Ensuring That I’m Insured — by Jamie
Almost immediately after my daughter was born, I made an appointment with a lawyer to draw up a will and legally name a guardian for Jayda, as assurance that she would be taken care of, upon my untimely death. I also rushed out to meet with a life insurance agent to make certain Jayda’s potential guardian would have plenty of money with which to take care of her. Then, I breathed a sigh of relief: I had done my duty as a responsible single mom.
Fast-forward to January 2009, when my long-time job as a children’s book buyer for a large retailer was unexpectedly eliminated. Fortunately, along with a nice severance package, my former employers also agreed to pay their usual share of my medical benefits coverage for an entire year. Again, I breathed a sigh of relief…albeit a temporary one. But recently, I realized there was another investment I’d neglected to make. Because I had the foresight to purchase a life insurance policy, if I die, Jayda will be fine, financially. But what if I don’t die…and I simply can’t work anymore? I’m a writer, but what if an accident renders me physically unable to write? Or coach? Or teach? Or do a myriad of things I’m exploring now as future careers. I lost my disability insurance along with my former job, and I now realize how crucial it is for me to have it…not just as insurance for myself, but for Jayda. Crucial…and very, very costly.
Disability insurance premiums get more expensive as you get older. I guess it’s a good thing I’m looking for coverage now, before I turn 40, but, on the other hand, it would have been even better to have secured a policy when I was only 35. And the more money I require to live on every month, should I become disabled, the more expensive the insurance becomes (and the maximum I’ve been approved for is far from generous…living on it would still be pretty difficult). In addition, the fewer loopholes and more extensive the coverage, the more costly it is. And, well, in short, the kind of disability insurance I need is very expensive: A high monthly payment for coverage I hope I’ll never realize a penny from. Ugh. Sometimes being responsible sucks.
As I look at my calendar, I can’t help but realize that January will be here before I know it…and my low-cost-to-me family health insurance coverage will be up. That means I’ll also have to find new medical and dental insurance policies for Jayda and myself. And my bank account will dwindle even more. How does anyone survive as a freelancer with all of these insurance costs? There must be lots of daredevils out there, living without them, and hoping for the best. But, as a single mom looking out for her priceless child, I find them non-negotiable: I need them all.
Yesterday, I got a free upgrade to a new, very high-tech Blackberry. As the salesman was filling out the forms and getting my signature, he asked me: “Do you want insurance?” I declined. It was nice for a change. I’ll take risks with my electronics, no matter how fancy they are—but never with my daughter.
Note: For those of you Long Islanders who missed my live TV appearance on “Something to Talk About,” it will be re-airing this week on the following channels:
Great Neck Cablevision 20 [15 GN/North Shore incorporated villages], Starting Tuesday, Sept. 29 airs for two weeks: Tuesday 8 PM, Friday 10 PM, and Monday 5:30 PM;
Verizon FIOS 37 [All of Nassau County]: Same dates/times as above;
Cablevision 20 [Different from the Cable 20 channel listed above] in the rest of Nassau & W. Suffolk [all of the “Cablevision WOODBURY System”]: Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 PM; Cablevision Digital IO 115 [all of the “Cablevision WOODBURY System”]: Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 PM