It was like a message from beyond the grave. One man’s actions left his family protected from the financial aftershocks of his sudden demise.
Most of Vinit Sharma’s* friends remember the printing press owner in Mumbai as a quiet, unassuming person who spoke only when necessary. Even in his close circle of friends, Vinit was always the quietest but he had the loudest laugh. The only time he became gregarious was when he would spend time with his two children, Asha* and Vinay*.
But despite his studied silences, he was always helping others whenever he could. If the building kids needed help hauling tubs of water downstairs for Holi, Vinit would be the first to help them. His wife would often see him writing cheques to the local orphanage – without saying a word even to her. If a neighbour needed to reach the airport at midnight, he would often volunteer to drive them.
But his family was unaware of one miracle Vinit had already worked out years before he passed away last year after succumbing to a heart attack. He was just 49 years old with no history of heart trouble. His devastated wife, Shyamala* says, “He suffered a heart attack at home just before leaving for work. By evening, the doctors told me that he could not be saved. The attack had been a severe one. I remember sitting alone in the corridor outside, wondering about my future and the future of my two children.”
A few days later, a long forgotten memory suddenly presented itself to her. “I remembered that some years ago, Vinit had told me to look in his safe in the wardrobe for his insurance papers. ‘In case anything happens to me…call the company and claim the insurance money’ he had told her at the time. “I had heard him out but dismissed it. Nobody in their wildest dreams expects their partner to leave them in their 40s. But I remembered what he had said and checked his safe. Sure enough, I found the insurance papers,” Shyamala recalls.
It turned out that Vinit had taken a health insurance plan that covered the entire family. “The plan was to mature in five more years. He had never missed a premium payment. When I saw the sum assured amount, I gasped in surprise,” she smiles. After contacting the insurance company, she set the health insurance plans claim process in motion. “All the paperwork was in order, and the process of claiming the money was very simple. I got the sum assured in under a month,” she says.
She remembers feeling like “a cloud had lifted” despite losing her beloved husband. “The money would help in my children’s education for a few years. There was enough left over for monthly expenses as well. It felt like it was his last gift to his family from beyond the grave,” she says with tears in her eyes. “We all miss him terribly, not a single day passes when I do not think of him. But even after his death, he looked after our needs. That one step he took –of taking a health insurance policy – ensured that my children and I would not need to depend on anyone else for our sustenance.”
Today, she runs her husband’s business which is doing quite well. Her daughter will enter college life soon, and his son says he plans to become a pilot. The family’s dreams are on course – just like Vinit wanted.
*Characters in the write-up are merely illustrative