8

Lessons from my recent car accident

Glass shattering. Screeching tyres

The sickening thud and crunch of metal on metal

The sound of screams and shouts

That’s all I heard, before reality hit; I just had a car accident

I sat in shock. I couldn’t move. How did this happen?

It was a multiple accident; My car smashed into the car directly in front of mine and that car also rammed into the car directly ahead as well.

If you ask me what happened 5 seconds before the smash, I honestly cannot remember

That’s because I fell asleep. Yes, my body’s system literally shut down and I slept off while driving.

No, I wasn’t on a medication.

It was simply a case of me not sleeping for more than 3-4 hrs a day, for over a week and working like I was on steroids.

My body had simply had enough, and with a horrible sense of humor, it thought the best time to force me to sleep was when my mind was not so active; when I was driving

So, yes. It was all my fault and I felt horrible.

I didn’t know how to handle this reality so I sat there in shock trying to make sense of all the noise around me.

What were you doing?’ ‘Were you on a phone call?’ ‘Are you out of your mind?’ ‘ Are you a licensed driver?’ ‘Madam, you wan kill person ahan!’ ‘ Wetin you dey drive sef’

Trying to drown out all the noise, I searched for my mobile phone and quickly tried to dial help.

I needed help from someone I knew and I needed it right away.

I stammered my way through the call and glad that help was on the way, I braced myself to get out of the car to survey the damage.  I was grateful no one was hurt as I tried to wrap my mind around what fixing all the smashed cars was going to cost.

and that’s when it hit me.

We have insurance! and not just any insurance, comprehensive insurance.

I felt like crying. The sense of relief that washed over me felt like a cool breeze out of nowhere in the middle of a blazing hot desert.

I have never been more grateful for insurance in my life.

I’m not a crazy driver by any standard. If anyone had told me I would be involved in an accident of this scale, I would have told them to go on a hike.

and that’s exactly what happens to most of us, we live our lives as best as we can.

Do everything right and, yes, we pray everything is fine with us (I definitely believe God protects me from harm)

but then ‘Life’ happens and we are not prepared.

and because we’re not prepared, we end up spending our precious savings to get our lives back to status quo.

When in doubt, think insurance

I’m all for saving and investing, but what’s the point of saving all your money and spending it all on an unfortunate accident or health scare?

Regulation made motor insurance policies mandatory for car owners a few years ago, so I’m sure most of us who own cars have motor insurance policies.

But what about other forms of insurance policies? Life insurance, health insurance and other forms of insurance?

Life insurance policies are not really popular. Maybe because of the sense of foreboding it brings. I’m guilty as well because I don’t have life insurance

So I took steps to get myself educated and correct my misconception.

My misconception

When I was much younger, my dad told me the story of receiving an insignificant amount of money as pay-out from my Grandfather’s life insurance policy, when he died.

The pay-out was insignificant because the value of naira had depreciated drastically since my Grandfather started the policy.

As a result, I always thought, what was the point of life insurance? Especially with our currency being on a roller coaster and our double-digit inflation in recent times

Bothered about this, I interviewed an industry expert and she explained how the way to prevent the loss of value was to re-value your insurance policy as you evolved and as the economy changed as well. That way. your insurance premium always reflects the current economic reality and not old realities.

There are other benefits as well

Actual premium payments on life insurance policies are tax-deductible for individuals and their spouses.

Breaking it down to make it simple for you to understand; ‘Premium’ is what you pay on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly or annual)  to your insurance provider as a policy holder.

For instance, if you pay 50,000 as premium on an annual basis, for your insurance policy, 50,000 can be deducted from your income by your employer before your income is taxed. (Note; this only applies to employees in Nigeria, you can find out what applies in your country of residence)

If you’re worried about loss in value for your money,  you can also invest in an investment-backed insurance policy. This is a special product created to earn you an interest and provide you with insurance cover as well.

Some insurance companies offer investment-backed products that offer a minimal return on  your investment and still have access to an insurance cover if an unfortunate incident happens.

 

I still cringe in shock anytime I replay the accident scene in my mind. It will take a while to not remember that vivid scene anymore.

But I’m thankful my car and the third party’s car , will be restored back to previous state at no cost to me.

and yes, I’m also catching up on sleep. I’m not about to let my body shut down on me again.

Let’s put the right things in place for ourselves and family.

We only live once.

Have  a good weekend people…

 

8 Comments

  1. So sorry about your accident Tomie grateful to God no one was hurt and glad you have comprehensive issuance.

    Asides Life and Health insurance, those of us with kids need to also be looking into education polices if one is to go buy the trend in the cost of education in Nigeria and some developed economies.

    Take care of yourself…

    • Thanks a lot Dami. Trust you’re doing great.

      I totally agree re; education policies. When I asked Zenith insurance, they only had a policy for school fees i.e. if a child loses parents, they pay school fees till the child leaves that school. But even that policy is only sold to schools.

      I’ll see if I can get some more information on insurance policies for this purpose.

  2. Brilliantly written.
    I work with a life insurance company but this still gave me some clarity regarding certain things.
    Very educative, illustrative and eye opening. This should be in the newspapers.
    Thanks Tomie once again.

    • I’m so glad my story gave you clarity on certain things Tobe.

      Lol @ newspapers. Thanks, and I agree actually. We need more people getting educated and gaining clarity on the benefits of insurance.

Please Login to Comment.