Making sense of commercial truck insurance

Finding excellent commercial auto insurance in the Hudson Valley can feel similar to having your teeth pulled, especially when thinking about commercial truck insurance.  Here are the 5 things to keep in mind for a smooth transaction:

1- Cognizances. You’ve got to be mindful of the different kinds of truck insurance.  While there are numerous factors to consider when insuring your truck, commercial vehicle insurance can be broken down into 4 main types:

A- Liability insurance – this is the mandatory insurance which pays for any damage you cause while utilizing your truck.  Driving without this insurance is illegal and may cause heavy penalties.

B- Physical damage coverage – not really a legal requirement, yet this insurance covers your truck against perils like fire, theft, and flood damage.

C- Cargo – this insurance covers the contents you’re carrying. It isn’t really required however some shipping companies will require it.

D- Bobtail insurance – also referred to as non-trucking liability, A term created applying to auto liability insurance for an owner/operator after a load has been delivered while your truck is not being used for trucking purposes.

2- The Basics. The information you’ll need to acquire commercial truck insurance.

Even just getting set up with truck insurance might be a tricky process, though it’ll be a little smoother when you furnish as much information as is feasible. Some insurance companies will give you a quote without having the following information, but they will need proof of this data before you can actually purchase coverage.

A- Your current insurance coverage declarations page.  If you do not possess a business insurance declaration page (no prior coverage), use a current personal auto page instead.

B- Drivers license numbers and basic driving records of all drivers, including all tickets. Your quote will rise exponentially if a driver is later observed to have a worse driving history than previously claimed.

C- VIN numbers (vehicle identification numbers) of each vehicle, including a rundown of safety and security features on each truck.  If you do not have the VIN number handy, just provide the insurance company with as much detail as you can in regards to the vehicle, including the year, make, and model.

If there’s any information you simply can’t find, some companies will provide you with a quote based on your estimations. However, the quote will change when they inevitably determine the facts.

3- The Factors. The key factors affecting commercial vehicle premiums.

To a degree, you possibly can control some of the essential factors which govern your truck’s insurance costs.  The key issues which come into play include:

A- Driving record – how many speeding fines or traffic offenses you or your drivers have incurred over the last few years.

B- Garaging Location – Where your trucks are kept, especially overnight. More dangerous areas may mean higher premiums.

C- Limit of liability insurance required – see below for a rundown of what you need.

  • Kind of and radius of operation.
  • Shipping hardscrabble across the country has a different liability risk factor than shipping televisions from Ulster County NY to Westchester County NY.
  • Age, condition and safety features of the vehicles can also affect the premium.

4- Methodology. Methods used to save money on commercial insurance.

There are a few key do’s and don’ts for saving money on your insurance, but maybe the best recommendation is, to be honest regardless of how tempting it could be to overstate the value of your truck or forget to mention a speeding ticket.  Some truckers even overstate the price of their vehicles hoping that they will get a good deal if anything happened to it.  That is not how insurance works.  Your insurer will discover just how much it would cost to obtain a comparable replacement.  Should you say that your truck is worth more than it is, then you are more likely to over-pay for your coverage.

Get quotes from several insurance companies before you commit to one, and present each of them with the exact same information.

Run a safety program. Ask your insurer for information on how to put one together for your business, and you can save even more.  A written maintenance plan could also save you money simply because the insurance company will know that you are serious about maintaining your vehicles.

Removing comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage from some of your older vehicles can save money as well, especially if the cost of the coverage doesn’t even cover the amount that might be paid out.

How come truck insurance so expensive? In essence, trucks themselves are expensive. Your insurance company is at risk of having to replace your whole rig!  Trucks are big as well, so, in case you do crash into something it will generally do a considerable amount of damage.  Way more than if you were in the average automobile.  Trucks are much more likely to be stolen than cars, partly because they are worth more, and also because they often contain valuable cargo.

5. ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) authorities and MC (Motor Carrier) numbers.  You will need to get an MC number from your ICC authority before you ship goods across state lines.  In order to obtain one, your bodily injury and property damage insurance coverage will need to meet the prerequisites based on weight and class of your vehicle as well as the loads you’ll be carrying.

For vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight rating of 10,001 pounds or higher:

$750,000 for general, nonhazardous commodities.

$1,000,000 for hazardous freight except for class A and class B explosives.

$5,000,000 for class A and class B explosives.

Non-hazardous freight under 10,000 lbs requires a $300,000 minimum.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website (FMCSA)  is an amazing resource for truckers and features all of the guidelines and advice you could possibly expect and then some!

Hudson Valley Agents has been serving the Hudson Valley’s commercial insurance needs for 28 years. We write long-haul truckers in Maybrook NY, short-haul truckers in Poughkeepsie NY, plumbers in Middletown NY, contractors in Kingston NY, electricians in Rhinebeck NY. If you use your truck or car for your business then you need commercial auto insurance.

#commercialautoinsurance #contractors #electricians #longhaultruckers #shorthaultruckers #plumbers #insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance #hudsonvalley #maybrookny #poughkeepsieny #middletownny #kingstonny #rhinebeckny

 

Coverage your Small Business might be missing

A huge round of applause to all Hudson Valley small business owners!!!!  Let’s hear it for those brave men and women who took their dreams and made them a reality,  for they are truly the backbone of our community.

We know that you’re busy, you’re often so busy working at your business that you may not have time to discuss your specific business insurance needs with your insurance agent.  Who has time for that?

A better question would be this:  What happens if I don’t take the time to protect my small business?

Hudson Valley Agents is a small business like many others our area.  We understand that your time is precious, ours is too.  So, if your business is missing any of the coverage shown in this 1 minute & 30-second video give us a call (845-778-2141).  No muss, no fuss, just fast affordable insurance coverage from one small business owner to another.

#smallbusinessinsurance  #assetprotection  #insurelocal  #HudsonValley

Are you covered for tree removal after a tornado?

Parts of the Hudson Valley are still cleaning up from the storm that spawned 4 tornadoes on Tuesday, May 18, 2018, it was a storm that many of us will never forget. 4 tornadoes touched down in our area that day; 2 in Putnam county, 1 is Orange county, and 1 in Ulster county. One of the Putnam county tornadoes was verified to be an EF2, that means that this particular twister had winds that clocked in between 113 and 157 miles per hour and was capable of turning the debris it created into missiles and ripping the roofs off of houses, YIKES! Orange hosted an EF0 strength twister, winds at 40-72 miles per hour with the capability to uproot shallowly rooted trees and tumble brick chimneys. Ulster county’s EF1’s winds blew in at 73-112 miles per hour and were capable of blowing mobile homes off of their foundations. This storm was no joke.

If you think that these tornadoes were just a freak occurrence, think again. From September 20, 1975 – May 2000 there were 11 verified tornadoes in Ulster county. Orange county also had 11, theirs were first recorded on July 25, 1969 – July 11, 2011, and Orange county has a body count. Dutchess has had 11 as well, August 7, 1978 – June 25, 2006.

On Wednesday morning our phones began to ring, it seemed like everyone in our local community of Walden, and Motgomery NY had some damage done to their home or vehicles. Large branches and sometimes entire trees littered our roads and yards, schools were closed or delayed, and everyone had the same question; “Am I covered for tree removal?” The answer, more often than not, was not something they wanted to hear.

Tree removal is one of those things that 99.9% of homeowners insurance policies DO NOT ROUTINELY COVER. Shocking, isn’t it? Other catastrophes that are not covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy are:

  • Mold removal
  • Earthquakes
  • Termites
  • Flood

A homeowners policy is designed to help you repair your home and generally does not cover your yard, so if a tree falls and does not land on your home, there is usually no coverage. Unless you have had your policy endorsed with specific add on overages that have been developed recently, pests, earth movement, flood, and mold have never been covered.  Call you agent to see if you can have some of these newer endorsements added to your policy. It will cost more but some companies now offer sub-coverages such as tree removal, fungus abatement, earthquake, pest damage, and even a limited flood endorsement is now being made available by one of our carriers. For those of you that do not have a flood insurance policy but are still a little concerned about the possibility of flooding due to a change in the topography in your area, call your agent to find out. That added coverage is incredibly affordable and really comes in handy when the Hudson Valley’s weather decides to go big or go home.

