Insurance is a necessary part of life

Having insurance is a necessary part of life, according to one of Borger’s insurance agents. Jud Price, agent for Upshaw and Brown Insurance, spoke at the Borger Rotary Club Tuesday about keeping the important things in life insured. He said one of the benefits of working for Upshaw and Brown is being able to work with various companies. Companies are changing on a daily basis with their underwriting and guidelines. He said if one company changes, he can check with others to find the best deal for his customers. During his time working for Farm Bureau Insurance prior to coming to Upshaw and Brown, Price said he was told the personal touch would be lost working for an independent insurance agency. “That’s not the case. We deal with them on a daily basis, all these companies,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds with what I’m doing. I can find the best place to put my customers and at the same time we can provide the best service for you, too.” He said the agency has two full-time agents that deal with claims and help customers deal with the insurance adjusters to make the process easier for them. Price said not only is insurance required from the State of Texas when it comes to certain assets, but it is a transfer of risk. A customer is taking a risk off his or her shoulders, putting it on an insurance company’s shoulders, and paying the premium for it. “Basically, the number one reason you need to have insurance is to protect your assets,” he said. When it comes to limits of liability on car insurance policies, Price said the state-required minimum is 30-60-25. If a person has a car accident, the insurance company is going to pay $30,000 for each person injured in the accident for the party that was hit. It will pay up to $60,000, and $25,000 in property damages. Price said it is important for a person to have an insurance agent to go over such details with him or her. If a person has a lot of assets or a high-profile job, and ends up involved in an accident, he or she could be vulnerable to lawsuits. Price said it is important for people to be prepared in such situations. He said he had the opportunity to intern in England while in college where he visited Lloyd’s of London, which he describes as the “Insurance Mecca.” There is a large bell in the middle of the building that is rung whenever a large loss takes place. He said the company insures some of the most unusual things, including fingers and arms. “If you’ve got it, they can insure it,” Price said. When it comes to limits of liability, he said there are things that need to be considered, one of those being a family with teenage drivers. He said this could make a family more susceptible if an accident occurs involving a teenager. “That’s how you determine what your limits of liability will be for auto insurance,” Price said. When it comes to homeowners insurance, he said one question he is asked fairly often is why it is so expensive. He said a house must be insured for its replacement cost. He said this cost amounts to what it would cost to rebuild someone’s home at today’s construction costs. “In Borger, TX, the market value of your house may be $100,000, but if you rebuild that house, it may be $200,000,” Price said. He said factors that could affect this include whether a house is bricked, its age, its roof, its bathroom style, and various others. Most agents measure a home’s value at $100 per square foot. He said if a person’s home costs $100,000, and half of it burns, and a $100,000 policy covers $100,000 worth of repairs, it would not be proportionate. He said this is why such policies are set up in the way that they are. They have to be set up in a proportionate value to loss. Price said homeowners can find different ways to get discounts on their insurance, one of those being having a Class Four roof. Other things that may result in discounts include the age of the house or having a multi-policy setup where various assets are covered under one company. Another type of insurance Price says is important is life insurance. He said it is not fun to talk about, but he considers it the most important insurance a person can purchase. He said life insurance helps cover funeral expenses, because they are a burden for many families. He also said insurance helps take care of the bills. “There’s not a guy in my position that shouldn’t have less than a million dollars of life insurance,” Price said. He said when it comes to life insurance, most people seem reluctant to buy it because it covers something that isn’t tangible. When it comes to purchasing insurance, Price said most people go to the Internet to look for insurance prices. However, he said, it’s important for people to have that face-to-face interaction with a local agent that they can trust and has their best interest at heart. “You don’t need it until something happens, and when something happens, you need someone to be there to help you,” he said.