As a means of preventing poverty and a method by which families bereaved by the death of the producing member may not become objects of charity, nothing has ever been devised in civilization which equals the power for good wielded by a well-managed life insurance company. With this powerful statement, William Frederick Dix advances the claims of life insurance in Pearson's Magazine. He points out that to-day there are more men of every walk of life who carry insurance policies than there were presidential voters last year.
Curiously enough, however, it seems to be human nature for a man to side-step the question of his initial insurance until he has been cajoled and flattered and finally pushed into it. He gets life insurance the same way he gets religion : his emotions have to be appealed to and he finally takes the step in a moment of enthusiasm born of the efforts of others. After he has taken the step he is usually glad of it, but he is inclined at first to shy at the subject for the reason that, while he has an uncomfortable feeling that he really ought to look into the matter, he dreads to do so. fearing that the floodgates of eloquence of innumerable agents will be opened and he will find himself battling for breath in unfamiliar waters. The agent is a welcome caller when he carries tho check to the new widow, but he is not always received with enthusiasm in the office of the busy man.
Mr. Dix shows that the reformations in management of a few years
ago has resulted in a decided lessening of the cost of insurance to the members of the companies concerned. In one company, for instance, the amount paid last year to its policyholders was $52,666,338. The amount paid five years ago was $34,484,274, while the expenses of all kinds of conducting the business for 1908 were $8,241,290, and the expenses, exclusive of taxes, five years ago, were $16,440,428. The amount paid in dividends to policy-holders three years ago was $4,173,330.19, and the amount which will be distributed this year (1909), will be $11,092,282.38.
He concludes his article with some words of practical advice, which are well worth noting:
Tf you are a new policy-holder, remember that life insurance in its present improved condition is as nicely adjusted to the needs of the man of small earnings as it is to the capitalist, and that the most sagacious business men in this country are the most liberal patrons of it. The multi-millionaire is just as sure to carry insurance on his life as is the clerk in his office. Do not allow any agent to persuade you to surrender your policy in one company in order to take out, through him. a policy in another company. He is not a missionary, and if he is clever enough to make you think that you will profit by this process, write to your own company stating his proposition to them and get their side of the story before you yield to his wiles. Remember that your home is your castle : that while you live you should defend
it and after death your life insurance should be a strong wall around it. You may explain to vour wife that it is quite unnecessary for you to take out life insurance : she may see the force of your argument, but your widow will not. Remember that only six persons in each hundred who reach old age have enough to maintain them in comfort without the aid of relatives and friends. Are you sure that you are to be one of the six ? Are you so lacking in imagination that you cannot picture to yourself what will happen to your family when you, its bread-winner, cease bread-winning.
Remember that when a man of little or no invested capital puts away $50 in a savings hnn% he has to add many more similar sums to it before he has 51.GOO laid by, and if he died before he amasses that sum. the amount hp has
banked is all his estate gets. But if he puts $50 in life insurer.ee (or a sum approximately that, depending on his age and the kind of policy he takes out), he has $1,000 to the credit of his estate at once, which his estate will surely receive if he keeps up his annual payment of $50 while he lives. And each payment he makes earns him nearly as much interest as the savings bank gives him. In other words, if one hundred men determine to accumulate $1,000 each by saving $50 each year, and putting these savings in a savings bank, a portion of those men will almost surely die before they have accomplished their object, while, if they paid their $50 each annually into a life insurance company, all of them, whether they lived for many years died at once, would have for their families the thousand dollars.
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