When was the last time you sat down with your insurance agent? Insurance is asset protection, don’t wait for a disaster to find out that you are under insured.

#insurelocal  #homeownersinsurance  #hudsonvalleyinsurance  #hudsonvalley

Why is my car insurance so expensive?

Everyone has wondered why their car insurance is so expensive, everyone. Your Uncle Joe’s neighbor’s best friend only pays $19.99 a month for his brand new SUV, why are you paying $200 for a 2010 Peugeot? The answer makes more sense than you might think.

Uncle’s Joe’s neighbor’s best friend, for simplicity, let’s call him Uncle Joe’s Neighbor, might have a perfect credit score, a spotless driving record, and live in a low traffic area (like Rosendale NY), and drive a 2018 Honda. Also, Uncle Joe’s neighbor is most likely telling “fish tales.” You know, embellishing, because nobody pays $19.99 a month for car insurance anywhere in NY, but we’ve all heard these stories though am I right

Also, Your credit score might be 380, you have a ticket maybe an accident on your driving record, and you might be living and driving your 2010 Peugeot in Newburgh NY. These things all change how the car insurance companies look at your rates.

 

Let me explain:

– Car insurance companies look at your credit score, the higher the credit score the lower the insurance rate. They see people with lower credit scores as being a higher risk for fraud. This reasoning is based on strong statistical analysis. Unfortunately, like all statistics, it doesn’t hold true for everyone in that situation but when you are a company insuring tens of thousands of people, you have to rely on statistics.

– The car you chose can also increase your rates astronomically. Hondas are everywhere and the parts are affordable, making them cheaper to repair if they’re ever in an accident. Peugeot is a whole different ball of wax. This company is not widely sold in the US and the parts to repair/replace are very expensive. Which care do you think is cheaper to insure? If you said the Honda, you would be correct.

– Your driving record shows the insurance companies what to expect from you, a clean driving records lets them know that you are either an excellent driver or you are just really good at avoiding speed traps. A driving record filled with speeding tickets, moving violations, and DWI/DUI’s lets them know that they had better get all the money they can from you PRONTO.

– Where you live has an impact on your rates as well. The closer you live to NYC, counties like Rockland or Westchester pay higher rates than those who live in Ulster or Dutchess counties. There are caveats if you live in Newburgh (Orange Co) or Poughkeepsie (Dutchess Co) your rates will most likely be higher than someone who lives in Otisville (Orange Co) or Pine Plains (Dutchess). Why do you ask? Because these areas are more densely populated and have a higher rate of accidents as well as break-ins and car theft, and these things drive up YOUR car insurance rates.

– Your insurance carrier. Every carrier has their own rating system so every carrier has their own price. Their price is based on their experience. If company A had $1,000,000 in claims payouts over the last 2 years and company B had only $300,000 in claims paid out over the same period, then company B will have a lower rate the following year due to better results.

Working with an independent agent like Hudson Valley Agents can significantly reduce your monthly car insurance payments without any reduction in coverage (and maybe even improved coverage’s.) Imagine going to an agency that only has one company (company A) or going to another agency that has company A, company B, company C, D, E, F… Where do you think you’ll do better?


Here are some things that do not impact your auto insurance rates in NY:
– Driving a red car
– Whether or not you wear glasses
– Your height or weight
– Your occupation

Do not be fooled by those incredibly low prices you see in commercials or the internet. Unless you understand coverage limits and insurance lingo, you may find yourself seriously underinsured.



#carinsurancerates  #HudsonValleyInsurance  #insurelocal  #carinsurance #whyaremyratessodamnhigh

Insuring the Hudson Valley’s breweries

‘Crafting’ the right insurance coverage for breweries and distilleries

Nothing’s hotter right now than craft breweries and distilleries. They’re bubbling up seemingly everywhere, sometimes in the most unlikely of places.

