A Legacy of Love: USAA Employee Shares Impact of Life Insurance

Dee Perez - Mother.jpg

USAA employee, Dee P.'s mother, Minnie, has continued to care for her family even after her death in 1997. 


In May 1997, USAA employee, Dee P.'s mother made a trip from Florida to visit family in Texas. Before her flight, Dee met her mother for a pancake breakfast, celebrating their Mother’s Day tradition a few days early. That was the last time Dee saw her mother.  


“I was at the movies and I left before the movie was done because something just didn’t feel right,” recalls Dee, business applications analyst senior. “I got home to a bunch of messages on my answering machine. My stepfather called and let me know that my mother and grandmother had died in a car accident. We boarded the next possible flight to Texas.”  


The following days were far from easy. There were arrangements to be made for both Dee’s mother and grandmother.   


“I had no idea how expensive a funeral could be,” says Dee, who was only 23 years old at the time. “I didn’t know if we even had that much money.” 


Fortunately for Dee and her family, her grandmother had already prepaid for her funeral arrangements. Her mother had also planned ahead.  


“When talking to the HR advisor with my mother’s employer, we learned that she had quite a bit of life insurance,” says Dee. “It turned out that she had maxed out her employer-provided life insurance policy over the 22 years of employment and she also had gotten a life insurance policy outside of her employer.” 


As a result, Dee says that she, her stepfather and her sister were able to process the grief of her mother’s loss without having to worry about their financial security. To this day, she is still taking care of her family. 


“When I retire, or even if something disastrous happened to me today, I won’t have to worry about money,” says Dee. “My mother gave me that peace of mind.” 


Six months after losing her mother, Dee says she thought back to the kindness of the USAA life insurance agent who helped her family through the process. 


“I decided I wanted to work for a company that takes care of people like that,” she says. “I applied at USAA and started on my birthday. I’ve been here almost 19 years now.” 


In her role, Dee says it is important to her to share her story with members and peers.  


“I thought my parents were invincible, especially my mother,” she says. “If something happens to me, I want to make sure my family is taken care of. Life insurance is not a scary thing, it is a legacy of love.”