Humour and jokes can have multiple benefits, even beyond pure enjoyment: They can give perspective and wisdom, in addition to boosting creativity, moral, and the strength to cope, ... all important when dealing with financial matters and planning / managing our lives.

# 1 One day, an American insurance company received a letter from a lady saying that unfortunately they have to cancel her husband's life insurance policy. 'We always paid it in time', she wrote, 'but since my dear husband's sudden death last year we have had some financial hardship; therefore, we would like not to pay it anymore'. (Allegedly, the story is true, but I just cannot recall where exactly I read about it.)

# 2 Someone wrote to me from Australia:
I had a real claim from a person, that "I was minding my own business when a pedestrian hit me and went under my car!"

# 3 Someone told his three sons when he sent them to university: 'I feel it's my duty to provide you with the best possible education, and you do not owe me anything for that. However, I want you to appreciate it; as a token, please put $1,000 each of you into my coffin when I die.' And so it happened. The sons became a doctor, a lawyer, and a financial planner, each very successful financially. When they had to see their father in the coffin one day, they remembered his wish. First it was the doctor who put ten $100 bills onto the chest of the deceased. Than came the lawyer, who put a $1,000 bill there. Finally, it was the heart-broken financial planner's turn. He dipped into his pocket, took out his cheque book, wrote a cheque for $3,000, put it into his father's coffin, and took the $2,000 cash. (This one I heard at a financial seminar, that you might not have attended :-) , ... I included it here so that you won't miss anything important)

# 4 One day, an excited man visited a respected surgeon, and asked him to castrate him. He told this would bring a happy turn in his life. The surgeon tried to object, than told: "Take at least a few days time of thinking. Don't rush into it, this thing is irreversible, you know." However, he insisted: "Doctor, I have pondered about it enough. Finally, I made up my mind, and if you are not willing to do what I want, I am going to other professional." He did not have to. Anesthesia, snip-snap, … and the job was done. While the patient was getting back his conscience, the doctor still tried to understand him, but he could not. Before the patient was sent home, he approached him again. "Your wish has been fulfilled, so at least now please explain to me what made you to have yourself castrated?" "Oh, of course, you don't understand," the man answered. "It's because you don't know that dazzling lady I got acquainted with some time ago. I am crazy for her, and she would not reject me either, ... but when I proposed her, she admitted that she is a devote Jew, and this makes marriage with a pagan like me quite impossible. I decided that, for her sake, I will convert into a Jew myself, ... and you know their practice with a newborn male offspring, eh? Obviously, if I want to become a good Jew, I should start with that. I resisted the idea for a while but then understood that this is a very worthwhile sacrifice for gaining the appreciation of my sweetheart." "Oh gee," the doctor exclaimed, "Did you really mix up castration with circumcision? Don't you know that what some religions prescribe is not castration but circumcision?" The eyes of the happy future groom lit up with joy that he finally got it. "That's the proper expression I was looking for, doctor!" he shouted with great satisfaction to the flabbergasted surgeon.

# 5 You may have heard the following story with Bernard Shaw but you might not have noticed its relevance to insurance. Here it goes, to refresh your memory.

In a party, Shaw asked a dazzling lady: 'Madam, I'm quite enchanted by your beauty. Would you be willing to spend one night with me if I offered one million dollars?' After some initial hesitation the lady admitted that she couldn't resist the offer. Then Shaw asked, 'How about one hundred dollar'? The lady got very upset. 'What do you think about me?', she yelled. 'Do I look like as someone with so questionable morals?' 'Lady,' Mr. Shaw answered, 'I think, we have agreed upon that, and the only thing to clarify now is the price.'
(By the way, would you accept for free an insurance policy that would pay a tax free lump sum to you, should you suffer and survive a life threatening illness? :-) )

I would like to build a nice collection of jokes and funny stories here. To my surprise, I have not found anything like that on the Net. Why would insurers, agents (maybe even brokers?), or customers be less funny than lawyers, economists, blondies, and other admired groups? Please help me to make justice in this regard: send me your favourite joke or story that I can post here. Of course, I will give credit to the source, unless asked otherwise; please do the same if you are not the original source.

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