Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Chesapeake Insurance Services Story


Life insurance is a gift for one’s family

by Kymberly Bach

Cindy and Jerry Hansen on their wedding day

Cindy and Jerry Hansen on their wedding day

Cindy Hansen has spent over 30 years providing her community with advice about life insurance. But about a year and a half ago, Cindy herself suffered a devastating loss when her husband, Jerry, suddenly passed away. She quickly found out the impact of having a suitable insurance portfolio, and is even more concerned about those who do not have that peace of mind during such an emotional time.

If everyone lived forever, no one would need to have “that conversation.” Until one is faced with the loss of a loved one and the expenses associated with their passing, it can be difficult to understand why life insurance is a necessity; burial costs, personal expenses, business expenses, or the ability to stay in one’s house after a spouse passes are only a few of the reasons life insurance is so important.

“In my case, we owned the business, so we had commercial insurance that helped with any mutual debts, and that allowed me to keep and maintain the business,” Cindy explains. “Then, on a personal level I was able to bury my husband and keep my house. It’s been a tough year, and without the peace of mind of knowing we had enough insurance, I wouldn’t have been able to stay afloat both personally and professionally,” she confides with a tremor of emotion in her voice. 

Because of Cindy’s experiences since the loss of her husband, she has made it her goal to help as many people as possible understand and obtain the level of life insurance they need to make sure their final wishes can be met. That also means she wants to educate as many people as possible on certain misunderstandings surrounding life insurance - especially those plans offered by an employer. 

Jerry and Cindy Hansen in earlier days

Jerry and Cindy Hansen in earlier days

“Many people do not realize that life insurance from an employer is not portable, and you cannot take it with you when you either leave a job or retire,” Cindy continues. “It has become a very common problem in society overall where a person believes they are well insured but they are not; for that reason, people need to be very clear about what private insurance they need as it pertains to their individual circumstances. They should buy their own policy that will be with them forever!” she emphasizes.

Chesapeake Insurance Services partners with the award winning, A+ rated, Erie Insurance Group; a very strong, conservative company that has a presence in 13 states. “One needs to have enough insurance to cover paying off one’s assets, because earlier in life, one may have a lot of debt, such as a mortgage. However, toward the later part of life, one will have more assets that will be enough to offset what used to be debt. Therefore, with a combination of permanent and temporary insurance, one can be sure that each individual’s needs are met.”

The difference between permanent and term life policies is relatively simple. Permanent life is ideal for long-term financial needs such as income replacement, final expenses and estate settlement. It also builds a cash value that increases the longer the policy is in force; it is protection for a lifetime.

“Many people do not realize
that life insurance from an employer
is not portable,
and you cannot take it with you
when you either leave a job or retire.”

—Cindy Hansen
Term life insurance provides coverage for a limited period, 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. It can help by paying off debt or covering college costs, for example. If the insured passes during the defined term, then the policy pays, but if not, then it doesn’t pay. However, there are options associated with converting term life to a permanent life plan either before the term ends or before the age of 70, whichever comes first. 
Started in August 1988, Jerry and Cindy worked hard to build Chesapeake Insurance Services. Initially, Cindy wasn’t sold on the idea. She’d had her own career in Washington, D.C. and then later in Chesapeake at a local bank. “Jerry wined and dined me, and then things fell into place. It was meant to be,” she remembers fondly. Together, they built one of the area’s most respected and successful insurance agencies.  

Cindy Hansen’s goal is to make sure people understand how important life insurance really is, and how it works.

Cindy Hansen’s goal is to make sure people understand how important life insurance really is, and how it works.

Jerry’s sudden death became an eye-opener for Cindy. Although always fully aware of the importance of life insurance, now she draws on her own personal story to relate to others. “In his 50s, Jerry had quadruple bypass heart surgery, and eventually developed some heart problems. If he hadn’t gotten his insurance as a young man, he wouldn’t have been able to obtain it,” Cindy explains. “Pre-existing conditions don’t work with life insurance like they do for health insurance. When it comes to life insurance, even resolved skin cancer can be a problem. Buying insurance when you are healthy and young is very important. It means you are tied into your premium, which also means you have insurance coverage as you age.”

Cindy writes auto, renter, homeowner, and commercial insurance policies. Many of her commercial policy holders have also purchased life insurance policies as well.  She also enjoys helping a lot of Mom and Pop businesses; many years ago, Jerry had written many first generation policies for small business owners, and now Cindy has the privilege of working with the second and third generations. “That’s one of my favorite things to do!” Cindy beams.

“Even after Jerry’s death, we still pride ourselves on offering the very best in personalized service. From hand delivering a claim check to simply answering our clients’ questions promptly we have done business the same way over the last three decades; we really try to give our clients everything they need. Our agents and office staff are highly trained, knowledgeable and available to offer the most professional service and advice. In addition, we have won the J.D. Power and Associates award for outstanding customer service,” Cindy says proudly.

Even after her devastating loss, Cindy was able to pick up the pieces because she knew that is what Jerry would want her to do. “Despite the rough year I’ve had, the office staff and my clients keep me going. Jerry was the love of my life, and it’s hard to live his legacy; but I have people depending on me and I have my heart and soul in this place. I never thought I would still be here over 30 years ago, but it is somewhere I am so very thankful to be,” Cindy smiles. 

Chesapeake Insurance Services

1105 Madison Plaza
Chesapeake, VA 23320