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You Need vs I Need

  • James Greene
  • 8th of October 2015

Last year the DVS man came to our house. A very nice chap of German origin, who would laugh jovially at the end of every sentence he spoke. “So you see, we are seeing many more children suffering from Asthma due to damp home, but that won’t be you, right? Hahahahaha”

He didn’t seem phased by the naked three year old running up and down the hallway, refusing to put pyjamas on, or the 4 month old screaming in her high chair who had managed to skilfully transfer the runny snot from her nose to the rest of her face and eye brows. Just another Tuesday night in our household.

He spent the next 15 minutes assessing our home.  He ran through the checklist of core reasons we needed to install a DVS system in our house. He took us through a booklet that outlines all the ways our lives would be enriched if we just signed on the dotted line.

The point is, we agreed with most of what he said, and we saw value in the purchase for our home. The unfortunate thing is, in the 15-20 minutes he spent with us he failed to ask a single question about us or our family. I did not engage in a single conversation. He just spoke. We nodded. I disengaged.

I tell you this, because I was recently reminded of our German friend, when challenged on the Life Insurance I have in place for my family.

I was told about the products, and the prices we could make work. I was told what the products might do for me and my family. I was given a whole list of reasons why I should have insurance, what it should look like, and how much it could cost.


If I had been asked what I had in place and why, my challenger may have begun to understand what was important to me…and not what was important to them.

If and when I get called off the bench, and get to run out on to the big football pitch in the sky for my eternal game of kick about, there are certain things that for me are non-negotiable.

  • I don’t want the Missus and little people to face financial burden. They won’t.
  • I want them to have options in life. They will.
  • I don’t want them crowd funding just to raise a minimal survival fund, at a stressful time. They won’t.
  • I have two daughters. I want to pay for their wedding. I will.
  • I have family spread all over the world. I’ll be buried here. They can’t afford to get here. Now they can.
  • When the little people are big people, and have to decide whether it’s University, O.E, or want to start up their own business. They can.
  • I want to buy my girls Christmas presents/Birthday presents forever. I will.
  • I want my little ones to have a deposit for a first home. They will.

“But that is a waste of money. You are wrong. What if you’re still here in 50 years’ time? You wasted all that money?”

If I beat the house, and live to a ripe old cantankerous age, then yes all of the above may be less relevant. And I’m ok with that. Because I will ask my magnificent, beautiful grown up daughters to pay for my Life Insurance cover when weddings, Christmas presents are no longer required…and when my number is finally called I’ll be leaving them a very nice endowment to do with what they choose. They will not find many better investment portfolios. I am a sure thing.

You can disagree, you can call it silly. But you cannot call it wrong. Because this is what is important to me. This is where I found value.

As a client, Life Insurance isn’t about products and price. It’s about listening. Ask me questions, understand what situations I want my family to have choices. My Insurance is not for me. It’s for the three women in my life. Insurance is simply the vehicle that allows the things I want to have happen…happen.

As for The DVS man, we never did proceed. Not just for the reasons I listed, but the fact he arrived at the house late with a cooked chicken wrapped in tin foil? “I’m sorry I am late, here, I stop off and got you some dinner. Hahahahaha”

I didn’t have words either…

If you want to talk to someone about home loans or insurance who will put what you need first drop us a line today

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The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of New Zealand Home Loans.

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James Greene
  • James Greene Author