New Goosehead Insurance offers broad coverage options

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Bret Smith, owner of Goosehead Insurance in Liberty Hill, has made it his mission to change people’s perception of insurance after 25 years in the industry and first-hand experience dealing with national catastrophes. A ribbon cutting and open house is set for 12 Noon on Nov. 1 at 719 U.S. Hwy 183, Suite B-112, Leander. (Dana Delgado Photo)

By Dana Delgado

After Bret Smith and his wife struggled to find insurance that would meet their family’s needs after leaving the corporate world, he opened his own independent insurance agency — Goosehead Insurance — to serve the Liberty Hill area.

With over 25 years experience in the field including many years in claims and claims management, Smith knew the industry inside-out and knew that if he was dismayed and frustrated by what he found in the marketplace, others were as well. In Goosehead Insurance, he found the kinds of coverage options and rates he had sought for himself and his family.

Through Goosehead Insurance, the longtime area resident said he has access to more than 30 A-rated insurance carriers and is able to obtain the best packages with broader options as well as better rates.

“I can tailor to one’s needs while others are stuck with one underwriter,” he said. “We just knew there had to be a better way. We found this model (Goosehead Insurance) to be so successful.”

The agency provides insurance coverage for a variety of needs including home, tenant, auto, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and personal liability among others.

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House are scheduled for 12 Noon on Nov. 1 at 719 U.S. Hwy 183, Suite B-112 in Leander.

A former national catastrophe manager for major carriers, Smith has had on-the-ground experience with an array of disasters including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, as well as the California Northridge earthquake.

“I’ve seen first-hand homes that are crumbled or under water and the devastating effects these catastrophes can have,” he said. “Even if people have insurance, if they don’t have the right coverage, they can be wiped out.”

Smith said his experiences prompted him to do thorough policy evaluations with clients and to keep them fully informed of their coverage options.

“I want to insure families and take care of them,” he said. “It can be devastating.”

He was often on the disaster scene on the heels of first responders. Leading a team of insurance adjusters, Smith was tasked with helping people put their lives back together after overwhelming losses. One family during the Northridge earthquake came to mind.

“We came upon a home that from the front looked normal but when you opened the front door, you could see the sky because the back half of the house had fallen off of a bluff,” he recalled. “This was a family of four that we were able to get set up with temporary housing and get them the needed funds to finish tearing down their home and start over.”

Smith said the experience was not only gut-wrenching but a personal eye-opener because of the immense financial loss and emotional toll, and made him wonder how he and his wife and young daughter at the time, would have fared in that same situation.

“It also made me come home and read my own policy to make sure that I had the most comprehensive coverage possible for what we could afford.”

Experiences from the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina were all too familiar. Homes were obliterated or severely damaged.

“Seeing the front doors of homes in the most damaged areas with human and animal body counts painted on them was a real shot of reality,” Smith said. “Most people do not realize that the devastation in Mississippi was not just along the coast, but the storm surge that went as far as 10 miles inland. As you would expect, these folks never dreamed that they would need flood insurance that far away from the coast.”

Smith, a Texas native who hails from Burton near Brenham where he led his high school baseball team to the state championship and was active in 4-H and FFA, started his career working individual claims before assuming roles supervising teams of staff and independent adjusters.

By 2004, he was the catastrophe manager for all Prudential Property and Casualty losses.  Following Katrina in 2005, he was Director of Claims for Universal North America overseeing daily claims operations throughout the U.S. as well as coordinating efforts during Hurricane Ike in 2008.

With this dual background, Smith has garnered extensive knowledge about policy coverages and daily and catastrophic losses. This allows him to help people get the coverage they really need and make sure that their greatest assets are properly protected.

A graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Agricultural Business, Smith has received numerous honors for customer service and catastrophe response.

He enjoys hunting, fishing and being outdoors. He and his wife, Diana, are active in Cross Tracks Church and when time permits, are on the road in their RV. The couple has two children — Lauren, who is currently attending law school at Texas Tech University, and a son, Lane, who is enrolled at Texas A&M University in College Station.

For more information, visit www.goosehead.com.

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