These hopped-up entrepreneurs are creating locally-sourced, handmade beers, meads, wines, spirits, ciders, and kombuchas that occasionally find a global audience based on their quality and/or their quirkiness.

By the very nature of their production methods, these businesses also offer new risks to be considered when looking at business insurance coverage.

First, a significant initial investment must be made in temperature-sensitive machinery and equipment. A broken-down fermentation vat could create a serious financial hit for a smaller producer, both in repair costs and loss of the batch.

Flammables such as grain dust and alcohol vapors also present a very real risk. Distillers and brewers need to make sure they have sufficient systems – such as adequate ventilation and explosion-proof switches that do not create an electric arc – before they seek coverage.

In such cases, equipment breakdown and spoilage coverages are essential components, and loss of income coverage can be a handy safeguard.

Drones are also a very new risk factor. Some craft beverage producers grow their own grains or grapes. The drones are used to streamline inspection of the fields and vines – but with some models weighing in at 50 lbs. or more, the potential for injury or property damage is very real. Personal use of drones for entertainment can sometimes be covered by a homeowner’s policy, but drones operated for commercial use are much more strictly regulated and require very specific liability coverages.

If you are just starting to build your craft empire, or even if you just want to be sure you are correctly insured, contact your independent insurance agent. They can help you navigate your way to a sparkling future.

For further information on insuring your brewery, winery, or distillery, please contact Philip Bender-Tymon at Hudson Valley Agents, the Hudson Valley’s best local independent insurance agency.   845-778-2141

#drinklocal  #eatlocal  #shoplocal  #insurelocal

Insuring your Hudson Valley farm

“Agriculture is civilization.” – E. Emmons

Today’s blog is the first in a series of written by David J Bonne, VP for Hudson Valley Agents.  David had a  dream of providing locally sourced insurance coverage (yep, we can do that by insuring businesses with Hudson Valley insurance companies.) for the Valley’s farmers, farmer’s markets, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries and he has turned that dream into a reality.

Farm to Table Series, Pt 1 – The Farm

When it comes to insuring your assets such as your farm, it’s really easy to make a mistake and either over insure your properties our of sheer paranoia, or under insure them in order to try to save money.  Also, there is a broad spectrum of insurances to choose from, and picking the right coverages for the right amounts can be critical to keeping your farm afloat.

The first thing you should know is that one size does not fit all when it comes to insuring farms.  Thinking about your liability exposure first, the more acres you have, the greater the exposure is, just on the math alone.  Nosy wandering trespassers, subcontracted laborers, employees, visitors, and customers can all get hurt easily on farm property no matter how hard you try to prevent it.  Sometimes even the smallest, most frivolous claims can turn into tens of thousands of dollars in defense costs.  Depending on the size, type, and structure of your farming operations, some non-attached parcels may not be covered correctly, if at all.  These are the things that must be discussed with your agent before accepting your policy terms.

Next, there is the issue of properly insuring farm property which can fall into several different categories and is rarely lumped into one.

  • Non-attached buildings for instance.  On a standard homeowners policy and maybe even on a country squire/small hobby farm policy, non-attached buildings are usually sub-limits of the home-dwelling amount.  However, on a standard farm, those other buildings usually cost way more to repair or replace than those sub-limits afford.  In many cases, the barn alone can cost much more than the farmhouse, and in most cases, there are quite a few outbuilding structures such as run-in sheds, barns, utility sheds, garages, etc.  In all those situations the farm owner needs to be aware of the settlement option on those buildings.  Are they insured for full replacement value, actual depreciated cash value, or possibly an agreed upon value, and for the correct amounts?  With a standard farm policy, you can usually pick and choose which buildings to insure and set an agreed upon value.  This can be a helpful tool in controlling your costs.
  • Farm equipment is another aspect of farm property.  On a home or hobby farm policy, the contents coverage as a sbulimit of the home may or may not suffice here, but on a standard or larger commercial farm, it most certainly will not.  Properly insuring farm equipment can be tricky and requires the advice of a really good agent.  In many cases, the farm equipment can swarf the building coverages.  A realy good tractor can cost upwards of $250,000, not to mention irrigators, duster, plows, bailers, wagons, combines, the list goes on.  Once again, having the correct settlement option and valuations on your equipment is vital.  Also, are you co-insuring your equipment?  Many policies offer the option and in some cases only offer this optoin to co-insure.  Which means you may still be on the hook for a good portion of your loss in the event of a claim.  Then there is choosing the right dedctible as well.  Is your equipment scheduled or just blankedted with one lump sum of coverage, and is that the correct way to do it in your specialized case?

