Insurance and Finance

A Day in the Life of an Agent

By Joshua Baethge 2.18.19

10 a.m.

Kari Hendricks rode across a ranch on an old mule. Her client pointed things out to her as she went to get a better look at his cattle. He had a farm and ranch policy with her agency at Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, and he had some questions about how much coverage he needed. How else was she going to know the answers?

This scene might seem strange to those who have insurance providers they never meet in person and who file claims and pay bills online.

But it seemed perfectly normal to Hendricks. According to her, getting your feet dirty and going the extra mile is just part of the job when you’re an insurance agent in Texas. Or, at least, it is when you’re an agent with Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.

“I’m always in and out of the door,” she says. “I’ve got to check out people’s houses or check out their barns and their ranches. You never know what you’re going to get.”

For Hendricks, taking an active role in clients’ lives is the only way to do business. It’s how she’s able to help them fully understand their coverage and come up with the best insurance solutions to fit their needs.

It’s also how she knows when something is wrong — like when an elderly client called her at 6:30 on a Friday morning three months ago.

Photo by Arts+Labor

6:30 a.m.

“I picked up the phone immediately,” Hendricks says. “I knew if he was calling me at 6:30 in the morning something bad had happened.”

It was the first home loss she’s seen in her eight-year career as a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent. The gentleman’s house had burned completely to the ground. It was the home he had lived in his whole married life.

Watching him go through that, Hendricks felt as though his whole life had been lost.

“When you go through these things with your clients, it affects you. But it also makes you work harder,” Hendricks says. “It makes you feel the impact you have on people’s lives. It gives you a sense of responsibility.”

9 a.m.

By Monday morning, Hendricks’ agency had a check for the man for loss of use coverage. Within three weeks, during which they completed the investigation and had Texas Farm Bureau Insurance claims adjusters on-site, the agency had paid out the full limits of his property insurance and personal property insurance.

“It was really sad seeing him lose everything he lost, but it felt good knowing that he got everything back financially,” Hendricks says. “Now he can start over.”

Hendricks says it’s hard watching her clients — who become her neighbors, friends, and frequent visitors — go through these major life events. But it can also be rewarding.

“As an Agent, I get to watch these young families grow,” she says. “People buy insurance when they’re going through life changes, and you get to be there for those things. They start out, they buy cars, they buy houses. Then their kids are going off to college. It means a lot to go through those things with them. We get invited to weddings, birthday parties, graduations — all the big events in their lives.”

Photo by Arts+Labor

12 p.m.

That’s why her clients often send her Christmas cards and texts, or drop by the office with tea, tamales, or cucumbers grown from their gardens.

“We have such great times,” Hendricks says. “Sometimes you just call to see how they’re doing — not to sell anything. Our clients and coworkers are like family to us.”

In some cases, they’re more than like family. Hendricks’ father has been a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent for 43 years; he started the year she was born.

When Hendricks was growing up in South Texas, her dad was always around. She remembers how well he provided for her family, but also the fact that he was always around and never missed her and her sister’s games.

After 13 years of being a teacher, she began to look back on those times. She was now a mother of two, and she wanted to do the same for her own children.

“I thought, Well, shoot — if he can do it, I can do it,” she says. After more than a decade as a teacher, it was a big career move. But once she made it, she never looked back.

“As a woman, as a working mother, this allowed me the freedom to balance my time with my family,” she says.

6 p.m.

Hendricks goes home for dinner with her family. Sometimes it’s earlier, if her son has a high school football game; sometimes it’s later, if her clients still need her.

In the eight years since she became an Agent, Hendricks has become an agency manager (in the next county over from her father). And she’s been there for all her kids’ games. Now her 17-year-old son is saying he wants to be a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent, too.

As for Hendricks, she doesn’t have any qualms about recommending this as a career.

“You meet so many neat people and develop so many great relationships. They become some of your best friends,” she says. “They trust you, and any time something happens, they call you.”

That’s the best part of a day on the job for Hendricks. Whether she’s riding out on someone’s ranch to check out a herd of cattle or sitting down at the kitchen table to have a tough conversation, she knows she’s helping her neighbors. Making sure they’re protected. Making the tough times a little easier, and the good times a little better.

And that’s what her agency is all about. Click here to find your Kari.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2019 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance