Baker Acres, a three-person entity, benefits from group insurance policy.
By Katrina Huffstutler
Timing is everything.
For John and Kerrie Baker, ranchers from Ozona, that’s never been more evident than in mid-February, when John required cataract surgery. Under his previous coverage — a plan typical for the self-employed — the couple would have had considerable out-of-pocket expenses. But as of Jan. 1, the couple and John’s mom, Kay, were covered under a group plan from Cattle Raisers Insurance that will cover the entire amount.
“It’s so funny because we were in the doctor’s office signing all the paperwork when we learned we wouldn’t have to pay anything,” Kerrie says. “Even the lady who was scheduling us said, ‘Man, you’ll have really good insurance.’ She asked us where we got it.”
Last fall, the Bakers had begun to look for a better insurance policy when they received a letter from Cattle Raisers Insurance. Its contents explained they might be eligible for a group policy, something they’d never considered.
“We never thought we’d be big enough for something like that,” Kerrie says. “It’s just John, his mom and me. We never even think of ourselves of a business, but rather just a family. But we learned we might have better options than we’d previously thought.”
They called the Cattle Raisers Insurance office to confirm their eligibility.
“They said, ‘Absolutely! You’re a business. You can do this,’” Kerrie recalls.
She says they had so many questions, but the staff was incredibly nice and patient. They were also able to help the Bakers get exactly what they needed (and wanted). Like many shopping for insurance, the family wanted comprehensive coverage with the lowest deductible possible. But just like they’ve matched their cattle operation to their location, raising hardy Charolais/Corriente crosses, they had to match their insurance to it, too.
“We are so remote out here, and we have only one local doctor,” Kerrie says. “And then if you have to go to San Angelo to see a specialist… It’s hard to find insurance policies that will cover the providers we need.”
But they did, and say the process was a breeze.
“The only thing that wasn’t easy was remembering where some of our old paperwork and files were,” Kerrie says with a laugh. “But with every question we had, we would call or email and Michele or one of her staff would be so helpful. They even walked us through the application process.”
She encourages other landowners, ranchers and small business owners to contact Cattle Raisers Insurance the next time they’re in the market for a new policy.
“You won’t even believe how much you can get covered,” Kerrie says. “We were able to get coverage for medical, vision and dental for less than we were paying for our medical only previously.”