Now, on to your crops and/or livestock.  Crops and livestock are not automatically covered under ANY policy.  They have to be endoresed and specified in the policy.  Once they are, how do you know exatly what they are covered for?  Tornado, flooding, pestulance, pests, or wildfire?  Before buying crop insurance, it is vital that the farmer submits an accurate representation of the planted aceage they have per unit.  If they underreport, there may not be reimbursement for all losses they could realistically experience.  Livestock also has many different options and requirements.  There is mortality insurance, transit coverage, auction coverage, cattle cage, pasture, etc. An equine racehorse farm would have very different needs than a cattle farm or a crop farm.  Make sure you have the correct insuracne policy in hand.  Crop and livestock coverage can be partially funded by the USDA as well.

Workers Compensation is also vital to having a legally operating farm when you employ people.  Contrary to what some believe, there are NO EXCEPTIONS for farm workers, they must be insured by a worker’s compensation policy in NY.

As a farmer, you have many obligations, not just to your family and employees, but to your vendors, distributors, and even your insurance company.  Like any insurance policy, there are strict requirements on the part of the policyholder to safeguard their property and minimize the chance of a loss as much as possible.  If you are not familiar with your obligations to your insurance carrier, then it is time for a review of your policies.  If you have not discussed your insurance with anyone in quite some time, then you are overdue for a review of your current policies.  Farm insurance is not something to let stagnate or keep buried in a drawer somewhere.

The next installment in our Farm To Table series will be on distilleries, vineyards, craft breweries, and meaderies.

Please contact Dave Jr for further information:  845-778-2141 or davejr@hvagents.com

#farmtotable  #farminsurance  #eatlocal  #insurelocal  #farmtotableinsurance  #HudsonValleyInsurance

Motorcycle insurance for the Hudson Valley

Yesterday one of our clients told us that “Spring is not officially here until you see your first Harley heading to the Gunks.”  and we happen to agree with him!

For all of you first-time riders out there, the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program is the place to learn road safety as well as the rules of the road, and it isn’t just for beginners either, even long-time riders can hone their riding skills.

Motorcycles and bicycles are the most vulnerable of travelers and their safety relies on what they do, and what the cars around them do.   Everyone must look twice and remember to share the road!

Always put safety first, obey the traffic laws, wear the proper gear, and carry the right motorcycle insurance!  

#motorcycleinsurance  #insurelocal  #hudsonvalleyinsurance  #sharetheroad

5 ways to improve your credit score

Did you know that having a low credit score could increase your car insurance rates?

March is National Credit Education month, and that is why our VP, Dave Bonne Jr, took the time to write today’s blog about improving your credit score.

Improving Your Credit Score

Credit scores are designed to measure the risk of default by taking into account various factors in a person’s financial history. Credit scoring is often used in determining prices for auto and homeowner insurance as well. Lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to evaluate the potential risk posed by lending money to consumers and to mitigate losses due to bad debt. Using credit scores, lenders determine who qualifies for a loan, at what interest rate, and to what credit limits. In the United States, a credit score is a number that is based on a statistical analysis of a person’s credit report and is used to represent the creditworthiness of that person-the likelihood that the person will pay his or her debts.

In the case of insurance companies, the likelihood that the person will pay his or her debts directly correlates with their likelihood of filing a claim against their insurance policy. People with lower credit scores have a greater history of filing claims according to an overwhelming amount of research and statistics done over the past 15 years or so. The theory is that when times are tough smaller less relevant claims are now getting submitted to the insurance company, also claims are padded to look bigger so people can get a little extra cash from their company.

