We never believed insurance works until our claims were paid – Media executives

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Prominent media executives in this report testified on how insurance came to their rescue despite initial doubts on insurance practice. Chuks Udo Okonta report.

Executive Director, Media Career Development Network, Lekan Otufodunrin

Years ago while working at The Punch, I was not as conscious as I should be about investing for the future.
When bank and insurance executives come around, I was not interested in their long stories about savings and investments!

I just did the minimal I felt was comfortable with.

It was after leaving The Punch and exhausting the entitlements I was lucky to have been paid, unlike in other media houses that don’t pay anything, the reality of conscious investments dawned on me.

Seeing an Insurance company pay the family of a late colleague his life Insurance entitlements and other investments made me vow that I will not miss any future opportunity to invest.

The Insurance executive who came to market a fifteen-year Insurance Investment Savings plan to me when I resumed at The Nation must have thought he got me cheap. He didn’t. I was not ready to make the same mistake as before.

I signed on promptly and faithfully paid for some years and started defaulting later for no good reasons. The executive tried to get me to pay and I did once in a while until I stopped and he gave up.

Unfortunately, almost the same monthly amount I should have been saving I was spending on other things not more important than saving for my future needs.

Some other insurance executives came along and advised me to pay the backlog to ensure getting my full investment amount at maturity, but it somehow seemed the maturity date was too far away.

I have since forgotten about the investment and assumed I’m not entitled to any payment having defaulted until I recently ran into an executive of the company who asked for my details for her to check for me.

Lo and behold, this year is the maturity date for the 15 years investment plan. Based on when I stopped paying, I was still entitled to a little more than half of the projected value of the plan!

Swiftly she followed up my payment for me and I already have my bank alert for my investment. How I wished I didn’t default and I would have received full value.

Notwithstanding, I’m glad with what I got and I want to encourage journalists, especially because of the precarious nature of our job to learn to save and invest part of whatever they earn for the years ahead however small.

Don’t just read and write about investments, insurance and savings by others, do yours.

Investments and other savings may seemed long before they mature, but according to a Yoruba proverb, twenty years will soon be tomorrow.

Other points to note:

Life in retirement or out of job can be tough if you are not lucky to have enough support. Even if you do, you need to have your own source of income .

My brother and sister, if you are already investing, you can increase the percentage. You will survive and reap the benefit down the years.

One last point, invest in reliable financial institutions, like AIICO Insurance, not those flight by night investment companies. Don’t be swayed by unrealistic offers.

Media Executive, Funmi Falobi

When I was at Independent Newspapers, some executives from UBA came and sold Metropolitan Insurance for us. Then, I was not interested because of al the stories about insurance. However, the lady convinced to do it and I did a 10 year plan.

Along the line, salary wasn’t forth coming and I started defaulting and later, I totally forgot about it. And when I was in financial constraints, I remember the insurance policy but told myself they won’t pay me since I’d defaulted a long time.

One day, I received a call and it was from Metro Insurance that my policy had matured and when I got there, I was surprised at the amount accrued.

I told myself, if I’d pressed on paying, definitely, my smile to the bank would have been huge one and the money came at the right time to meet needs. It pays to invest.

Media Executive, Mrs Yinka Sokunbi

My GO, you are very correct and sincere. The Abacha incursion into the media in 1993 taught me the needed lesson. It was barely a year after my wedding and with the closure of media houses, the future was bleak.

About a year or after about into the closure (remember the closure lasted about two years), a young executive from AIICO met me and was able to convince me to do a 24-year investment plan. I didn’t quite understand but I took it up and was paying yearly.

I defaulted a few times made up sometimes until I became “comfortable” in a job I thought was going to last and I forgot all about the investment plan.

A year or so after I left my last paid job, I was just cleaning up and ran into my insurance file (I actually kept all my payment receipts in a file).

I realised, 24 years had passed! I wasn’t sure I’ll get anything (knowing what people say about Insurance)
I however visited AIICO at Oba Akran with my file and made enquiries.

Lord Jesus, they had been trying to reach me (I had changed phones) that I should come for my reward.

Guess what, it so happened it was at a time I needed to replace my tyres and needed a lump sum.

There and on the spot, everything was concluded and less than 24 hours afterwards, my 24-year matured plan yielded fruits… Glory be to God!

Right now, I have learnt not to joke with at least, a year long personal/medical Insurance also with AIICO ICE.

With my age, short term investment is all they are willing to stake.

I will advice younger colleagues to take long term insurance seriously especially on education for children.
I did that too, and it helped.

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