Financial Planning And Your Insurance

October is Financial Planning Month, and we want you to know how important your insurance agent is to this plan.

Your insurance agent is a smart cookie, seriously, especially if they are an independent rather than a captive agent. Captive agents can only sell you the insurance policies that their company offers; State Farm and Geico are examples of captive agencies. Independent agents write policies with MANY different companies. That ensures that you have coverage that can be customized to fit your individual needs.

1- Life Insurance. This one is obvious. Planning for your family’s future MUST include Life Insurance. Want to make sure that your family can continue to thrive and survive after you are gone? Call us for a stressfree Life Insurance quote.

2- Homeowners Insurance – If you have a mortgage, you have to have Homeowners coverage, but when was the last time you had it checked out? Upgrades to the home change the cost of what it takes to rebuild it if your house becomes damaged. You may have updated your kitchen with a natural stone flooring, but your homeowner’s policy was written way back when you had linoleum, and that’s what they are going to pay to replace.

3- Renters Insurance. Your Landlord’s insurance does not cover your couch or your laptop. Renters Insurance is surprisingly inexpensive, and most companies will discount your car insurance if you purchase both policies. Total win/win and smart financial planning.

4- Disability Income Insurance. Should you become injured or ill and unable to return to work, this policy has your back.

For more ways your independent insurance agent can help you plan for your financial future, give us a call. 845-778-2141. Hudson Valley Agents has 30+ insurance companies to work with, 30 years in the business, and outstanding Google reviews! Find out what a difference an Independent Insurance Agent can make, call, click, or stop by and say Hi.

We’re Trying To Figure Out If Santa Needs Commercial Auto Insurance Or Airplane Coverage…

Ashley celebrating National Ugly Sweater Day!

The holidays are here and everyone has a lot on their plate. Gift wrapping, tree trimming, cookie baking, we get it.

But have you ever wondered what your insurance agent thinks about during the holiday season? We think about Santa Claus. We think about Santa Claus and what it would be like to insure him. We even made a video about it!

The horror of trying to write commercial auto insurance for Santa Claus

Would Santa’s sleigh qualify as a sled or as aircraft? Can we get coverage for the reindeer? How do we send an inspector to examine his workshop, even Google Maps can’t find Santa’s workshop! Don’t get us started on Workers Comp Insurance coverage for the elves…

If Santa Claus needed insurance we could find it for him, for him and all of his elves too. We’re just that good.

Happy Holidays Hudson Valley, may all your days be merry and bright.

Get To Know Ashley, Our Car Insurance Guru!

If you have ever called 845-778-2141, or stopped by our office in Walden, then you have more than likely met Ashley Berry.

Ashley has been with Hudson Valley Agents since 2013. If you have car insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or motorcycle insurance with us, then you have spoken to her or met her at our office. She handles our personal lines, and she is one of the very best in the business.


We thought it would be fun to sit her down and interview her about life, insurance, and the holidays.

Question – Is being an insurance agent boring?
Ashley – LOL! It actually isn’t. I really enjoy helping my clients find the right policy for their needs, I would want someone to do the same for me.
Question – What is the one thing that you want your clients to know about your job?
Ashley – Quoting insurance takes time. I really want to ensure that my clients have the best coverage for their dollar, and we work with 30+ companies.
Question – If you were not an insurance CSR, what would you be?
Ashley – I would be a meteorologist!
Question – What is your favorite movie?
Ashley – “Better Off Dead” I want my $2!!!!!
Question – What is your favorite holiday?
Ashley – Thanksgiving! Can’t go wrong with food and family.

Ashley’s customer service is legendary. Seriously. Just go to Google and check out the reviews for Hudson Valley Agents, we’ll wait.

See! Ashley is personally mentioned over and over again as someone who makes insurance a pleasant, dare we say enjoyable, experience.

Find out what she can do for you, call, click, or stop by. We’re always here to help. #HudsonValleyInsurance #insurelocal

Welcome To Insurance That Actually Makes You Smile!

People often ask us what makes us different from other insurance agencies, and that is a question that can be difficult to answer.

You see, every insurance agency is the same, but they are also quite different. Captive agencies like State Farm or GEICO can only offer you the insurance products that they carry. These companies have one or two different types of car insurance coverage, and they have little to no wiggle room when it comes to cost and coverage.

An independent insurance agency can provide you with insurance choices from a variety of different insurance companies. If one company is not a perfect insurance fit for you, we’ll move on to another. We have the freedom to shop around, thus ensuring that you have the policy you need at an appropriate price.

