It has been interesting watching some of the big-money TV game shows that have dominated our screens recently. Whilst stalwart Who Wants to be a Millionaire has been around for over a decade, a new crop of shows has shot-up in the past year or two, including The Million Pound Drop and Red or Black.
These shows all offer the chance of great riches, in fact a cool million pounds for the shows mentioned, for very little effort. Sure, there’s some element of skill in “Millionaire” and “Drop”, selecting correct answers, to a number of general knowledge questions, but Red or Black is just a random gamble – contestants simply choose one of the two colours and hope it comes in.
This may seem like great entertainment to TV bosses and the shows’ viewing public but they all seem to send out a message that it’s easy to get rich quick. It somehow seems cruel for TV companies to expose contestants’ desperation for a cash windfall. It may be a once in a lifetime opportunity but for those who fail to win it must be a crushing disappointment. In the real world, how many people will ever get their hands on one million pounds or even tens of thousands of pounds? Those able to save may accrue a nest egg but that’s likely to take several years to achieve. Many struggle to make ends meet and work hard just to keep their heads above water.
On the other hand, perhaps a number of people are watching these shows in the hope that they will see contestants lose big money. They may get some sort of perverse pleasure out of seeing someone weep, as they lose all hope of winning. On Red or Black, the spin of a giant roulette wheel determines whether the last man standing wins a life-changing one million pounds or a big, fat nothing. Joy or despair awaits the expectant contestant, as the oversized white ball bounces between the red and black segments to its final resting place. Great TV? Maybe - but offering the possibility of financial security on one outcome and no reward for the other is perhaps a little sadistic.
One common statement from game show hopefuls is that winning a significant sum would be life-changing. This is particularly revealing, as it shows that people can visualise the impact that a sizeable sum can make on their lives. But do people also imagine how their lives might change if they were to lose a large sum of money? Probably not – that’s more depressing and it’s nicer to imagine winning rather than losing. This can be a big mistake. If a family lose a breadwinner or home maker, their finances will often suffer. The loss of that person’s future income and resources can create a financial black hole. If someone has died suddenly, without warning, possibly before their time, there needs to be a contingency that will provide funds for those left behind. Nobody should hope for a TV show jackpot to fill this void.
Life cover is a ready-made solution to the problem of creating funds on death. Life cover will also pay out a meaningful cash lump sum on diagnosis of a terminal illness (an illness that is expected to cause death within 12 months). Life cover is easy to buy and many applications can even be made online. Some providers offer a telephone application service where it’s possible to apply for life cover over the phone (the provider will ring at a specified time and will ask all the questions necessary for completing an application).
Life cover can be for one person or jointly for a couple. The amount of cover payable can be set at a fixed, level amount that does not vary. Alternatively, the amount of cover can gradually reduce throughout the term of the policy (this is popular for covering a mortgage). The amount of cover and the length of cover can be varied to suit individual needs. Life cover can be surprisingly inexpensive and will usually be cheaper the younger you are.
Why would anyone take the risk of leaving their loved ones’ finances in the red when, with life cover in place, they can be in the black.
John Lewis Insurance offers a range of insurance services selected by the John Lewis Partnership. These include car, travel, wedding, event, pet, home and life insurance products.
For more information about John Lewis Life Insurance please visit the website here - http://www.johnlewis-insurance.com/homepage/life-cover.html.