There’s nothing like a global pandemic to make you rethink your priorities, right?
Things that seemed important to me a year ago seem a bit, well, silly now. Similarly, things I’ve always shoved under the rug now have taken on a real sense of urgency.
Lockdown has given me the time and the kick up the backside to sort out all that life admin I’d been ignoring for way too long.
Unnecessary spending has been trimmed back and finances have been whipped into shape. We’re eating better, relaxing more and making sure to really appreciate life, rather than rushing through it at breakneck speed.
One thing we HAVE always been on top of is protecting ourselves and our family against those unexpected life events (like, say, a pandemic that appears out of nowhere and takes over the planet).
OH and I took our life insurance and critical illness insurance with our very first joint mortgage, 15 years ago. Was it slightly painful to see that chunk of money disappear from our accounts every month for something we’d hopefully never even need? I won’t lie – yes it was. But it was far more frightening to think that if something awful happened – a serious illness, accident or death – my family would be burdened with financial worries on top.
I wanted the reassurance of knowing that, if something happened to me or OH, at least the mortgage would be paid off and the bills covered long enough to allow some breathing space.
It’s easy to put off this kind of financial planning because it’s uncomfortable to think too hard about what it means – that one day an accident or serious illness could turn your lives upside down, or even take it away – but that’s exactly why it’s so important.
It’s something Tom Baigrie knows very well. When he first moved to the UK from his native South Africa, he found a job selling insurance products and quickly realised it was life insurance he was particularly passionate about.
In 1995 he was playing cricket with a friend when they got chatting about life insurance. By the end of the game the man, who had three-year-old twins, had decided to take out a policy to protect his family.
Not long after, the man’s wife was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer and two years later she tragically passed away. The family was obviously devastated, however, had it not been for the life insurance policy Tom had set up, their lives would have been thrown into even greater turmoil.
Having that financial security allowed the family to get on with their grieving, unencumbered by money worries. For Tom, it reinforced exactly why he was in financial planning for families and he described it as the most worthwhile piece of work he’d ever done.
Three years later he realised this was exactly what he wanted to do – protect families and bring them security during their darkest moments.
He and his business partner, Arthur Davies, set up the financial services company Life Search. Aware that the industry had a dubious reputation, the pair made the decision early on to put people before profits; no hard sells or marketing ploys – just honest, tailor-made financial planning for families, and word-of-mouth advertising.
In a sea of companies pushing out generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies, they instantly stood out for offering advice tailored to each person and their individual needs.
Over time, and according to the services their clients were requesting, they expanded their expertise, adding income and mortgage protection, critical illness and workplace protection.
LifeSearch now consists of a dedicated team of 450+ advisors ready to provide free expert advice and quotes. They’ve helped to protect half a million families and turned over nearly £1 billion in workplace protection insurance, earning the respect of the industry and picking up armfuls of awards along the way.
But the heart of the business remains unchanged from that day on the rainy cricket pitch 25 years earlier, when the seed for LifeSearch was first planted – to protect the lives you love.
• have you read ‘Can You Live in Your House While You Renovate?’
(image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash)