Money Expert: Could life insurance have helped a family financially crippled after suffering huge loss?

by | Jan 13, 2023

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Gill and Bob Money Expert Life Insurance

Purchasing life insurance can often fall to the bottom of the priority list, especially during a cost of living crisis. In fact, according to a recent survey, almost two-thirds (60%) of UK adults don’t currently have a life insurance policy in place.*  

Gill Lawson, 62, felt the consequence of not having life insurance, when her husband, Bob Lawson, 50, suddenly passed away 13 years ago hurling the family into a financial crisis. And as the cost of living crisis worsens, getting by is even tougher for this family.  

Bob’s passing due to a stroke and heart attack came as a huge shock to the family. Gill explained that her husband was generally healthy, didn’t smoke and kept active by coaching football regularly.  

 

Gill was set to retire that same year, with Bob sadly passing just one month before she was set to do so. Due to Bob’s untimely death, retirement was no longer on the cards. In fact, losing his full-time wage meant that Gill could no longer work part-time and now needed to work 10-hour days doing cleaning jobs in her local area. 

Since she doesn’t drive and can’t afford public transport, Gill has to walk to each job. However she explains this routine, which amounts to around 40,000 steps per day, is what keeps her fit and healthy.

When discussing the impact of the loss on her finances, Gill said, “We really struggled to get by and I still do. I had no money for the funeral so my mum had to help and I did get a small grant from the government. But losing a wage like that was really tough. Bob was a Charge Nurse at the local hospital so it was a good wage. For months I was worried that we’d lose the house but I learned to live within my means.

 

“We did always think about getting life insurance but it was always put on the back burner, as our money was always needed for other things. We have four kids so whenever it comes to buying it, something always comes up and you just think ‘oh it will never happen to me.”

Prior to Bob’s passing, Gill’s part-time wage helped towards little treats for the kids and herself. However, this stopped following her tragic loss. 

Since becoming the sole earner, Gill just has enough to cover her monthly expenses including the mortgage, utility and grocery bills. While any little treats or new clothes come in the form of birthday and Mother’s Day presents from her children. 

 

When asked how she felt it had impacted her children, Gill expressed some guilt. “The guilt is unreal. We were able to help out my eldest daughter when Bob was alive with her wedding. But when he passed, we couldn’t help our other children with their wedding costs, or when they moved out.

Despite this, Gill’s children have told their mum that they understand the situation and explained that they cherish the memories they have with their Dad more than any monetary figure. 

Not only did the loss impact Gill’s finances, it also impacted her wellbeing as she explained that there had been many low points over the years. With that said, Gill has kept strong for her family.

 

Over the years she has been asked why she didn’t sell the house to release the money, but she explains that this is her home that they worked hard to build over the years and wouldn’t want to give it up. She had also sought financial advice which indicated she would not have saved herself that much. 

Offering her own advice, Gill said, “If there’s one bit of advice that I can give for everyone, and something I’ve hammered home to my children, it’s to make sure that you have life insurance to make sure your family is protected. My kids have seen how I have suffered for over 13 years and wouldn’t want to go through it themselves.

She concluded, “I luckily managed to get by but I wouldn’t want anybody to be left in my situation, working all hours and not having any time or money for themselves. If I’d had life insurance, I wouldn’t have spent years of my life worrying about how I was going to pay my bills, and I would have been able to treat the kids a lot more.

 

Speaking about this case, Philip Stubbins, Managing Director at Money Expert said, “Stories like Gill’s highlight just how tough it can be when there is a death in the family and there isn’t anything in place to help financially. Gill is a huge inspiration with her unmatched strength and resilience over the years.

“Situations like this are too common and can be avoided by ensuring you plan for your future early on. By Gill sharing her story, we hope it will help others avoid being hit so sorely when it comes to their finances following a loss.

“When planning for the future and considering your ongoing health, taking out a life insurance policy is very important, in fact the earlier the better. In order to find the right policy for you, which is within your budget, you should compare a variety of life insurance offers. By prioritising your life insurance policy you’ll guarantee financial stability for your family in the future.

 

For more information and more ways to save on your life insurance policy, this guide on life insurance includes lots of great tips including how to save when it comes to purchasing a new policy.

Find out more about Money Expert.

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