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Why isn't buying life insurance a value in frum society?
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:32 am
we're constantly seeing these tragic stories where a parent with many young kids dies suddenly and unexpectedly. and then there's the fundraising campaign, and the local community and even worldwide community raises some seven figure sum to help the family.

why aren't these families buying life insurance? why is it acceptable in frum society to not plan for the possibility that the sole income provider in your family may die suddenly? why is it acceptable to leave your widow to be a beggar / nebach and rely on the community's charity?

all this money could be going to building mikvehs, funding kollels, etc.

if families can't afford life insurance, frum society should have structure to help families buy it, just like there are ways to help pay for weddings. obviously, it's a frum societal value to help a poor couple pay for a nice wedding. but why isn't it a frum societal value to help them pay for life insurance? is anyone telling young couples that they should buy life insurance?

we "waste" tons of money on being responsible citizens and doing the right thing -- paying for life insurance, disability insurance, homeowner's insurance, and a bunch of other insurance products that we need to have to we don't end up like nebachs.
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:35 am
It should be!!!
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amother




Stoneblue
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:35 am
True, we are very reactive community
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amother




Burlywood
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:36 am
Who says it isn’t? Life insurance only gets you so much. What does a million dollar policy do for a large family over the course of the next bunch of years?

From my understanding the money that is being collected goes towards a fund for the kids weddings and maybe to pay off the almanas mortgage? So she can have menuchas hanefesh and not worry about finances on top of her precarious situation.
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amother




Pearl
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:36 am
Of course it is! This is something that either gets ingrained in you from your family or it doesn't.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:42 am
amother [ Burlywood ] wrote:
Who says it isn’t? Life insurance only gets you so much. What does a million dollar policy do for a large family over the course of the next bunch of years?

From my understanding the money that is being collected goes towards a fund for the kids weddings and maybe to pay off the almanas mortgage? So she can have menuchas hanefesh and not worry about finances on top of her precarious situation.


if a $1M policy isn't enough (based on # of kids, mortgage, cost of living, etc.), then get more. the point of buying insurance is to buy protect you if something bad happens -- what's the point of buying half as much insurance as you need?

why do these families expect the community to pay for their kids weddings or pay off their mortgage?

yes, it's going to be more expensive to get $2M of life insurance than $1M of life insurance, but that's life and you do what you have to do just as you pay the overpriced cost of pesach food or tuition because you have to.

and if people can't afford to buy enough insurance, then the community should help them. it's WAY WAY better for the community to help people pay their insurance premiums than to raise millions of dollars every time there's a tragedy.
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amother




Canary
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:46 am
As someone who hosts a lot of parlor meeting for these fundraisers I see that a lot of times these people aren’t eligible for life insurance. Especially if they’re sick or have a health condition.
It’s not always about money.
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amother




Electricblue
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:48 am
If only it were so simple. It's not possible for everyone to get.
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amother




Dahlia
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:48 am
Maybe their term life insurance ran out and they couldn't renew at an affordable rate because their medical histories changed?

Maybe they just never thought it was going to be them, and they could get their finances under control later and then tragedy happened?

Maybe they were starry eyed newlyweds whose own parents were a little clueless, and no one told them how important it is?

I think it IS important. And parents should talk about it. Renters insurance too.

There was one man who felt the same as you and created a program for schools so that rebbes and morahs have some life insurance. Can't remember his name, but I think it is widely implemented. The stories where ppl are collecting aren't necessarily the norm across the board.
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Fox




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:52 am
I know that there are a small number of poskim (mostly in EY) who do not approve of life insurance, but most poskim in the U.S. not only approve of doing so but "require" it. In Chicago, for example, Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, sh'lita, has long insisted that everyone purchase life insurance and has pressured the schools to either provide life insurance as a benefit and/or make low-cost plans available to employees.

However, I'm not sure that the problems you're citing are necessarily due to a lack of life insurance.

* It is very expensive to be truly adequately insured, especially if you have a large family. Let's say a working parent has $250K of life insurance. Depending on the number of children, that may be inadequate for anything but short-term stability. It is unlikely to pay off a mortgage, pay for post-secondary schooling, weddings, or the long-term support of the surviving spouse.

* So why not buy adequate insurance? Most people cannot afford the level of insurance truly required. Once you exceed payoffs of $250K-$350K, the cost of insurance becomes significantly more. Now factor in any health issues -- even ones that we might consider "controlled" or "chronic" -- and more than minimal life insurance becomes even less affordable.

Obviously every community and posek has slightly different opinions, but in my own community, Rabbi Fuerst has financial planners who work with him in such cases. In a few such cases that I'm personally aware of, they have recommended that the widowed spouse put the bulk of life insurance payouts in long-term investments that will provide income after retirement while the community helps with short-term expenses.

