I have worked in the insurance industry for pretty much my entire working life; I have sold thousands of policies, many of them covering buildings and automobiles. Recently one of my clients (who is also a good friend), bought a new home and I went to over to see the new place and to celebrate with him.

As we sat talking he said this, “Having a roof over one’s head and a car are necessities, but it is really sad when people work two or three jobs, literally killing themselves to the point where they  become slaves to the metal, brick and mortar and can hardly find time to enjoy life.”

The key words for me were metal, brick and mortar, and I grabbed a pen and a napkin to illustrate some realities I see too much of as it relates to how many Canadians are conditioned to think. This is what I typically observed based on numbers and conversations with many clients:

What Matters


Priority Level

      Insurance  Investment











Very High


Many Canadians work so hard to provide and maintain metal, brick & mortar (automobiles and homes) for their families and somehow get caught up in the replaceable and disposable things they work so hard to provide, that they neglect to protect their priceless and irreplaceable loved ones. What is even scarier is that in the example above, it would cost a 45 year old male in fairly good health approximately $540 per year to protect their “Priceless” family with $500,000 of Life Insurance, which are peanuts in comparison to the $2,500 per year spent on to protect a depreciating asset with auto insurance. If your home burns or your car gets totalled, that’s an aggravation. If you die or suffer serious illness, to your family that’s devastation.

Here is the kicker! The government forces us to buy auto insurance, our mortgage lender forces us to buy home insurance, and nobody forces us to protect what really and truly matters at the end of the day – OUR FAMILY! Neglecting to have any life insurance in place is an admission that your priorities lie in protecting and securing metal, brick and mortar. Your treasure and finances tend to go where your heart resides.

Whenever we see campaigns launched (a noble deed and expression of sheer love from the community) to support families who have lost loved ones and they need to pay for funerals, or raise funds for the education of children, it is probably as a direct result of someone who had metal, brick and mortar as their top priority, and sadly the loved ones left behind end up losing the same metal, brick and mortar as a result.

The things that are irreplaceable and mean the most to us usually cost very little to protect; it’s the things that are replaceable that usually cost us an arm and a leg. The elephant in the room is failure to protect what really matters, so the next time you pull into or out of your driveway ask yourself what is more important, your family or the metal, brick & mortar. If it’s your family, make sure you speak with a licensed broker and protect what really matters.

About the Author

Karl Marshall is President of Marmac Financial Services Limited, an independent insurance and investment brokerage. He lives in the Durham Region and on Saturday nights he hosts The Party Mix on G98.7 FM in Toronto. You may contact him via email karl@karlmarshall.ca @marmacinsurance on Twitter or on Facebook.