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What about Life, Bob?

ERIE Agent Bob Murray makes a difficult topic more approachable

June 24, 2009
By Mary Marz

Walk into just about any restaurant or coffee shop and the buzz of conversation fills the room.

Former college roommates reminiscing about old times. A couple planning a trip to Disney. Best friends retreading the most recent episode of “Idol” or “Top Chef” or “Survivor.”

You know what they’re probably not talking about? Life insurance.

It’s one of those topics that most everyone agrees is important—but no one really wants to discuss. Why is that?

We took that question—and a few others—to Bob Murray. Easygoing and approachable, the 30-something has spent much of his life around insurance conversations. He’s an ERIE Agent at Murray Insurance in Erie, Pa.

Like other ERIE Agents, he’s the kind of guy who makes things like life insurance easier to talk about. So let’s …

Eriesense: First off, why is life insurance worth talking about?

Bob: I have some personal reasons about why it matters to me, but really, it’s because it’s important. Anything can happen in life. Just talk to someone who’s had a kidney transplant or heart condition and tried to apply for life insurance. It’s ironic. The people who truly understand the value of life insurance are the people who sometimes can’t get it.

Regardless of your medical situation, you should always apply to see if you qualify.

Eriesense: You mentioned personal reasons …

Bob: My family’s been in insurance for 50 years, but back when my dad was younger, and before life insurance was a common thing, his brother died of a heart attack. He was only 40, and things were pretty difficult for my aunt and their six kids. It was really unexpected—my uncle ran the Boston Marathon a week or two earlier and appeared to be the healthiest of all his brothers.

Eriesense: That’s really sad. Do you find that’s why people don’t want to talk about life insurance?

Bob: It can be. A lot of people think life insurance is about mortality. But, even after telling you that story, the reality is, it isn’t just about death. It’s about your finances, too. If your financial future is important and your family is important, life insurance should be important.

Eriesense: How does it tie into your financial future?

Bob: Well, it’s something that’s going to take care of your family in those unfortunate circumstances. But there are also forms of life insurance, especially the universal life series, that are great if someone wants to use cash value to fund education or do different things. So, if those sadder circumstances don’t happen, you still get a financial benefit from the policy.

Eriesense: But in a tough economic climate, is life insurance really affordable?

Bob: Today, most families depend on two incomes. If things are already tough, just think how difficult it would be to maintain your lifestyle if one spouse dies. Also, the forms of life insurance that help accrue cash value are a great way to save, and that’s an opportunity in today’s economy.

Eriesense: As an insurance Agent, how do you practice what you preach?

Bob: I have term insurance and two forms of permanent insurance (Universal Life and Whole Life). I also have a guaranteed interest rate annuity. All of these are through Erie Family Life. I review my policies annually, and I’ve made modifications over the years. I’ll continue updating my plans at certain life stages—when I buy a house, get married, have children and retire. As life changes, so do my life insurance needs.

To hear more about life insurance or to have a conversation, call your ERIE Agent to see which type of life insurance might be right for you.

*Erie Family Life products are not available in New York.


Mary Marz is a senior communications consultant for Erie Insurance and customer of Bob Murray’s. She lives in Erie, Pa., with her husband and new puppy.

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