This is the second in the series of articles on financial knowledge and empowerment for Ghanaians. In our last article-The Pearl of Life: Passing on a Significant Legacy – we learned about passing on wealth from generation to generation. In this article, we will discuss how to protect the assets we acquire either through the dint of hard work or through inheritance.
Every great pearl of wisdom I know, I learned at my grandmother’s knee. Her steely eyes pierced through centuries of ancestral wisdom when she reminded me to be prepared for the calamities of life. As life unfolds, it sometimes brings along sudden misfortune, tragedy and disaster. It may come in various forms, including fires, accidents and theft. Years ago, I arrived at my beloved home only to find it demolished by fire and smoke. The losses I felt were beyond the monies invested, the possessions lost or the memories forever destroyed. It was the feeling of shock, helplessness and isolation. How can we protect ourselves against the calamities of life? You work hard to build a solid financial foundation for you and your family, so how do you ensure that your assets are protected? Insurance is the answer! You need insurance to protect your life, your ability to earn income, and to keep a roof over your head.
In countries like the United States about 95% of the homes are insured against fire, theft or loss. Sadly however, in Ghana where our disaster prevention systems are not as robust, only a few homes have insurance. Keeping a homeowner’s insurance policy grants you peace of mind by insuring against possibly devastating financial loss if damage occurs to your home. The replacement cost of homes often outweighs the original purchase price or building cost by a significant margin. This creates a financial burden that few Ghanaian families can afford. Homeowners insurance provides the money to get back on your feet and rebuild in the case of a disaster such as fire, flood or theft.
Insurance payouts allow families to go through the rebuilding process quickly, helping them to move on and get back to their normal lives. Insurance payouts help families repurchase lost property and repair their homes as quickly as possible. Not only can a quick recovery save money, it can also benefit families' psychological health, reducing stress and feelings of loss.
Homeowners policies cover a range of causes of the damage to covered property, including theft, flood and fire. The policy generally covers damage to the interior and exterior of a house, as well as damage to personal property inside or outside the home provided you also insured them. Homeowners policies also cover personal liability for injuries that occur to others on policyholders' property.
A distinct advantage of homeowner’s insurance policies is the ability to include extra, unique provisions above and beyond normal coverages. Although extra provisions generally boost insurance premiums, they can provide protection for homeowners in unique situations or to cover expensive jewelry or artwork.
Securing Against the Unexpected
It’s been said that tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today. While our grandmothers could not always predict the exact hour of our calamities, they reminded us to prepare and put safeguard and protections in place. Insurance is a key tool in our preparation. Home insurance premiums can start from as low as GHS80 a year, depending on the value of the items insured. The affordable premiums you pay will be in exchange for a lifetime of protection and peace of mind. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to protect our well-earned assets.
We owe it to ourselves and future generations to protect our well-earned assets.
Grace Vandecruze is the Founder and Managing Director of Grace Global Capital LLC, a financial services firm which specializes in advising insurance companies on strategic and innovative initiatives. She also has a passion for teaching financial literacy and financial empowerment.