NBA fans will know of Lamar Odom (Wikipedia), but do you know how his mother saved his life with insurance?
Lamar Odom has seen seen plenty of tragedy off the basketball court. His dad, a heroin addict, left when Lamar was six. His mom was raising him alone but she died of colon cancer at 35 when he was just 12. His son died in his sleep at only 6.5 months old. His grandmother died at 80 (she raised him after his mom died). His cousin was shot and killed at 24. The SUV taking Lamar to the funeral indirectly killed a 15-year old pedestrian.
Lamar is now 31 and the ambassador for Life Insurance Awareness Month.
I’m sure my mom didn’t think that she’d die at 35, but that didn’t stop her from doing the responsible thing. — Lamar OdomLamar explains in his own words. (If the video doesn’t play, here is a direct link.)
Lamar’s mom left money and a caring grandmother. Both made a huge difference in his life.
What Type Of Coverage?Perhaps Lamar's mom automatically got group life insurance through her employer --- one of the two types of coverage you can’t own. The death benefit is typically 1-2 times your annual salary and premiums are paid by your employer. Group life makes an excellent foundation but may not be enough.
The biggest problem is that coverage disappears when you leave your employer. Your departure may forced upon you. There's often a short window of a month to convert the group life coverage to the same amount of personal coverage without any medicals. I don't see this option exercised often. The ex-employee might not understand the value, act too slowly or be worried about paying. A new job may provide group life insurance and other benefits but there's a period with no coverage. That gap could last much longer than anticipated.
Whether Lamar’s mom was protected through work or privately, the important point is that she was protecting against the unexpected.
ParallelsIf my dad didn’t have life insurance, everything would have changed for our family. We would have had to sell our home.
— Leslie Bibb, LifeHappens.org
Do you see the parallels with Leslie Bibb's story from 2010? She was only three when her dad died and didn't realize the role that his insurance played in her family's survival.
Getting life insurance is boring and easy to delay. Lamar's mom and Leslie's dad thought otherwise. Simple planning and low cost protection saved their families.
Now's a great time to get your insurance coverage reviewed and updated. If not now, then when?
Podcast 133 (4:10)
- Life Insurance Awareness Month website (LIFE Foundation)
- Lamar's video + Behind the scenes (LifeHappens.org)
- 10 questions with Lamar Odom (LifeHappens.org)
- Lamar Odom (Wikipedia)
- Lamar Odom accident: Lakers forward no stranger to personal tragedy (Lakers blog, Jul 19, 2011)
- Laker's Lamar Odom has to deal with death all over again (LA Times, Aug 2011)
- Heavy heart: Lamar Odom's shoe (The Association, Nov 2006))
Lamar Odom seeks tax deduction for NBA fines and fitness fees (Forbes, Nov 2010)
- Iron Man didn't save Leslie Bibb but another superhero did
- Two types of insurance you may have but can’t own
- Longevity over the last 100,000 years
- image courtesy of Bridget Samuels (Los Angeles)
PS Don't forget about your health insurance ...