By: Kim Espinosa
Photo by Frank Martinez
The driving force behind SafeGuard Insurance Agency is Abraham and Juan Padron, two brothers who make it their mission to bring peace of mind to people throughout Texas with excellent insurance and service. The brothers weren’t always on the same path, but their collaboration is powerful now that they are.
After growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, Abraham attended The University of Texas-Pan American and Juan moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas at Austin. Juan went off to work as an engineer with the NASA Johnson Space Center while Abraham pursued a career in sales. He worked at Texas Copy then W.W. Grainger before making the switch to insurance as an Allstate agent in 1996. After getting an MBA from the University of Houston, Juan went to work for General Electric in March 2001 with the aspiration of landing expat assignments. The events of 9/11/2001 erased that aspiration. At Abraham’s urging, Juan decided to return home in 2002 to join his brother in managing the now prospering Allstate insurance agency. In 2004, the brothers sold the Allstate book of business and entered the independent insurance agency arena with SafeGuard Insurance Agency, a business that had been started in 2001 by Abraham to provide services to the Allstate clients that were not available through Allstate. Within the company, Juan has mostly stayed behind the scenes managing finances and human resources needs, while on a typical day you could find Abraham working with clients, making sales and negotiating deals with insurance carriers. The two enjoy collaborating while working together and complement each other with varying styles and strengths.
SafeGuard currently has ten offices and 30 employees but is constantly growing. The growth of the company reflects their belief in the importance of going to the people. “We have small offices spread throughout the area to make it as easy as possible for people to come in for help. We go where the customers are,” Juan says. Because the success of a company often hinges on its customer service, SafeGuard has set itself apart by looking out for and working to bring peace of mind to its customers. In fact, Abraham explains that they hold a long-term vision for all of their customers, meaning that they value the sustained customer relationship and innovate to offer the best prices and quality for the future rather than solely focusing on getting someone in the door. Because SafeGuard offices now span from Brownsville to Laredo, SafeGuard has negotiating power that significantly benefits its customers; Insurance carriers are attracted to an agency with such reach, especially one that is not only covering uncertain Texas coastland. Because of this negotiating power, SafeGuard is a strong competitor, offering all types of insurance at competitive premiums
SafeGuard stays true to their mission; “We truly work for the client,” says Abraham Padron. After the recent unpredictable hail storm, city officials estimated that 1,062 homes, 63 businesses and 26 city facilities sustained damage. Of this event Abraham recalls, “Nothing feels better than stepping in to help with checks to allow people to rebuild their homes, provide for their families and get back to life as it was before the catastrophe.”
Abraham and Juan look for innovative ways to serve the people of the Valley, including promoting the Rio Grande Valley to large insurance providers as a desirable place to conduct business. They know that the more competition they bring in, the better options their customers will see, but they also look at the bigger picture for the Valley, acknowledging the benefit of expanding business opportunities. In this way, the Padron brothers proudly serve as unofficial ambassadors for their hometown.
Abraham and Juan have a vision for the future of SafeGuard Insurance Agency to grow in the Valley as well as throughout Texas and beyond. However, having found a need for excellent insurance services, specifically for the Hispanic community, these two plan to go where the people are and provide it.
Through their passion to help people and excel at their practice, Abraham and Juan Padron have become community leaders. “Since entering the insurance industry, I have gained a tremendous appreciation for the insurance industry’s impact on the economy. It’s actually a safety net for the economy, helping people recover and avoiding a domino effect,” he explains. Juan pulls from his industry experience when teaching “Principles of Insurance” to students at the UTPA to impress upon students the idea that this industry is vitally important to the lives of individuals as well as the economy, despite any public image issues from which the field may suffer. Juan also serves as the chairperson of the Diversity Task Force for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (the “Big I”), as treasurer of the local Independent Insurance Agents of the Rio Grande Valley and is also a graduate of Leadership McAllen. Abraham spends his time serving as a board member of the McAllen Boys and Girls Club, the Rio Grande Valley Tennis Association and with other local civic organizations.
Both Abraham and Juan Padron feel grateful to have ended up working side by side and explain collectively that they “feel fortunate to live and work here and want to make a difference for our community.”