Hudson Valley boat insurance

HVA boat insurance

Some one once said that “Life is always better on a boat” and I happen to agree with that statement. One of the best things about life in the Hudson Valley is the Hudson river and summer and fall is when the views are best and life is good. Owning a boat in the Hudson Valley means that you get to enjoy life on the water with your friends and family and that’s an investment that can’t be beat. Protecting your leisure time asset with the correct amount of boat insurance can be as challenging as navigating the Hudson river and HVA is here to help.

The amount of boat insurance you need depends on the type of boat you own. A canoe or small sail boat could be covered by your homeowners policy (or renters policy) so talk to your insurance agent or take the time to read your policy. Some homeowners policies will even cover your boat trailer as well. You do not have any liability coverage if you rely on your homeowners or renters insurance policy for insurance coverage.

Larger boats and yachts require a separate insurance policy that can specifically address all of the incidents that could happen while boating. You can choose a policy that pays an agreed upon amount should your boat be rendered unusable or you can choose a policy that pays out the actual cash value of your boat at the time of the accident. Once again this is a decision you should make after speaking with an insurance agent. Both types of policies usually do not cover things like mold or damage from zebra mussels. Your boat insurance should include liability coverage and coverage for property damage, guests, and medical coverage for any injuries. If you have expensive fishing gear, fancy gadgets, or a special motor you should make sure that these items are also covered in your policy. Many insurance companies offer discounts for things like diesel engines, boating safety classes, ship to shore radios, and more. Your insurance agent should be able to tell you which discounts you are available.

The US Coast Guard’s website has a list of boating safety courses and boating safety regulations that every boat owner should know. You should also make sure you know who to call if your boat should have mechanical problems while on the Hudson river so make sure you have Sea Tow‘s phone number handy. Before you head out the river make sure that you have everything you need, life jackets, sunscreen, and excellent insurance coverage from the Hudson Valley’s best independent insurance agency – Hudson Valley Agents!

Take a cruise on the Hudson river

hudson river cruising

Monday’s are the worst aren’t they? Especially when your Saturday and Sunday were absolutely perfect, great weather, amusing companions, and zero housework. My Saturday was spent indulging in some pretty terrific barbecue at Kingston’s newest restaurant – Ole Savannah (the Gin & Jam is a must and so are the fried green tomatoes) and then a short Hudson River cruise on the Rip Van Winkle. Cruising the Hudson River is something that every Hudson Valley resident must do at least once in their lives, unless you have your own river worthy water craft that is. After a short nap we headed across the river to Upstate films (real popcorn with real butter and iced coffee too) to catch Sir Ian McKellen in Mr Holmes. Sunday was just a lazier version of Saturday with more naps and less driving. The highlight of the weekend was definitely the Hudson River cruise.

The Rip Van Winkle can be found on the Kingston waterfront, where the Rondout creek meets the Hudson River. This is a relatively short cruise and make sure you bring sunblock!! (I didn’t and I’m still bright red) The ship’s captain give out informational tidbits about the lighthouses and historic homes that you see as you glide along and even stops the cruise to when a bald eagle came to rest on a shoreline pine tree. This is a terrific way to explore the Hudson River and learn about the many different historical homes and lighthouses that dot its shore.

This is not the only Hudson River cruise line in the Hudson Valley. Orange county has the River Rose, Dutchess county has the Empire cruise line, or head to New York City and take a 6 or 7 night cruise up the Hudson River and back again on one of the American Cruise Line ships. It doesn’t matter how you cruise the Hudson River, just cruise it!

Hudson Valley Agents has some of the best rates on boat insurance in the Hudson Valley. They insure personal watercraft as well as yachts and they do it well. Call HVA for all of your Hudson Valley insurance needs today.

Go Fishing Hudson Valley (but call us before you do)


Hey Hudson Valley it’s National Go Fishing day so grab your tackle box and fishing pole and go fish! The Hudson Valley has so many lakes, streams, ponds, and rivers (none as majestic as the mighty Hudson river though) and many of them are fishing friendly. I must admit that I am not part of the fishing tribe, but my father and stepfather were big bass fishing addicts. I can bait a hook, cast a line, and can drive a bass boat but beyond that I’m a fish out of water (so to speak). That’s why I will not be writing about the best places to get your fishing on, I’ll be writing about the best way to protect your fishing assets – fishing poles, expensive lures, and other tools of the fishing trade, I’ll be talking about insurance!

