Brandon Herndon advising the Houston community on insurance and emergency preparedness

(State Farm Insurance and Agency Manager Brandon Herndon is a go-to expert based in Houston. With a solid background and skill set, he decided this year to venture off into launching his own State Farm Insurance office earlier this year. On July 16 he’s hosting his grand re-opening and I caught up with him to discuss insurance myths, the focus of his office and why people should take insurance more seriously)

Jesse Muhammad (JM): First, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me.

Brandon Herndon (BH): No, thank you. I am honored.

JM: Why did you decide to get into the field of insurance?

BH: I have always enjoyed doing things that help people and this is a great field in which to serve the needs of the people. Having insurance is very important.

JM: What are some of the myths about insurance?

BH: One myth is that people believe that they can’t leave their present insurer. By Texas law, if you choose to leave your present provider they are obligated to give you a prorated refund. Another myth is clients assume that all agents will make sure that they have all of the coverage that they need. But many agents don’t take the time to educate clients however that’s what we take the time to do. People tend to learn their lesson after something happens which is not good.

JM: Why do you think so many people do not place obtaining insurance as a high priority?

BH: I believe it is partly because the government forces it on people and that creates an adversarial attitude. So some people say “I’m just going to get what I need to get by” rather than fully obtaining the insurance they need to protect themselves and their families. It concerns me because it’s a major problem in the Black community. We place emphasizes on obtaining the nicest clothes and cars yet we don’t fully insure what we own or even our very lives.

JM: Why did you choose the Houston market to establish your office?

BH: Houston is the best city in the United States and I will challenge anyone to prove me wrong. (laughs) This city appealed to me because of its growth. I could have established an office somewhere else but I didn’t see the growth potential like I see here in Houston.

JM: Not only do you sale insurance but you offer guidance to your clients on disaster preparedness. What are some of your tips and why would you even take the time to advise people on this?

BH: I’m a lover of people. I want to help anyone who comes into my sphere with anything I know. I feel obligated. When I sit down with a 16-year-old driver I explain to them that this car can become a two ton killing machine if it is not properly handled. I want to help prevent potential disasters.

I advise my clients to establish escape routes for their families, have emergency contact numbers handy, and build up a survival kit in their homes. Make sure you have routine maintenance done on your home to ensure safety. I have always been a different type of guy so I go the extra mile in my commitment to helping our clients.

JM: What type of insurance does your office offer?

BH: We offer homeowners, auto, and even health insurance. Our number one product is life insurance which is by far the best way to protect your family. The first time I even thought about having life insurance was when I got married. But people should have it even before they start a family. Another myth is that if you’re young you don’t need it but in truth you may not be as insurable when you get older. So it would be wise to get it now plus it’s cheaper when you’re young. Along with this we also offer business insurance.

JM: What is the purpose of this re-grand opening?

BH: For people to get to know me and my staff. We had so many people who could not attend our first grand opening so we decided to do another one. We will be having mini-workshops, music, and food. Plus we will conduct free reviews of people’s present policies. Everyone is invited.

JM: How is your office planning to give back to the community?

BH: Giving back to the community is very dear to me. I am a man who believes in reaching back to help others be successful. I am a part of the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters program and we have so many who are in need of inspiration. We’re going to be partnering up with the church that is adjacent to our office to offer them free life insurance class. We’re going to partner with the nearby fire station to do a fundraiser because our public servants don’t always get the recognition they deserve. To whom much is given, much is required so we will always be found serving the community.

JM: Thank you again for the interview and I wish you the greatest success in your business.

BH: Thank you Brother Jesse and congratulations on your success.

(Mr. Herndon and his office will celebrate its re-grand opening on July 16, 2010 from 3-7 PM. The re-grand opening will be held on location at 9659 S. Gessner Dr., Houston, TX 77071. For more info, please call 713-498-0552 or visit http://www.herndoninsurancetx.com or http://herndoninsurancetx.blogspot.com)

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