visit several insurance offices to see what they are offering. Out of the five insurance companies, only two looked serious, and of these two (AMACO and CIC), only CIC offers life insurance. The guy at AMACO, who identified himself as "Githaiga, unit manager" was smooth and almost convinced me to take another personal accident on top of the one I have but I told him that I was looking for life insurance, period. He directed me to CIC insurance. I was introduced to a much older unit manager calling himself Kiarie, or something like that. They have good plans (as if anybody is planning to die), but do not have the unit linked products that my financial adviser is always talking about. (Maybe you need to know that my financial adviser doesn't even know me because he is only a name in a newspaper column!). I will shelve the decision on what "plan" to buy after looking at what other companies in Nyeri town are offering, probably next week when I go to visit my maternal grandmother -if I will still be alive then, anyway. Now, I could make up my mind to buy life insurance without the prompting of of a salesman, then why do people say that selling insurance is difficult? May be its a line that I ought to look up... What do you think?

The other thing I did was to about business with my wife who is currently jobless. Until a month ago, she was working for a Nyahururu lawyer and was earning KShs.3,000 ($42) per month, after putting in 9 hours Monday to Friday and 5 hours on Saturdays (and lawyers wonder why they are hated and distrusted!). We thought this was exploitation and she quit to join me in my business, "on the road". She however spends most of the time looking after our kids, which is OK. Anyway, after our discussions, we decided to open a shop in Nyahururu town wit the savings I have made. She will then operate the shop while I continue with my "on the road" business. This morning, we visited several real estate agents looking for a suitable shop to rent. The only good shops with the "TO LET" sign are too expensive for us but we finally settled for a small room on the first floor of a fairly clean building. At this point, we have no idea what we shall be selling but hope to have decided soon. I will keep you updated, of course. The saddest part of this part is that I might have to sell my new TV after the worldcup in a bid to raise more capital for the shop. But as they say, the struggle continues!


Blogger bankelele said...

very smart thinking for your family. Very few Kenyans have any kind of insurance since the product marketing is very confusing and ineffective

2:20 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Kachumbari, great that you can look ahead.

I had a working stint at an insurance co. in Nai. Just make sure you ask as many questions as possible and read the conditions of the policy.

A lot of things are sugar-coated when those agents do their presentations. They don't necessarily lie as most people think, they simply omit facts that you may need to know.


3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great thinking, but take time to read through any contract literature. In many cases, you will find that it is different from what those agents will say. Insurance agents are just like lawyers, cheats.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

Insurance is a brilliant way of saving for the future while also hedging your risks against accidents and death. This is a brilliant move, try to speak to an honest friend who is in the business just to get the best policy available out there.

1:30 PM  
Blogger beartoes said...

There is nothing more important than to have enough insurance. It is a scary when you are put into a position (like during an accident) what do you leave behind, other than the unpaid bills. visit:competitive life insurance quote

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Best term said...

This is so weird, I feel for the poor guy.

1:36 PM  
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10:21 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Lin said...

Hi Kachumbari,

Great thinking about your family and children, all insurance employees talks like only the one which they are working is the best and good. So be careful while you are insuring, go through the best one which helpful to you and your family.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous micheal said...

this is a practical story for every one that they should have Insurance
policy. If you are in searching for setting an insurance for your
or get insured for the life or asset every thing

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Viagra said...

I am glad to hear you are alright after this accident!

1:44 AM  

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