When I sat down to do some research for this blog I had zero idea of just how expensive lures, fishing poles, and reels were. I found a $600 gold spoon lure, a lure for crying out loud! Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t a lure the thing that fish bite on in order for you to hook them? I found a reel that cost $1,259.99, who knew that a fishing reel could cost more than my first car?!?!? You spend a lot of money on your fishing gear and having that gear stolen or lost to the depths of the Hudson river is devastating!

Before you head out today with that $1,259.99 reel and that $600 lure you should call your insurance agent. You paid a whole lot of money for that reel and lure and your homeowners insurance might not cover the loss if they happen to fall overboard. Different homeowners policies are written in different ways so the question of coverage for the loss of the lure and reel that now reside in the watery depths of the Hudson river is difficult to answer. Not every insurance company writes their insurance contracts the same way so talk to your local independent insurance agent.

If your ridiculously expensive reel and lure happen to fall overboard while you are out on your bass boat then you might not have to rely on your homeowners insurance to cover the loss. When you insure your boat you need to carry liability coverage and you should speak to your agent about coverage for equipment and towing too. Did you know that many insurance companies offer discounts for things like Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers? Remember that yachts, speed boats, and wave runners all need insurance and their insurance needs can vary.

We should all celebrate National Go Fishing day, it gives us just one more reason to get outside and explore the rivers, lakes, and streams of our beloved Hudson Valley. Just make sure that you call us before you go. Hudson Valley Agents offers many different discounts for all of your fishing and boating needs and we can cover your home and car as well. Let us reevaluate your current insurance coverage and we might let you know where to find the best fishing spot in the Hudson Valley, once we get our friend and fishing expert Bill Roe to divulge it that is. Bill did give us a quote for today’s blog post though – “Fish On Hudson Valley!”

The Nina & The Pinta are in Newburgh this weekend


Looking for a family friendly outing in the Hudson Valley this weekend? Head over to the Newburgh waterfront and step back in time aboard the Nina and the Pinta!

26 Front Street in Newburgh NY is the home of the Riverfront Marina and that is where the Nina and Pinta will be docked from May 28th thru May 31rst. The ships were built by The Columbus Foundation and they are floating museums that travel all over the place. Where is the Santa Maria you ask, well it seems that the Santa Maria is not a “caravel” type of ship it is a “Nao” and would be unable to travel to all of the places the Nina and the Pinta can easily navigate.

The tours are self guided and relatively inexpensive, adults $8, seniors $7, children 5-16 $6, and kids 4 and under are free. The ships are not wheel chair accessible. The tours last about a half an hour and crew members are available for questions. The Nina is an exact replica of Christopher Columbus’s ship but the Pinta is larger than the Nina. This was done in order to accommodate more people thus allowing this ship to be used for charters and other events.

After you are done touring these historic ships take a ride on the Hudson River on The River Rose or keep with the historical theme and tour George Washington’s headquarters. There’s great dining on the waterfront too!

Get outside and explore our Hudson Valley & feel free to share your pics and adventures with us on our Facebook page! We’ll see you on Monday with more #HudsonValleylove and information about why you should always #insurelocal with #hudsonvalleyagents.



Meet some of the insurance companies HVA works with

hva logo

You won’t find the insurance companies we work with blasting their jingles from your radio, they don’t have cavemen or lizards for mascots, and you won’t find any spots stadiums bearing their names and believe it or not this is a really good thing. There is a reason for this – when the product that you offer has real value to the people who purchase it word of mouth can be the best advertising!

Whenever I work out of our Walden office I often hear our clients talking to Kathy and Ashley, they say things like – “I’ve never heard of Maphre before you quoted me my car insurance, but I’m really happy I went with them.” or “I didn’t know that Preferred Mutual is a New York State insurance company, talk about keeping it local!” When you call Hudson Valley Agents for an insurance quote you might not always recognize the names of the insurance companies we work with and that is why I wanted to introduce you to a few of them today.

Preferred Mutual – This Chenango county based company was founded in 1896 and they only work with independent agents. The Professional Insurance Agents (aka PIA) ranks them as the 4th top performer in New York state.


Maphre– This company began in 1972 in Webster, Massachusetts and went by the name The Commerce Group. Today they are known as Maphre and they have branched out to 19 US states.

Mercury Insurance – Mercury Insurance is a California based company and it has been in business for over 50 years.


