What should people keep in mind when shopping for insurance?
State Farm Insurance Agent Ed Setliff discussed this in our most recent Community Conversations.
Setliff, who served in the United States Army for more than 20 years, has an office at Tackett’s Mill in Lake Ridge. He’s also a member of the Woodbridge Rotary Club.
To contact Setliff, call (703) 490-6324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the video interview and transcription:
ST Billingsley: Thank you for joining us today on What’s Up, Prince William for our community conversations. Today we have Ed Setliff. He has a State Farm insurance business here in Tackett’s Mill, in Woodbridge, Virginia. Thank you very much for being on our show today.
Ed Setliff: Thanks for inviting me.
ST Billingsley: So insurance is one of those things where everybody has it, but they may not necessarily know what they should have or what they actually need. What’s one of the most important things that insurance covers, or what’s more than one of the most important things, what would you say, most important asset?
Ed Setliff: In my opinion, the most important asset is you, the person that’s being insured, because if they’re not insured properly, personally, as far as their life insurance goes, their health insurance goes, disability insurance, what happens if the main breadwinner in the family is gone? Then who’s going to pick up all that? Who’s going to pay for everything that needs to be paid for? So I always think that the first thing that we need to do is to talk to someone and find out what they want from an insurance company, what they need, just get to know them, find out what their goals are, and how we can help them achieve those goals and protect them while they’re there working towards that.
ST Billingsley: So obviously when people think about insurance, most people are just thinking of insurance for the car, if they have a home, obviously homeowners’ insurance, maybe even life insurance. What are, would you say, phone calls that you might receive from people looking for insurance or things they’ve run into, as far as that they might be lacking in auto insurance?
Ed Setliff: Well, with auto insurance, the big thing that folks call up once they have a policy, is they want to know what coverage they’ve had because they’ve just had an accident or their car’s been stolen. And we’ve had three of those in the past two months.
ST Billingsley: Oh, wow.
Ed Setliff: And that’s really rare, because I’ve been in business for over 20 years and that’s the first time I’ve had over one car stolen in over a couple of years.
ST Billingsley: Wow.
Ed Setliff: So there’s a gang in the area that’s going around stealing cars.
ST Billingsley: Got you.
Ed Setliff: And the people want to know what’s covered, how much they’ve got to pay out of pocket. And those are the things that we meet with customers, we try to make sure they understand all those because they’re not just buying a package, we’re individualizing the coverage to what they need and what they want.
ST Billingsley: Now, do you, when people are, say, calling you when they’re I’ll call it shopping around for insurance or something like that, especially for auto, do you find that people are underinsured for maybe the type of vehicle they have?
Ed Setliff: A lot of times people are underinsured. When we meet with them and we find out about what their goals and their needs are and all, one of the questions that we always ask is about what they have, what their retirement is, what their home value is. All those things are pertinent because if they have an accident and they’re responsible for it, we want to make sure that we’ve got, as an insurance company, enough money to take care of that so that they don’t have to pull money out of pocket.
Ed Setliff: Imagine if you have the state minimums of $20,000 property damage liability, and you hit a brand new Mercedes, and it’s not a big expense. It’s only $85,000, right? And then somebody’s coming, looking at you for the other 65,000, and that’s even if you didn’t hurt anyone. So yeah, it’s very important to make sure that they’re properly covered.
ST Billingsley: Homeowners’ insurance, that’s usually one where people don’t know that they may not have the right coverage or enough coverage, only when something happens in the home. Where do you see where, I will say, maybe a lot of homeowners are lacking?
Ed Setliff: The biggest thing that we find with that is that people, normally, when we talk with them, they’re fine, because we’ve gone through and done a replacement cost calculation and we’ve made sure that they’re covered. Several years ago, we had this one.
ST Billingsley: Oh my goodness.
Ed Setliff: And that was a total loss fire. The homeowners had bought the home. We could insure it. A week later, there’s a fire in the basement. Some type of a gas fire, it caught, it ignited their home on fire. It did injure the father and their eight year old son. He was able to get him out of there, and eventually recovered from all the burns, but it was a total loss and it destroyed their home, and it also destroyed a good bit of the home next to it. And there’s the smoke damage. There’s all the personal property that they have that’s gone.
Ed Setliff: And then people, they don’t like to think about these things, but they need to have an inventory of everything that they own that’s of any significant value, at least, because when that home catches fire and the insurance people come out, the claims people come out to talk with them, after we’ve put them up in a hotel, we’ve arranged for them for living expenses for a long period of time, because this took a year to rebuild the home. So then we’ve got to have that inventory so we know what to replace. We need to know how many shirts they had, how many pair of pants, how many skirts, how many pair of shoes?
ST Billingsley: So what people are, you know, they buy a house, they’re in it for 10 or 15 years, they’ve probably acquired quite a few things at that point then. So is that where maybe some gaps come in, when they buy furniture over the past 15 years, but it wasn’t there when they first got the insurance policy?
