The top 3 phone calls we get during December

December is a busy month for insurance agents and here are the top 3 types of phone calls we’ve been receiving:

1- Help!  I hit a deer!-   Everyone in the Hudson Valley has had to make this phone call at least once since they first got behind the wheel.

2- Help!  My pipes have frozen and burst!- Your homeowners insurance will cover the repairs to your walls and floors, but not to the pipes themselves.

3- Do I need extra insurance coverage for…. – Did you ask Santa for a new car?  What about a drone?  Some of your holiday gifts need specific insurance coverage (drones), and some (like high-end electronics or jewelry) need a low cost insurance rider in order to ensure coverage.

Don’t allow holiday mishaps to turn you into a Grinch, make sure your insurance is ready for all of your holiday fun!  Our insurance experts are here to help you make the season bright.  Call 845-778-2141 for more information & great insurance rates today!

#holidayinsurance  #carinsurance  #jewelryinsurance  #insurelocal  #independentinsuranceagent

3 Reasons to love your insurance agent!

When someone mentions the holidays there are things that always come to mind, shopping, wrapping paper, decorations, carols, but no one ever thinks about their insurance agent!

Here are 3 very good reasons to love your insurance agent this holiday season:

1- Sewer Backup.  Did Aunt Marge pour all of the turkey grease down the kitchen sink?  Did Uncle George clog your toilet again this year?  If your insurance agent made sure you purchased Sewage & Drain coverage, then you are covered!

2- Stolen holiday gifts.  So, you spent the day shopping for the holidays, after a few grueling hours spent fighting the crowds you make a quick stop at the grocery store for eggnog, and you come back to the car you find that all of your newly purchased gifts have been stolen!  Now what?  If you have a homeowners or renters policy you have nothing to worry about.  No renters or homeowners policy?  Contact your credit card company.

3- EVERYTHING ELSE.  If Santa Claus gets stuck in your chimney, you are covered by homeowners insurance.  If the Grinch breaks in and steals all of your gifts and your roast beast, covered by homeowners insurance.  If Rudolf and his cohorts fall through your roof during a hard landing, covered by homeowners insurance.

A good insurance agent will make sure that your insurance fits your budget.

A really good insurance agent will make sure that your insurance fits your coverage needs and your budget as well.

If you have questions about your current insurance coverage, or you are in the market for lower insurance rates, please give us a call.  David, Kathy, Ashley, and Philip are ready to put their insurance knowledge to work for you.

#holidayinsurance  #insurelocal  #hudsonvalleyagents

Stress relief for small business owners

Lower Your Small Business Stress for a Happier Holiday Season

The holiday season is once again upon us and if you are a small business owner, you’re likely nervously hoping for a safe and successful season of robust sales.

Since November is Stress Awareness Month and the Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday, we thought we’d give you a few tips to ease your anxiety while protecting your business.

  • Review your current business owner’s insurance to make sure the coverage for your business contents and your liability are up to date and will cover you if you have a loss.  Some people just ‘let it ride’ as their businesses grow and when a loss happens, they might find they aren’t insured for an appropriate amount.
  • The same for your building if you own the property.  Make sure your coverage reflects your real replacement costs. And check with your tenants to ensure that they are also carrying adequate liability insurance.
  • Make sure your signs and plate glass windows are covered. Many business owners don’t know to insure them specifically because they might not be covered by a general business policy.
    One of our clients had a bar and nightclub open next to her luxury retail store where she had more than 40 linear feet of plate glass as part of her storefront.  She confessed to lying awake some nights wondering if that was the night she’d receive ‘the call’.
  • Consider adding a central station burglar and fire alarm system that will notify the fire, police, or monitoring agency. Maintain fire extinguishers annually and consider installing an automatic sprinkler system. Not only will these help protect your business, you’ll receive credits that will lower your insurance premium significantly.

It may seem like a lot of work, but if you work with your independent insurance agent, he or she can help you navigate through it and find you the best coverage at the best price.

In closing, we’d like to wish everyone a joyful, safe, and successful holiday season from all of us at Hudson Valley Agents.