A credit score is primarily based on credit report information, typically from the three major credit bureaus. Although the Fair Isaac Corporation develops these credit score versions for the different agencies (known as FICO scores), they are different numbers and are periodically updated to reflect current consumer loan repayment rates. Recently, some of the agencies that generate credit scores have also been generating more specialized insurance scores, which insurance companies then use to rate the quality of potential customers as I mentioned before.

Understanding your credit score is the first step to improving it and making it work in your favor instead of against you. With an improved credit score, lower expenses, proper asset and identity protection, and maybe some extra income on the side, you can eliminate your debt completely in a few years (not a joke) and live a less stressful life. Here are some tips on improving your credit score relatively quickly:

Payment History – Your monthly bills consist of expenses and debt. If the debt is in the form of loans such as credit cards, car payments, mortgages, etc. You must make sure your debt is paid on time every month. Any history of late payments (including missed payments and derogatory payment statuses) is a negative factor. No reported history of payments on any account is also negative because lenders cannot tell whether you paid on time or were late. Some cases of late payments are worse than others. If you have not been late with any payments recently, lenders may think you are responsible and do not (or will no longer) miss payments. Lenders realize that many people occasionally pay late. Therefore, being late with a single payment is typically not as harmful as being late with two or more consecutive payments. Similarly, being late on many accounts is typically worse than being late on one.  Also, lenders may view late payments as a more serious problem if you have collection accounts or negative public records such as bankruptcies or court judgments.  These types of credit records indicate a pattern of credit problems.

Debt To Credit Limit Ratio – Having accounts with a high credit limit or loan amount is a positive factor, because it indicates to a lender that other lenders have trusted you with a lot of credit in the past. On the other hand, having accounts with low credit limits or loan amounts is a negative factor. It may suggest that your credit reports contained information that was of concern to lenders at the time they determined your credit limits or loan amounts. Finally, having no accounts with a reported credit limit or loan amount is a negative factor because lenders cannot evaluate how much other lenders have trusted you with credit so far. It might be beneficial to close the lower limit accounts and ask for higher limits on your preferred accounts.

Activity – Having accounts listed in your credit reports is a positive factor because the payment history of these accounts shows lenders how well you pay your bills. Therefore, having too few accounts or too few open accounts may be considered negative. However, having too many accounts or adding new accounts too quickly may also be considered negative because lenders worry that you are spending (or preparing to spend) beyond your means, even if you have never been late with any payments. Note that closing accounts will not change this. Also, if you do not currently have credit, getting your first few credit cards may be difficult and may involve high fees, high interest rates, and low credit limits. Note that accounts from personal finance companies (which specialize in lending to people with credit problems) may be considered negative.

Revolving Credit Balances – High balances are a negative factor because lenders worry that you are living beyond your means and may not be able to repay them. This is particularly true for credit cards. For installment loans such as mortgages and auto loans, lenders often use the proportion of the loan that is still unpaid to judge your ability to take on new debt. If very little of your installment loan balances have been repaid, lenders may not give you more credit that could add to your debt. In general, lenders evaluate how much you owe (your debt) in relation to how much you earn (your income). However, no matter how high your income, having a lot of debt may lower your credit scores because lenders know that adverse changes in your employment and life events such as divorce or illness may make it hard to pay your bills. Low balances, on the other hand, are a positive factor because lenders do not stand to lose as much if you become unable to repay them. However, not using your credit accounts may be considered a negative factor, because it does not provide lenders with information about how you typically use credit and repay your debts.

Applying For Credit – Applying for credit many times within a short period can lower your credit scores. When you apply for any type of credit (such as an auto loan, credit card, department store card, or mortgage), the lender considering your credit application checks your credit history. This is recorded in your credit reports as a “hard inquiry.” Although inquiries are an unavoidable result of applying for credit, lenders dislike seeing many inquiries within a short period (such as 6 months). This is because they cannot tell whether you are “shopping” for the best offer or if you are desperately trying to get credit because of financial trouble.  Therefore, try to limit your comparison to a small number of lenders when “shopping” for the best offer.