Nevertheless, I think your point is a good one. We all should have life insurance -- mothers, too! You should check as to whether there is a payout of any kind for a minor child, as well. When my daughter, a"h, was niftar, we were presented with a $5000 bill for expenses connected to the levaya and burial. Our agent arrived almost immediately with a check that covered almost everything. He said that the most gratifying part of his job was being able to help people avoid financial stress on top of everything else.

Losing a spouse/parent/child is brutal enough. Even if the insurance payout is not adequate for long-term financial stability, it helps offset the immediate expenses and allows people to grieve without being harassed for money.
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amother




DarkGreen
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:53 am
OP, it is a value. Almost everyone I know has life insurance. Like other posters said, it usually is not enough. The widow need money to cover all her current daily expenses + future expenses as her children grows. And she may not be able to work full time now that she is the only one taking her of her kids.

Helping out almanos and yesomim is a mitzvah in the torah. If you don't want to do that mitzvah, that's fine. But there's nothing wrong with other people doing it.

You know what is ironic and hypocritical about your post? You said that we can use the money instead to fund kollels. Why are you ok with people being in kollel and then needing tzedakah? According to your logic, they should be taking care of themselves and getting proper jobs so they can support their families without any communal help.
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Not_in_my_town




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 11:55 am
My family has life insurance.

There is also a Jewish program that provides each almanah with 1 million dollars in case of her husband's death. I don't recall exactly how it works or what it is called, but basically, if you are a member, you chip in a few dollars (a specific amount) each time there is a new widow. If it ever becomes your turn (chas v'shalom), the members will all chip in to give you the same sum. Many people have been helped.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:00 pm
amother [ DarkGreen ] wrote:
OP, it is a value. Almost everyone I know has life insurance. Like other posters said, it usually is not enough. The widow need money to cover all her current daily expenses + future expenses as her children grows. And she may not be able to work full time now that she is the only one taking her of her kids.


Well, it should be a value to have ENOUGH life insurance.

Quote:
You know what is ironic and hypocritical about your post? You said that we can use the money instead to fund kollels. Why are you ok with people being in kollel and then needing tzedakah? According to your logic, they should be taking care of themselves and getting proper jobs so they can support their families without any communal help.


That's a whole side issue, and I didn't mean to get into that. Let's just say the money could be used for funding mikvehs, buying sefer torahs, etc. and forget the debate about funding kollels...
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amother




Eggplant
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:04 pm
If you're talking about my relatives case. There was indeed life insurance. At the same time people feel moved to contribute or give back and there is nothing wrong with that. Even a $5 million policy (which is exceedingly generous and most people can't afford those payments) will only go so far in today's economy and with a single parent raising many children.
Don't open your wallet if you don't want to. No need to bash a tzedakah campaign.
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amother




Burlywood
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:04 pm
Why is it any different than hachnosas kallah? A family, in theory, should have enough saved up to be able to marry of their children without tzedaka. Are you also against this form of tzedaka?
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Oldest




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:05 pm
Not_in_my_town wrote:
My family has life insurance.

There is also a Jewish program that provides each almanah with 1 million dollars in case of her husband's death. I don't recall exactly how it works or what it is called, but basically, if you are a member, you chip in a few dollars (a specific amount) each time there is a new widow. If it ever becomes your turn (chas v'shalom), the members will all chip in to give you the same sum. Many people have been helped.


I believe the program you are referring to is called Areivim
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amother




Zinnia
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:06 pm
I think it’s important but dont have it because bh we have the money to live with no income.
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:08 pm
amother [ Electricblue ] wrote:
If only it were so simple. It's not possible for everyone to get.

One of my step children can not ever get their own policy due to a health issue which was known about at birth. So, my husband took on a specific policy which will allow this step child to get their own policy when they are ready. This is something people need to know about.
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mushkamothers




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:08 pm
It's also an incredible opportunity to do chessed for widows or orphans. A mitzvah doraisa. Not sure where it says in the Torah to support a Kollel lifestyle.
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amother




DarkGreen
 

Post Mon, May 09 2022, 12:10 pm
OP, in theory yes people should have a policy that is enough. But do you realize how expensive such a policy would be? Not everyone can afford that. Let's say a person buys such a policy, but now cannot afford tuition. Or cannot afford food so he needs tomchei shabbos. Is that worth it?

Most people do not have an unlimited budget to afford anything and everything. We need to be responsible, and do proper hishtadlus to try to cover both current expenses and reasonably plan for the future as best as we can.

And BH we are part of a wonderful nation that will step in and help when needed without judgment.
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