And relax. We’ve got you covered.

(P.S. If not, give us a call!  We’re really good at this.)

#shoplocal  #smallbizsaturday  #insurelocal

Thanksgiving safety tips for the Hudson Valley

Thanksgiving is a mere 14 days away and Christmas is 32 days away.  Is your homeowners insurance ready for the influx of relatives, the cooking, the gift shopping, the parties, the decorations, as well as the normal chaos that comes with day to day life?

Thanksgiving is the start of a holiday cycle that does not end until January 2, and ensuring that your family fun is fully covered can make recovering from any holiday disaster quick and painless.

Follow these tips for a safe holiday season:

  • Never, ever leave the stove unattended while cooking.
  • Never, never, ever put a frozen or wet turkey into a turkey fryer.
  • Use extra precaution when driving, especially the day before Thanksgiving.
  • Have the phone number for a cab company ready or install the Lyft app on your phone, this makes it easier for tipsy guests to get home safely.
  • Use caution around candles or invest in LED candles.
  • Always sand or salt driveways and walkways during inclement weather.

Here are a few of the things we wish insurance covered during the holiday season:

  • Overcooked turkey
  • Undercooked pie crust
  • Holiday traffic
  • That one Uncle that insists on drinking a fourth glass of wine and discussing politics.
  • Being exiled to “the kids table”

We hope that your holiday season begins and ends with a smile.  Be safe, enjoy yourself, and make sure you have the best insurance coverage for your life and everything in it.

#holidayinsurance  #insurelocal  #hudsonvalleyinsurance

Halloween Tips for Hudson Valley homeowners

Tomorrow night is Halloween, tonight is Hell Night (or Devil’s Night, or Cabbage Night (?)) and if you are a homeowner you should be taking a closer look at your insurance coverage.

  • Will your auto insurance pay to repaint your car after it was egged?  (Hint- Only if you have Comprehensive coverage)
  • If you decide to answer “Trick” instead of “Treat” & you find yourself with smashed pumpkin soaking your home and discoloring the siding, will your insurance cover the repair?  (Hint- Probably, but check with your agent)

There are things that Hudson Valley homeowners should always do to protect themselves & trick or treaters:

  • Make sure all walkways are free of debris and obstacles and are well lit.
  • Use LED candles instead of real candles
  • Bring in your outdoor decorations before going to bed, if you can.
  • Park your car(s), bicycles, ATV, lawn mower, or skateboards in the garage and close/lock the garage door.
  • NEVER answer “Trick” when costumed people say “Trick or Treat”.
  • Be extra aware of pedestrians tonight and tomorrow night.  Dark costumes, ill fitting masks, and excited kids, can make your evening commute treacherous.

Insurance claims skyrocket during the end of October.  Mischief night and Halloween are 2 of the biggest nights for damage to personal property and theft.  Ensuring that your insurance coverage can stand up to everything your neighborhood ghouls can throw at it is the key to a good night’s sleep on All Hallow’s Eve.

Happy Halloween Hudson Valley, stay safe!   Have you seen our latest Halloween video?  #HudsonValley  #insurelocal  #Halloweensafetytips  #homeownersinsurance  #autoinsurance

 

5 Cyber Security Tips for the Hudson Valley

October is National Cyber Security month and we’re here to help the Hudson Valley secure their homes from hackers (especially baby monitors)!

If you have a smart television, a smart refrigerator,  a baby monitor, a wifi enabled doorbell, or even wifi enabled light bulbs, can leave your home open to unwanted cyber attention.  We have put together a list of tips to help better secure your home and your peace of mind:

1- Change the password on your router!!!  Using the password on the sticker that the cable guy set up for you is easy, but it leaves you vulnerable and there are websites anyone can go to in order to find the password for your router.

2- Ensure that every device in your home is using an up to date virus protection program, a malware removal/protection program, and that your firewalls are up.

3- Turn off your phone’s Bluetooth when not in use.  Hackers can gain access to your phone, laptop, or tablet via an unsecured Bluetooth connection.