In summary, it is quite easy to improve your credit score by 30-50 points in just a three month period. This could be the difference between paying 25% more or less on your car insurance or getting a credit card or mortgage with rates of 3-5% higher or lower. These little differences will most definitely affect your ability to get ahead of the game. People that pay more for insurances and have higher interest rates on their loans will never become debt free or get out from under it all.

David J Bonne is a 27- year insurance and financial planning professional. David is co-owner and Vice President of Hudson Valley Agents in Walden NY and specializes in helping people protect their life and wealth.

For further information on how to check your credit score, click here.

For further information about car insurance, call, click, or stop by our office!

#creditscore  #crediteducationmonth  #insurelocal  #carinsurance #HudsonValley

Important insurance info for band parents!

Today’s blog comes to you from our office band geek, Philip Bender-Tymon (pictured above).

Blow that horn, baby (but insure it first)!

I had the good fortune to grow up in a musically talented family. I also attended a great Midwestern high school that had a fantastic music program where I played various instruments in concert band, swing band, orchestra, and marching band.

Playing music as part of a group taught me many lessons about teamwork, discipline, and respect. And not just respect for my fellow musicians – but for the instruments.

I also learned – the hard way – that those instruments can be extremely expensive to repair or replace. My parents once wrote a pretty hefty check to repair a crumpled tuba bell following a marching band misadventure.

 

Today, it can cost $400-500 just to repair a school-grade brass instrument – double or triple that for professional quality brass horns. And when it comes to stringed instruments – violins, cellos, etc. – it can cost thousands of dollars to replace one.

That’s why it can pay to have insurance for them, especially if that’s how you make your living. Transporting and shipping your beloved instrument multiplies the risk.

Basic musical instrument insurance or endorsements can cost as little as $150 a year (without shipping coverage). A small price to pay for peace of mind.

Contact Hudson Valley Agents to find out more.  (845)-778-2141

And play on!!

#bandgeek  #insurelocal  #musicalinstrumentinsurance  #waldenNY  #HudsonValley

Do inventors need patent insurance?

Do you need patent insurance?

For people who design or invent new things, patenting your idea is a form of insurance. Once you’ve patented your ‘intellectual property’ (IP), you now have a set of standardized legal protections in place should anyone try to steal or copy it.

But what most folks don’t know is that defending yourself against a claim of patent infringement – or taking legal action against someone who has infringed upon or stolen your IP – can be very, very expensive.

In the years since the patenting system was first created, the types and number of patents registered each year have exploded. In 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office estimated that there were more than nine million unexpired patents. That’s a LOT of IP to keep track of.

A relatively recent development in the patenting world is the ‘patent troll’. A patent troll is a person or company who acquires patents and attempts to enforce their patent rights through aggressive legal tactics including frivolous litigation and harassment. Patent trolls can cost companies and individuals untold amounts in legal fees.

Accordingly, there are two basic types of patent infringement insurance:

  • Patent infringement liability insurance helps protect manufacturers, users, and sellers of IP who are accused of infringing a patent holder’s rights (like by a patent troll). Defense coverage is provided and might include additional profits and royalties to be turned over to the patent holder.
  • Patent enforcement litigation Insurance covers the owner of a patent against infringement by another person. It includes the cost of legal defense to enforce the patent. The policy includes a co-payment provision, usually 25%. Excluded are the liability for compensatory or consequential damages, fines, punitive damages, exemplary damages, and multiple damages.

So, if you have a patent, you should at least have patent enforcement insurance. And if you don’t have patents on your product line, you should carry patent infringement insurance,

The cost of patent insurance varies greatly – from a few hundred dollars a year to many thousands – depending on the amounts and types of coverage, among other variables having to do with the IP itself.

For further information, contact David or Philip at Hudson Valley Agents 845-778-2141

#insurelocal  #patentinsurance  #protectyourintellectualproperty