We know that insurance can be confusing; it is a legally binding contract between yourself and the insurance company. Hudson Valley Agents is the broker who acts on your behalf, the agency who ensures that the insurance company holds up their end of the bargain. We stand for truth, justice, and the American… wait, um, sorry, that’s Superman.

In our small way, we really are superheroes. Our sole purpose is to ensure that our clients can rebuild their lives and businesses after a catastrophe. Break free from those captive insurance agencies and enjoy the freedom that comes with having an independent insurance agent. #insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance #insurancesuperhero

We Love InsuringClassic Cars!

July 12, 2019, is Collector Car Appreciation Day!

Classic car insurance is different than regular auto insurance – classic cars are not meant to be driven regularly. This means that in general, classic car liability premiums are lower because the risk on the road is reduced.

Mileage – Accordingly, carriers often limit the number of miles you can drive your classic vehicle annually. Some are more generous than others – while some have stricter limits rewarded by lower premiums. Always be sure to check before signing on the dotted line to be sure you can drive to attend all the shows you want.

Some specialty classic car insurers offer replacement cost to what is called “Agreed Value” (or Guaranteed Value). This means that the car owner tells the insurer what they consider to be the value of their classic car. The insurer will confirm the accuracy and the two parties will ‘agree’ to a final guaranteed replacement value.

“Stated Value” refers to an amount that is ‘stated’ at the beginning of the policy – supported by documentation supporting the replacement cost. However, in the case of a loss, the insurance company does not guarantee that amount and will pay either the stated value of the actual cash value of the vehicle, whichever is less.

Commercial insurance for classic car dealers is also available. Insurance for this type of business can cover:

Damage to vehicles you own and are selling

Damage to vehicles owned by others in your care, custody, and control

Loss or damage to collectibles, memorabilia or products sold by the dealership

Physical damage to property, gas pumps or equipment

To learn more about personal and commercial classic car coverage, contact your independent insurance agent.

And if you’re in the Hudson Valley, come see us at our Hudson Valley Agents booth at the Fair Street Reformed Church’s Seventh Annual Classic Car Show in Kingston, NY on Saturday, August 17 at the corner of Fair and Pearl Streets in Uptown Kingston. #classiccarinsurance #insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance

Teen Driver Safety Week

Do you know what the #1 cause of death is for teens in the USA?  Car accidents.  Why do teens tend to have so many fatal car accidents?  This video has some of the answers-

Parents have a huge responsibility when it comes to their teens getting behind the wheel, responsibility, and fear.

Never fear!  We know of an outstanding defensive driving course, we offer affordable first-time driver insurance coverage,  and there are THE RULES

Making sure that your teenager has affordable, quality car insurance is just one of the things that we do really well, and we know all of the tips and tricks to “insure” that you have the coverage you need.  If you have questions about insuring your teen driver, give Hudson Valley Agents a call, 845-778-2141.  #teendriversafety  #insurelocal  #HudsonValleyInsurance

Is Your Insurance Ready For Hurricane Season?

As I write this Hurricane Florence is predicted to hit the Carolina’s, and evacuation plans are already in place.  We truly hope that everyone in its path remains safe.

Hurricanes rarely impact those of us in the Hudson Valley, but remember Hurricane Irene and all the damage that arrived with her?  When the winds and rains hit, they leave behind destruction that the average homeowner never expected and many people find that their insurance does not cover some pretty major expenses.

We want our fellow Hudson Valley residents to be prepared, everyone from Westchester to Albany should know what their insurance will and will not cover in the event of a hurricane.

HOMEOWNERS-

  • Flooding.  Flooding by rivers, ponds, and lakes are only covered if you have already purchased a separate flood policy.
  • Tree removal. You must purchase a separate endorsement to cover this.
  • Back up of sewer and drains.  This is not standard on every homeowners policy, but many independent insurance agents will make sure they add it on.  Double check your policy or contact your agent for details.
  • Mold removal.  Mold removal is complicated, it is usually covered by insurance but your agent needs to discuss the hows, whens, and whys.

CAR INSURANCE

  • Flooding.  This is covered by the Comprehensive part of your Comp and Collision coverage.  If you are carrying the New York State minimum amount of insurance coverage, then all costs to fix this will be out of pocket.
  • Damage to your car by falling trees.  This is also covered by the Comprehensive portion of your Comp and Collision coverage.  Everyone else will have to pay their repair bills out of pocket.

Many insurance companies will not allow you to add extra coverage to your existing policy if there is a storm predicted to hit the area.  The best time to purchase additional insurance coverage is before the event is predicted, not afterward.

The time to ensure that your home and car is properly insured is right now, not the day before the hurricane is supposed to hit, we can help with that.  Call Hudson Valley Agents today for fast, friendly, affordable insurance coverage that actually covers what you need covered.