4- Update all of your passwords regularly.  You do not need to have long, complicated passwords!  You can keep them short, but make sure to add numbers and symbols to increase the difficulty.

5- Talk to your insurance agent about what your homeowners policy covers for identity theft and cyber security and discuss any changes that should be made to the policy.

The right insurance policy will help ease the financial burden of identity theft and the cost to do so is less than you would think.  Call David or Ashley today for further information about policies to protect your home and family 845-778-2141

#cybersecurity  #identitytheftinsurance  #insurelocal  #HudsonValleyAgents  #independentinsuranceagent

Here’s the secret to lower homeowners insurance costs

HVA Knowledge Tip

Because Knowledge Is Power!

Today’s blog comes to us via David J Bonne, our VP

When it comes to insuring properties, whether it be your own home or rental properties as a landlord, you need to know this one thing in order to make sense of your insurance costs:

The better shape the property is in, the lower your insurance premium will be.

Here’s the logic:

Property insurance covers damage to the property and the interior from common perils such as water damage (not flooding), wind damage, fire and smoke damage, etc.…

· If your property has curling shingles on the roof, the chances of interior water damage are much greater, therefore you will pay more for your insurance through a company that factors that into their risk assessment. Other companies may just turn you down or demand repairs within 30 days in order to avoid cancellation.

· If your property has old electric or fuses instead of 100+ amp circuit breakers, the chance of a electrical fire are much greater, and therefore you will pay more for your insurance through a company that factors that in their risk assessment.

· If your property still has old fashioned plumbing that does not wear well and gets pitted and is prone to leaks, your chances of water damage will increase immensely and once again, you will pay more for your insurance through a company that factors that in their risk assessment.

· If your property has old non-insulated windows from the beginning of time, your chances of incurring frozen pipes and the ensuing damage from that will increase quite a bit. I’m sure you know what comes next.

These are just a few glaring examples as to why your insurance carrier makes these demands that you may or may not feel are unreasonable or none of their concern, but there are many more than just this.

Hudson Valley Agents has an insurance market for almost every type of property out there, from the preferred pristine property to a property with one or more of these risk multipliers mentioned above. Just keep in mind the costs are commensurate with the condition of the property.

#propertyinsurance  #insurelocal  #rentalinsurance  #homeownersinsurance  #landlordinsurance  #HudsonValleyAgents  #WaldenNY

Even artists need insurance

“Art is literacy of the heart”- Elliot Eisner

Today’s blog post was written by Philip Bender-Tymon

Where Creative and Covered Meet
Creative individuals, artists, and freelancers are noticing a new trend in their business dealings with clients.  Many who work with corporate clients, or at institutions or spaces where work is either created or installed on-site, are now being asked to carry general liability insurance.
In today’s lawsuit-prone society, it makes smart business sense for formerly free-spirits to carry at least a basic liability insurance policy.
Say you are a sculptor and your installation at a gallery falls over, seriously injuring a patron. If that patron sues and you have a policy in place, the insurance company takes over the lawsuit, hires the lawyers and conducts proceedings and settlements (if any) on your behalf.
Situations like that are exactly what’s driving requests by gallery owners, government agencies and corporations to request what is called a Certificate of Insurance – or COI – as a proof of insurance coverage.
And fortunately, it’s not expensive.
A variety of options are available for covering anything from a one-day event for as little as $40 to a 12-month policy that might only cost a couple hundred dollars.
Talk to your independent insurance agent about what coverages are available to protect you.
You’ll sleep better – and so will your clients!
#insurelocal  #liabilityinsurance  #HudsonValleyAgents  #WaldenNY  #HudsonValley

Hacking and Identity theft

Equifax announced that they had a data breach that could impact 143 MILLION people.  This is a pretty big deal, you see, Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency, one of the 3 major credit reporting agencies.  If you have ever applied for a loan they know about it and now the people who hacked into their data bases know about you.

These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself:

If you have questions regarding your homeowners or renters insurance covering Identity Theft please contact us, 845-778-2141.

#datahack  #identitytheft  #idtheftinsurance  #creditprotection  #insurelocal