Ed Setliff: It can be. But typically, we have enough insurance because the way the policies are written in Virginia is whatever that dwelling amount is, the home is insured for, we at State Farm, we have a 75% amount for their personal property.
ST Billingsley: Oh, got you.
Ed Setliff: So if you’ve got a $200,000 house, we’ve got $150,000 worth of personal property. Normally, that’s enough. But sometimes it’s not, because there’s special limits on policies for things like guns, business property that you have at home, things like that, jewelry. So therefore, it’s important to understand that there are personal articles policies that are available, that people can purchase to cover specifically guns, musical instruments, computers, those important things that are very expensive.
ST Billingsley: So those things would need to be basically covered separately or along with it. But it’s not very expensive to do that.
Ed Setliff: No, no, it’s very inexpensive. It’s just a little bit of paperwork, a little bit of time, coming up with receipts and maybe an appraisal for jewelry that’s expensive, but it’s really a very simple process.
ST Billingsley: What about life insurance, especially maybe we’ve got a young family coming along and they want to get life insurance? How do you bring somebody, say through 20 years of, you know, as they’re starting out in their career, maybe they have a brand new home, a family’s on the way, they’ve only got so much money. How do you help them through the years on making sure they have enough coverage?
Ed Setliff: Well, what we do is we meet with people and we find out, again, what their needs, what their goals are, and things like that. And let’s say that we’ve got a family that’s got, I don’t know, a couple of kids, their desire is for their children to go to college. They have maybe, let’s just use a figure of $100,000 dollars of income coming in a year. If we’re going to round it up, we take seven to 10 times that amount for the insurance amount that they probably need. That may not be enough, coupled with what they have through work, if they have any.
Ed Setliff: And let’s say someone has $200,000 through work, and they need another five or $600,000. Then we find out what they can afford, what’s in their budget, and we try to find a policy and come as close as possible to meeting that need. And then as time goes, maybe they don’t need as much insurance later on. I know that I’ve had many clients that have had large policies initially, because they’ve got a big family. They’ve got a lot of income coming in, and they want to make sure they can replace that. So now, as time goes, the children move out. They don’t need as much insurance. So then we go down and we find out exactly what their needs are then.
ST Billingsley: So what do you think is, for whether it be auto, home, and life, or altogether, about how many years should they be reviewing it with you?
Ed Setliff: Oh, they should review their policies with us at least every two years.
Ed Setliff: We prefer that they do it annually. And that may be a phone call. We do like to do the in-person visits because that way we could sit down, we can go through things. We have all kinds of tools on the computer that we can use to print out reports and show them exactly where they stand. And that way we’ve made sure they’ve met those risks that they have.
Ed Setliff: And sometimes it’s just identifying risks. People don’t realize that they have a need for something. Back to the fire, those people had adequate liability insurance to pay for the damage to the home that was next to them. And had they not had that, then they could have been paying out for their home and for their neighbor’s home to be rebuilt. And that would have been a horrible situation. But they were fine. They were perfectly fine.
Ed Setliff: After they recovered, everything was fine.
ST Billingsley: Right. So you’ve been in the community, and even business wise, for a while. You’re also a member of rotary. So just tell me a little bit about that and what rotary, as far as our community, and business-wise, personal-wise, what does that bring to our community, like a rotary club organization?
Ed Setliff: Well, that’s a very good question. A lot of people don’t understand about rotary. They think it’s just a group of businessmen that get together and have lunch and that’s it. Well, what we do is we raise funds and then we aggregate those funds and disperse them out to other organizations. We’ve done much for the Boys and Birls Club, for [inaudible 00:11:23], for the Arc of Greater Prince William, for the Salvation Army. You might’ve even seen me ringing the bell up at Walmart. We do that to help the Salvation Army every year.
Ed Setliff: We raise those funds through a golf tournament that we have out at Old Hickory Golf Club every year. We’ve been doing that for 17 years now. We also have the Movies at the Pfitz, and that’s at the old Pfitzner Stadium area. And we work with parks and recreation on that. And you can bring out a car load of people for $35, and that money, almost all of it goes back to the charities that we support. We have to spend a little bit of it on things like paying for the rental of the screen and things like that. But for 35 bucks, you bring out the whole family on a Friday night or a Saturday night and have a great time. It’s like the old drive-in movies, if you remember that from when you were younger.
ST Billingsley: Great. Oh, that’s great. Yeah, I actually got to see one when it was, it was actually kind of fun being able to go do something like that again.
Ed Setliff: Especially with the COVID situation. People wanted to get out, and it provided a needed respite last year for that for folks.
ST Billingsley: Sure. Well, we really do appreciate you taking the time to be on our show today. I know that insurance, especially when, for most people, especially when you’re starting out as a young person, it’s like, you just don’t even know what you need. So I know that over the years you’ve been a great resource to me, just being able to call and ask questions, and helped me out with certain situations.
Ed Setliff: Glad to do it.
ST Billingsley: So really appreciate it. So just over the years, I learned a bit just from being able to talk to you. So certainly appreciate you joining us today on What’s Up, Prince William for our community conversations.
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