Before HVA decides to work with an insurance company our VP, Dave Jr, looks them over from stem to stern. They have to offer his clients great insurance at reasonable prices and they must address insurance claims quickly and fairly. If an insurance company cannot give our clients the best insurance value for their hard earned money then we will not work with them.

Take a moment to get to know HVA and the insurance companies we work with and then give us a call at 778-2141. You and your bank account will be very happy you did.  Low cost NY insurance that still comes with a live agent!

The Hudson river’s own monster, Kipsy


The Hudson river is the crown jewel of New York state and it is said that it even has it’s own monster, Kipsy. Some say that Kipsy is just a myth, some say that the 2006 sightings were nothing more than a manatee (an overly large one at that), and still others say that Champ (of Lake Champlain fame) just comes by to visit. Could the Hudson river actually hide a sea monster?

The Hudson river starts at Lake Tear of the Clouds and travels 315 miles to the Atlantic ocean. The Hudson river is 200 feet deep at it’s deepest point, but is that deep enough to hide a sea monster? There are so many things to factor into the equation that I’m more than a little stumped.

The New York Times published a report about a sea serpent sighting on the Hudson river in Weehawken NJ on June 9th 1899. It seems that Kipsy has been around for quite some time doesn’t it? The New York Times reported sightings of a oversized manatee in 2006, I’m still wondering what in the world a manatee was doing checking out the Hudson river, aren’t they usually Florida dwelling creatures? The last reported sighting of Kipsy was supposedly in 2009, I can’t help but wonder who on earth was it reported to?

The Hudson Valley is filled with stories of things that just cannot be explained. Hudson Valley residents are used to hearing stories about haunted church yards and alien encounters (I’m looking at you Pine Bush) but there has been very little said about our sea monster. Is Kipsy just another Hudson Valley legend or is there really something unknown swimming around our river?

So before you and your boat head out for another glorious Hudson river boat season give your insurance agent a ring. Making sure that your boat insurance will cover sea monster attacks (or should this be river monster?) should be a priority. Call HVA for all of your boating insurance needs, and if you happen to snap a picture of Kipsy please share it with us!  BTW – there is supposed video of Kipsy, click here to see it, if you dare!

Life in the biggest little city in the Hudson Valley


We all know that the Hudson Valley is a fantastic place to live. We have easy access to NYC and easy access to our own local cities as well. We aren’t a “party all night/sleep all day” place but we still know how to party. We have plays, live music, business growth, plenty of parks to hike and bike in, the best restaurants, great wineries, fantastic breweries, and an up and coming distillery scene. What’s not to love about living in the Hudson Valley?

When my significant other and I decided to cohabitate we knew we needed to be in the Hudson Valley and in either Orange county, Dutchess county, or Ulster county. We sat down and discussed the pros and cons of each county, we had both grown up in Orange county (Scotchtown for him, Newburgh and Mount Hope for me) and neither of us felt it was a good fit for us now. We considered Dutchess county simply because I had lived there before and raised my daughter there. Ulster county was the one big unknown, we had both visited it on day trips, Woodstock and Kingston’s water front district were our usual haunts, but neither of us knew what it would be like to live there. In 2013 we rented an apartment in Kingston and plunged into getting to know our new city. We kept telling each other that if we did not like this new place we could always move. It’s now 2015 and we have been in our house for just over a year. Kingston is now home.

I was hesitant to move to a city. If you are at all familiar with Mount Hope then you understand why, nothing but cow pastures and trees as far as the eye can see out there. Life in a city with an active freight train that runs through it takes a little getting used to but the occasional wait at a train crossing is nothing when you compare it to everything else this city has to offer. Yes, there are seedy sections but even the most rundown parts of Kingston look better than anywhere in the city of Newburgh or Poughkeepsie. Kingston is a city on the upswing, something Newburgh and Poughkeepsie are still striving to do.

Family and friends often make a point of coming to visit us in Kingston and we still aren’t sure if they come for us or the city itself. Aunt Ro likes the historical buildings and the cemetery at the Old Dutch Church (Kingston was the very first capitol of New York State), Aunt Janie likes the unique shops and the Kingston Candy Bar (Best. Candy. Anywhere.), both of their spouses love the restaurants as well as The Stockade Tavern and Keegan Ales. The big bonus is that we are five minutes from the Thruway so visiting from Utica or Long Island is a breeze.

