THIS column started in October of last year with the primary intention of giving light through the experts’ tips and suggestions on adulting struggles relating to finances, career, independence, and many others. For this month, we decided to not only have Twenty Something on print but also to bring it online via Facebook live streaming.
For the pilot episode, we decided that financial security and independence would be a great first topic given the threat in income and other economic threats brought about by the pandemic. This is not only true to people in their 20s but also to older people. Aside from this, many people still view insurance as a potential scam -- a bad news waiting to happen. Unfortunately these claims come without proof and without thorough understanding of how insurance actually works.
To lessen misunderstanding and to help address Frequently Asked Questions on insurance, we invited Emjay Llerena, Unit Manager Llerena Integrated Financial Experts - Philam Life Davao and EJ Bastes, Elite Financial Planner, FWD Life Philippines.
I, personally, am happy with how the pilot episode turned out as the questions were answered as detailed as they both can. They both shed light to FAQs and even follow up questions from the online audience. We’re hoping that after reading this article and/or viewing the live interview, people would have a changed perspective of insurance in general.
Why is opening an insurance account important?
Emjay: Life insurance protects your income for unexpected expenses. So no matter how small or big it is, whether it’s from employment or business, your income is one of your great successes. Imagine being in a situation that threatens loss of income such as medical emergency or worse, the untimely passing of a family breadwinner. These realities may seem far-fetched for a twenty-ish young adult but it’s the reality that surrounds us every day. Life insurance protects your income in such a way that it’s access or replacement so your life doesn’t have to stop because you came prepared.
EJ: When you’re twenty something kumbaga human na ang responsibilities sa imong parents sa imuha kay nanarbaho na ka. Somehow you want them to start planning for their retirement. So opening an insurance, dili na nimo mahasol imung ginikanan if ever magkasakit ka. You provide them with that type of freedom. Your parents, who you love, can also get what they want. And you can also protect yourself. Also, kay barato man siya.
What are the benefits of getting an insurance at an early age?
Emjay: Getting life insurance while you’re still young is one of the smartest decisions you’ll ever make. Unang-una diyan is affordability. The younger you are, the cheaper insurance premiums are for you. A 21-year old can get insured for maybe P1,000. But it’s a different story for a 30-plus year-old. Your age is also a determining factor in how much you pay for your insurance. Getting insured before any health condition such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. It lets you explore very affordable premiums for years to come. The best time to start is always yesterday.
The younger you invest or start to set aside, the earlier you have peace of mind. It’s like saying you’re protecting your mental health early on. You may not have dependents now but that could change in a few years. By availing of life insurance, your family is assured of financial support even beyond this lifetime.
How do you explain to your clients that insurance is not a scam and is a necessity?
EJ: Most of the people I talk to who have pessimistic view of things naa gyud na silay giagian before or naa silay nadungog sa ilang friends...I think it’s important in any transaction kailangan masabtan and kailangan ipasabot. The first thing I will do is to ask the potential client who is pessimistic of insurance, I will ask them first of a past experience that might have triggered doubt towards insurance.
Naa pud governing body of the government we call the Insurance Commission that really handles insurance companies. Most insurance companies when they open they provide paid-up capital which assures that they have money to give back to their clients whatever happens.
Is insurance a complicated investment involving too many numbers and analysis?
Emjay: On the contrary, insurance is one of the simplest investments I personally found. When you acquire an insurance plan, your policy automatically signs you on to the services of expert fund managers who take care of your investments for you. They are trained, they are licensed, they are certified by the highest standards. It’s almost like a steal because it’s like having your own expert traders who make sure your investments enjoy the best possible growth over the years. All these services come with your plan. It’s actually ideal for people who want to get into investing but don’t have the time yet to go into day trading.
With getting an insurance with investment, your fund managers can actually send you updates, reports about performance of your investment and via your customer portal, you can actually access your real-time performance of your investment 24/7. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of your investment, your financial advisor or your fund managers can explain for you what this is all about.
What are the affordable insurance packages for beginners, especially those that are earning just enough? How much and how long does one need to pay for that?
EJ: It’s very important for people to understand na naay duha ka klase sa insurance. First is the VUL, variable unit-linked. Pasabot anang VUL is insurance siya na naay investment. Habang naga-invest ka, naa pud kay insurance. Mura siya og 3-in-1 na kape ba. Kumpleto na siya. On the other hand, naay ginatawag na term insurance. Wala ni siyay investment. Murag life insurance lang siya or health insurance lang siya. So generally, mas barato ang term insurance.
You can get term insurance for as low as P1,000 per month, or even cheaper. In terms of pila ba imong kailangan bayran, mag-matter gyud na siya sa imong edad, the younger you are the cheaper it gets. If you’re around 20, barato gyud kaayo na siya. Maybe in terms of term insurance, you can get as low as P1,000 more or less. And in terms of VUL, you can also get around P2,000 per month, more or less. That would be a 10-year plan. Depende man gud na sa imong plan. If ang plan nimo mas dugay bayran, mas barato.