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Last week while watching the news a reporter stated that it was estimated that 53% of those affected by the fertilizer plant explosion didn't have insurance.  The first thing that comes to my mind is how did they even come up with that figure.  The next thing that comes to my mind is how many people in our country fail to properly protect their assets and fail to protect the financial security of their loved ones in the event of an untimely death. 

Protecting our assets (cars, homes, personal property, etc.) can easily be done by transferring that risk to an insurance company.  Whether you are a homeowner, landlord or a renter you really should have the appropriate insurance.  Several years ago before I even got into this business I had renters insurance at one of the first apartments I lived at.  It proved to be a wise choice when I needed to file a claim for damages (twice). 

Protecting our family's financial security can easily be accomplished by having life insurance on ourselves.  Even though we don't like to think about it or talk about it, mortality is inevitable for all of us.  I highly recommend that everyone own their own life insurance policy.  Life insurance through an employer is usually a great deal but what happens if/when you leave that job?  Owning your own policy that you have control over makes the most sense. 

In this past Sunday's newspaper I read that the fertilizer company in West, TX only carried $1 Million in liability insurance coverage.  This amount of coverage will fall far short of the estimated $100 Million dollars in damages that are estimated to have occurred.  The newspaper article and some of the critics were trying to point the finger at the insurance company, the agent and even the Texas Department of Insurance for "failing" to properly protect others.  

I say HOGWASH- in my opinion, if you want to be properly protected don't leave it to someone else.  Take responsibility for yourself and get the proper insurance that you need.  Take the time to sit down with an independent insurance agent to evaluate your needs.  Most people today would rather get on the internet and get a quote for the "cheapest" price and then complain when they have a claim and their "cheap insurance" fails to cover them.  Most people today would rather spend 10 hours per week on Facebook than sit down with an independent insurance agent once a year to evaluate if they need to make changes to their coverage.  Most people today would rather complain that they can't "afford" insurance yet they can afford their new smart phone (for them and their kids), cable/satellite TV, dining out and all the other little luxuries that they think are necessary.  Again, I say HOGWASH.  Don't be like most people.  Don't wait for someone else to take care of you.  Don't sit around and complain.  Take action and do what is necessary to properly protect yourself and your family.  Likewise, if you aren't willing to take the time to educate yourself about insurance then don't complain when something happens and you aren't covered or aren't properly covered.

I truly feel that what happened in West was unfortunate for many people.  However, had people properly transferred their risk to an insurance company they would find themselves in an entirely different situation now.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of James Brown with Lone Star Insurance Agency, Burleson Texas.
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