In our business we hear many stories. Stories about businesses, and stories about families. Often we tell stories. Here are two similar life insurance stories with very different endings.

Recently, one of my clients passed away. Since then, I have been assisting the family to file a death claim on a term policy that we sold 18 years ago. While we can never replace a loved one, the surviving spouse knows that her husband loved her and took care of her by buying that policy. The lesson here is that life insurance is not a commodity—it is a valuable tool we can use to take care of the people we love and to create a legacy for many years to come.

A few days later, another client passed away. Unfortunately, this man had cancelled his life insurance last year. The agent I partnered with had tried to talk him out of cancelling—unsuccessfully, obviously. It was difficult to tell the family that no coverage was available to them.

Neither conversation is anything we enjoy. We don’t like losing clients. But having to say “I’m sorry, but the life insurance policy was cancelled (or doesn’t exist)” is one of the worst.