Archives for July 10, 2020
Kerry Brewer writes
On the morning of Monday, July 5th, my spouse and I were walking north on the west side of the Hike & Bike Trail when we came across 4 bicyclists, one of whom was sitting on the ground. I was acquainted with another one in the group who asked if I knew First Aid as the person on the ground had fallen from their bike, sustaining a head injury. I heard the victim repeatedly asking “Did I fall off my bike?” The remaining group members confirmed that what they were hearing was confused and jumbled and they were concerned about a concussion. I urged them to call for an ambulance which they did at once. We continued heading north on our walk confident that the ambulance would have arrived by the time we returned, when another of the cyclists came up behind us to say that the ambulance crew didn’t know how to access the trail and had just left it at that, offering no other options for moving the injured person to hospital. By this time the head injured person was standing and the group was left with only one alternative – to walk north to Park Rill Road, approximately 1/2 mile away, where they could be met by a car. Fortunately my spouse remembered that the trail could be accessed at the Visitors’ Information Centre. This information was relayed to my friend who called 911 again and told the ambulance crew how to get there. They eventually arrived, the victim was transported to hospital and was later released.
This incident raises red flags all over the place! Why doesn’t the Ambulance Service have a plan for responding to emergencies on the Hike & Bike Trail? Why don’t they have keys to the gates on the east and west sides of both the north and south trails? What would happen if someone had a serious head injury, stroke or heart attack on the trail when time is imperative for reaching medical care? So many people of all ages walk on these trails. Their safety is compromised by this deficit within the Ambulance Services. Now one crew knows how to access the west side of the trail headed north, but what about next time?
I have a great deal of respect for ambulance crews and for the difficult work they do. My intention in writing about this incident is to provide a heads-up for the supervisors in hopes that a plan can be developed before a death occurs on the trail due to lack of ambulance response.
I’ve written about insurance before and tried to explain why people really should have life insurance. Especially for those with small children, big mortgage balances or other financial risks.
But the thing is, most people really don’t like thinking about their own demise and they will do everything possible to avoid setting up a policy. Whether it’s due to an inaccurate belief that the insurance is expensive, attempts to rationalize that they are healthy, and an accident won’t happen to them or just plain procrastination, many will avoid getting this important protection for their families.
After hearing these reasons many times and many people still not willing to guard their families it begs the question “What will it take?” Well, it looks like we’ve finally found the answer – a global pandemic.
Suddenly, life insurance has got people’s attention and the number of applications for term life policies has shot up between 50-75 per cent over the last three months. While the strong need for insurance has always been there, the willingness to explore the options and apply for policies is finally catching up.
One of the big frustrations of applying for life insurance has always been the need to do a full medical exam to prove your health, which included urine and blood tests. Most major providers will now let those under age 50 apply for up to $2 million of coverage without these tests anymore.
Another struggle (excuse) for many was the lack of time to meet with an advisor and fill out applications. This roadblock has again been removed since you can now apply over the phone or via video chat, “e-sign” your application and even have your policy “e-delivered” once approved.
The third objection to setting up insurance was always around the price. While some whole life or universal life policies can be expensive, traditional term life insurance is typically quite affordable. A $500,000 term 10 policy on a non-smoking 30-year-old male is only around $23 per month. The same policy for a female would be about $17 per month.
We haven’t yet seen any increase in prices from Canadian life insurance companies. But their premium pricing is based on the cost of running the business, mortality rates and interest rates (due to the returns they receive on money set aside to pay out on future claims). With everything going on in the world today, the strain on all three factors is increasing and premiums will likely rise sometime soon.
There is no doubt that this pandemic has been tough on all of us but if a small side effect is that more young families get the insurance coverage they so critically need, then that’s a small piece of good news!
This column is brought to you by Michelle Weisheit CFP, IG Wealth Management and presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Please contact your own advisor for specific advice about your situation