Youtube your way to insurance knowledge

Our Youtube channel has many fun and informational videos to answer many of your insurance questions.

Like this one about why some car insurance rates are higher than others –

#lowcarinsurancerates

Or this one, it’s all about UFO’s visiting Pine Bush –

Motorcycle insurance questions?  We have answers!

#motorcycleinsurance

Opening up a new distillery in the Hudson Valley?  We can help with that too!

#distilleryinsurance

Get to know Hudson Valley Agents, find out what a local, independent insurance agency can do for you –

College students and insurance, what you need to know

Graduation day has come and gone; now it’s time to look towards college and how these changes can impact your home and auto insurance.

Let’s look at your homeowner’s insurance first:

THE GOOD NEWS

  • 9 times out of 10 your current homeowners’ policy will cover losses that occur while your child is living on campus.  Many companies will not honor this if your child is over the age of 21.
  • If your child is staying off campus but still in New York state, many companies will still allow your homeowners’ policy to cover them, but they would prefer that a separate renters policy is taken out.

THE BAD NEWS

  • If your student’s dorm room is flooded or catches fire, you have a limited amount of money that your insurance company will pay out.  That amount is anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 unless you took the time to schedule your electronics or requested an additional endorsement, you might not be able to replace all the items that were lost or damaged.  A brand new Mac Book costs $1,299.  A new iPhone can run $1,000 easily and don’t get me started on the cost of textbooks…
  • If your student is enrolled in a technical school, there is a good chance that your homeowners insurance will NOT extend to their living arrangements while attending school.
  • If your student is living off campus and out of state, they really need a renters policy.
  • 90% of insurance companies do not extend coverage to college students over the age of 21.

Now let’s look at your car insurance.

THE GOOD NEWS

  • If your teen has their own car but is on your car insurance and leaves the car at home (meaning that it will not be driven by anyone else until he/she comes home from college), your agent can change your coverage to reflect that.  This can lower your monthly costs.

THE BAD NEWS

  • There’s no bad news.

The first year away at college is daunting to both parents and students alike.  The one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is your insurance coverage.  Hudson Valley Agents has been helping Hudson Valley parents ensure that they and their students have insurance coverage that actually covers the things that matter most.

Congratulations to all of the Class of 2018, good luck in all that you do!

#classof2018  #homeownersinsurance  #carinsurance  #hudsonvalleyagents  #insurelocal  #hudsonvalleyinsurance #rentersinsurance

 

Happy Insurance Awareness Day!

Happy Insurance Awareness Day!

Exciting stuff, right?

Maybe not, but it IS essential that you periodically review your personal and/or business insurance coverage. Preferably before renewal or whenever a major life or business change occurs.

Before I became an insurance agent, I took my own insurance for granted. It was simply a ‘box to check’ on life’s long list of must-dos. But it literally pays off to pay attention.

For example, as a Hudson Valley business owner, your annual payroll and gross sales help determine your premium. If you’ve grown 100% and added 15 employees and your policy is still based on the figures you gave your agent three years ago as a start-up – you could incur a stiff workers compensation penalty or premium bump.

Or say you’ve added some new and very expensive manufacturing equipment. Make sure to increase your coverage so you don’t have to pay that hefty price tag twice when the business unexpectedly floods and your new equipment is destroyed.

And don’t even get me started on cyber liability. Small businesses are increasingly targeted for data breach thefts because they are more likely to process credit cards without the data protection in place of larger businesses. If you take credit cards or store customer information, you need cyber liability.

On the personal insurance front, if you are a homeowner and you’ve built a tiny house for your mother-in-law to live in on your property, but you’re only covered for your original one-car garage for ‘other structures’ – you’ll be sadly disappointed when a huge old tree falls on the tiny house (hopefully while she’s away) and you find you’re not fully covered.

There are also set limits of coverage for your special household items, including silver, artwork, jewelry, and more. If your policy only covers $2,000 for jewelry and you inherit your eccentric (yet lovable) great-aunt’s collection of vintage Tiffany brooches, you’ll need to add a jewelry endorsement to cover the full value.

Circumstances and changes that may not occur to you can greatly impact your coverage and, in some cases, can end up saving you money. Defensive driving courses, reaching a certain age, and even getting a degree can end up lowering your premium, depending on your carrier.

It only takes about 15 minutes to review your coverage(s) with your independent insurance agent (like us, Hudson Valley Agents). We’re here to help you make sure you’ve got the best and most appropriate coverage at the best rate.

It’s your insurance – make sure it’s working for you and not against you.

 #insurelocal  #HudsonValleyInsurance  #HudsonValleyAgents

Philip J. Bender-Tymon