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September Is Life Insurance Awareness Month in the District of Columbia

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Each September, DISB joins this educational initiative to encourage residents to take stock of their life insurance needs.

(Washington, DC) — Despite talk of an economic rebound, District of Columbia residents are still cautious. Uncertainty still bubbles in the job market, the housing market—the economy in general. As a preventative measure, more residents are spending less and saving more. And that’s good news. Saving more is a great start, but it may not be enough. Consider, if you were gone suddenly, can your family manage on its own? If you had adequate life insurance coverage, your family would be fine financially. But if you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who has little or no life insurance, how long would it be before life becomes a struggle for your family? It’s hard enough dealing with the emotional pain of losing a loved one. You don’t want your family’s emotional struggles to be compounded by concerns about money. To raise awareness of the need for District residents to include life insurance in their financial plans, the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) today marks the beginning of Life Insurance Awareness Month. Each September, DISB joins this educational initiative to encourage residents to take stock of their life insurance needs. “Each year, DISB has supported Life Insurance Awareness Month to educate District residents about the benefits of life insurance, so in the event of the death of a family member, the family will be spared the economic hardships that too often accompany this tragedy,” said DISB Commissioner Gennet Purcell, Esq. “In the event of your death, life insurance provides money directly to your beneficiaries, which can be especially necessary in these difficult economic times.” If someone has doubts about how their family would manage without them, Commissioner Purcell suggests that it’s time to take charge of the situation by getting a life insurance check-up today. She offers the following process: Step 1:Check DISB’s Web site at www.disb.dc.gov. It offers a wealth of information about various types of life insurance, and allows you the opportunity to check whether an agent or a company is licensed in the District. Spending some time on the website will educate you about key insurance terms and concepts, and give you the knowledge you need to make well-informed decisions. Step 2:Know the right questions to ask. Once you’ve determined you have a need for life insurance, the very first question you always need to ask is, “How much do I need?” If you die prematurely, you want to know that your loved ones will have enough money to continue living the kind of life you hoped they could have. To make it easy for you to get a general sense of your needs, check the nonprofit LIFE Foundation’s life insurance needs calculator. It’ll walk you through the process and provide you an estimate of your insurance needs in a matter of minutes. Once you know how much life insurance you need, then you’re ready to look at the various types of policies available to you (e.g., term insurance, permanent insurance or maybe a combination of the two). Step 3:Remember, the calculator is no substitute for the guidance and assistance you’ll receive by meeting with a licensed insurance agent or other financial professional. There are lots of factors to consider when determining how much and what kind of life insurance to buy, and the purchasing process can be quite complicated. So when you’re ready to shop, it’s always a smart idea to seek assistance from a qualified life insurance professional. A good insurance adviser will take the time to carefully assess your needs, and provide you with options from which to choose. To find out whether an agent or company is licensed in the District of Columbia, contact DISB at (202) 727-8000 or visit its website at www.disb.dc.gov. “Don’t gamble with your family’s financial future,” Commissioner Purcell added. “Take charge of your life insurance situation today and rest easier knowing your loved ones will be taken care of.”Life Insurance Awareness Month was created by the LIFE Foundation in response to growing concerns about the numbers of Americans who lack adequate life insurance protection. The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) is a nonprofit organization, founded 1994, which is dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ futures. It was created in response to the public’s need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. DISB will use this month to continually increase public awareness about the importance of life insurance in providing protection for unforeseen events, and the benefits of advice from licensed financial-service professionals. DISB will discuss life insurance issues at several events around the city. Please check DISB’s website at www.disb.dc.gov for calendar updates. HIGHLIGHTS Thursday, Sept. 16, from 2 pm to 4 pm, Health Reform Implementation Committee’s Second Public Meeting. One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St., NW, Old Council Chambers, First Floor. DISB Commissioner Gennet Purcell is a co-chair on this committee, which serves in an advisory role to assist Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in implementing federal health reform in the District of Columbia. Residents are invited to attend this public meeting to offer comment and to ask questions about how health reform will be put into operation in the District. DISB staff will be on hand to offer additional information about life insurance. Saturday, Sept. 18, from noon to 4 pm, 10th Annual Deanwood Community Day. DISB will have a table at this event, hosted by the Deanwood Association at the Deanwood Recreation Center, 1350 49th St., NE. DISB will provide tidbits on health and life insurance, including long-term care insurance information for this Ward 7 community. Saturday, Sept. 18, from noon to 7 pm H Street Festival 2010. DISB will be on hand with consumer alerts and tips on life and homeowners insurance issues at H Street, NE (between 12th and 14th Streets). Each week, DISB will send out tips on life insurance to help residents consider, and prepare for the “What ifs” in life. The agency will continue to have media appearances to discuss life insurance. DISB staff will attend other District events to give information on life insurance throughout the District of Columbia.Week One: Reviewing Your Policy Important to Securing Your Family’s Future Week Two: Life Insurance Awareness Month Is the Perfect Time to Get Your Insurance Rates Into Shape.