Our typical summertime Saturday morning consists of a seven minute walk uptown to the Kingston Farmers Market to buy produce, peanut butter, and quiche, then a walk over to Outdated Café for brunch and antiquing. All through the spring, summer, fall, and winter I have access to locally sourced food within a seven minute walk from my front door, this! Our Farmers Market is huge and practically on the doorstep of every single restaurant uptown making the Saturday night dinner specials even more special. Oh, and if you happen to be gluten free you’ll find that almost every restaurant has gluten free options that are divine.

Business rents are incredibly reasonable, some are downright cheap compared to Dutchess or Orange counties. As a matter of fact you can even rent office space in an opera house! The local government officials work hard to make sure businesses come and stay in the area, it’s nice to have everyone working towards a common goal.

Kingston is not without its problems. A high school desperately in need of repairs, traffic patterns that make zero sense, and ancient water mains. Yes there is crime, yes there is are places you might not want to walk around in at night but it is a city not a village. Even with these issues Kingston is a wonderful place to live, this is where Hippies and Hipsters come to coexist! Can you believe that there is even a #movetokingstonnow movement?!?

Were you aware of the fact that where you live has an impact on your insurance rates? Before you put down roots in a new place talk to an independent insurance agent. Insuring your home and car may be more expensive in some areas and less expensive in others. Hudson Valley Agents understands the insurance needs of the Hudson Valley and they work with New York State based insurance companies to bring their clients the best rates with great coverage. It’s not quite farm to table insurance but we can insure your farm and your table too! Give them a call today at 778-2141!

4 Things you never knew about insurance agents


I spoke to a woman today who told me that she is paying way too much for insurance but she will not change companies because she’s uncomfortable trusting any insurance agent to not be “a sleaze ball”, and that my friend’s is an exact quote. I told her about Hudson Valley Agents, I even went so far as to say, “Hudson Valley Agents is the Hudson Valley’s best family owned independent insurance agency!”, talk about shameless promotion! I think insurance agents have an undeserved bad reputation so today’s blog should help clean that up.

Independent insurance agents are some of the hardest working people in the insurance business and perhaps it is time we acknowledged this fact. Before one can actually call themselves an insurance agent they have to learn the business, they have to study and pass a state licensing test and have hours of continuing education to keep that license. They need to be versed in many different types of insurance and have a well honed business sense. They must calmly and compassionately help clients who have just suffered a tragedy (house fire, car accident, death of a loved one). They are part financial planner, part counselor, part insurance law expert, and part business person all rolled up in one.

When you look for a new independent insurance agent there are things you need to keep in mind –

1- It isn’t all about money. A good insurance agent will find you the best coverage available even if it is with a company that pays the agent a low commission. The client must come first.

2- They have to give above average customer service. Normally people only speak to their insurance agent when they first purchase their policy, when they need to add or subtract something from their policy, or when they need to make a claim. They have only two or three interactions in which to make a positive impression. When a client needs to make a claim or change their coverage they expect to be taken care of promptly and professionally so good customer service is the key to repeat business.

3- You need to be pretty darn smart to be an insurance agent. Life insurance, business insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, boat insurance, classic car insurance, vacation insurance, wedding insurance, and many, many other types of insurance policies are sold by the same agency and your agent should be able to answer any question you have about any aspect of your policy.

4- Independent insurance agencies are usually a family affair. Our agency is a father and son agency and together they have several decades of insurance knowledge. When something is part of your family you work harder for it. Your business reputation and your family reputation go hand in hand.

Remember the lady I spoke of in the beginning of the blog? She just called me and asked for Hudson Valley Agent’s phone number (845-778-2141). She told me that if anyone could speak so highly of her insurance agent then they must be worth looking into! When you find a great insurance agent it’s kind of hard to keep quiet about it so if you love your insurance agent tell a friend or two and share the love. Hudson Valley Agents is the Hudson Valley’s best family owned independent insurance agency. Let them show you that the best insurance in the Hudson Valley can be found at Hudson Valley Agents.

Captive insurance agents VS Non-Captive insurance agents


Insurance is everywhere, at least in the advertising world. Sit down to watch your favorite half hour sitcom and you will see at least three insurance commercials. Pick up a magazine or look at a website and you’ll see an advertisement for insurance. Car insurance, renters insurance, business insurance, homeowners insurance, pet insurance, and more bombard our every waking moment and yet most of us put our insurance needs on auto pilot and never think of it again.

The majority of heavily advertised insurance companies have captive agents, captive agents work for one company only and can only offer you the insurance products that their company carries. Those choices may or may not be a perfect insurance fit for your insurance needs and that could leave your assets unprotected. These captive agents are also unable to help you shop around for better coverage or better insurance rates. I liken it to eating at a restaurant that only offers two choices for breakfast, two choices for lunch, and two choices for dinner. You really have no choices at all.

Hudson Valley Agents is not a captive agency, it’s just not our style. We work with many different insurance companies that believe that their insurance products speak for themselves so heavy advertising is not necessary. Dave Jr has personally chosen to work with insurance companies that offer great value as well as above average coverage. We work with companies like Mapfre Insurance, Safeco Insurance, and Preferred Mutual to name a few. Several of the insurance companies we work with are New York State based, that means you have the chance to really insure local!

The Hudson Valley has embraced the farm to table movement as well as the shop local movement so why not embrace the insure local movement? When you insure with a local independent insurance agency like Hudson Valley Agents you get real choices, better rates, improved asset protection and your insurance dollars aren’t paying for annoying commercial jingles! Stop the jingles and insure local, call us today!

Have you been to Kingston or Beacon lately?



Those of us who live in the Hudson Valley know just what an amazing and diverse place this truly is. We revel in our proximity to the mountains, the Hudson River, and New York City and we are fiercely loyal to our cities, towns, and villages. We are home to the best restaurants, music, art, and outdoor beauty in the state!!! The Hudson Valley is perfect and it is getting better every single day.

We have two cities that are gaining a lot of mention in the press recently for being “The New Brooklyn”, I’m talking to you Beacon and Kingston! As a Kingston resident I find the idea of becoming “The New Brooklyn” terrifying and exciting. As a Hudson Valley resident all I can say is “I always knew this was the best place to live, let me show you around!”. We could not stay the under rated diamond in New York’s crown forever, people were bound to discover what we all knew years ago – the Hudson Valley is a great place to live and work.

Kingston and Beacon are our valley’s current hot spots and here’s why –

Beacon has a great art scene, the Dia is a huge draw. There is a plethora of restaurants and bars. It’s a hipsters paradise and I have never seen so many perfectly groomed beards in my lifetime! Having the Town Crier leave it’s home in Pawling for Beacon’s Main street helped boost the city’s music scene. It’s a wonderful day trip and only a 59 minute trip from Grand Central, plus there’s the added bonus of Beacon having its own stop on Metro North! Why wouldn’t people leave NYC to visit Beacon? Beacon was a kind of scary place in the early 1990’s, it is nice to see how the community came together and welcomed new businesses to the city. I’m really proud of you Beacon, kudos!

Kingston is just perfect. I live here so I can say that, and I find that I say it so often I have begun to feel more like a cheerleader than a neophyte insurance blogger! We have a rich history, after all we are the original capital of NYS, and even IBM’s closing did not fully bring this city to it’s knees. We have a thriving uptown district thanks to organizations like KUBA (Kingston Uptown Business Association) and a thriving waterfront district as well! Keegan Ales is our brewery and BSP is our go to music and arts venue. We have one of Esquire’s top rated bars, The Stockade Tavern, and museums and art galleries galore! Kingston has wine bars (like The Elephant), gastropubs (Frogmore Tavern) and many of our restaurants embrace the farm to table movement (too many to list). Kingston’s art scene is phenomenal and the O+ Festival as well as the independent galleries just part of it. We are perfectly situated between Manhattan and Albany via the NYS Thruway, just a short 97.1 miles from Grand Central and 56 miles from Albany. Sadly we do not have direct access to public transportation to Manhattan, for that we must travel to Poughkeepsie or Beacon if the Poughkeepsie Metro North lot is filled. Public transportation can get you around Kingston but you can easily walk from the waterfront to uptown.

The Hudson Valley is a very special place and it has been heartwarming seeing the positive changes that Beacon and Kingston have made. Many people have invested their blood sweat and tears to create communities that they can be proud of and those investments should be protected. Hudson Valley Agents is the Hudson Valley’s best independent insurance agency and they work with New York state based insurance companies. They can make sure you have the best insurance coverage to protect your Hudson Valley home or business. They even insure events and festivals! So shop locally, eat locally and insure locally! #movetokingstonnow #insure local #HudsonValleylove