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!
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.
Finding a job that you want to do for the next thirty years of your life is almost impossible, impossible, but not undoable. Kathy Livingston started working for Hudson Valley Agents in October of 1990. She is still here and is an invaluable asset to the running of our office.
Kathy handles our commercial lines, workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, Business Owner Policies, and more. If you need insurance for your small business, there is no one better qualified to help you than Kathy.
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?
Kathy – It is never dull. So many different things to do in a day and having to keep up with all the company changes. Taking calls, quoting, making changes to policies, and making sure that all the companies are completing what is requested.
Question – What is the one thing that you wish your clients knew about your job?
Kathy – That it can sometimes become more hectic than anyone could imagine. People think of an insurance office, and they automatically assume that it is dull and slow-paced. It can be a real zoo sometimes, so please be patient with us.
Question – What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t at work?
Kathy – Just one? I love to spend time with my grandchildren, bake, and garden.
Question – What is your favorite movie?
Kathy – Sweet Home Alabama
Question – What is your favorite holiday?
Kathy – Christmas. Time for family and friends to be together, and I love the decorations and lights.
Question – If you were not in the insurance industry, what would you do?
Kathy – After 30 years, that is hard to say, but I think something in a hospital caring for people.
Kathy has a very loyal following with the many contractors who insure with Hudson Valley Agents. She knows how busy they are, that time truly is money, and that when someone needs a certificate of insurance, they need it NOW.
Your small business deserves the personal touch that an independent insurance agent offers. Kathy and the rest of the HVA staff can help protect your largest financial asset, your business.
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
In October of 1990 a father and son decided to open up a little independent insurance agency in Walden NY. Walden has a little something for everyone, as this video shows-
But, what makes this the perfect spot for us is simply this – Location. From here we can personally reach out to some of our hyper-local insurance companies. Kingstone, in Kingston NY, Mid-Hudson Co-Operative, in Montgomery. We’re also close to the NYS Thruway, and that makes reaching our other NYS based companies a breeze. The internet and telephone are easy ways to keep in touch, but that personal touch means so much when it comes to building relationships.
Keeping things local is important, local companies mean working with local risks, and that means things like wildfires in California will not increase insurance rates in the Hudson Valley. Lower rates, local risks, and local funds being put back into the local economy. It’s a win/win for our clients, our companies, and us.
Ensuring that the residents of the Hudson Valley have affordable, well-written insurance coverage for their homes, cars, and businesses is what we do, we’ve been doing it for 28 years now.
Need help with your workers’ compensation insurance? We work with companies that offer real-time tracking, and that can be a huge game changer for independent contractors! Need an insurance certificate for your next construction job, just go to our website and request one, easy as pie. We make it our business to ensure that your business runs smoothly and can get back to work ASAP should disaster strike. Call us, email us, go to our website for a free quote, or stop by and say “Hi”, we love to meet our neighbors.
Happy Friday Hudson Valley! #keepitlocal #shoplocal #insurelocal #explorelocal
Please join us welcoming Akasha’s Journey to the Hudson Valley Agents insurance family! Maryalyce Merritt, the proprietress of Akasha’s Journey, (located in Dover Plains NY) has long been a part of the holistic and spiritual communities of the Hudson Valley and is the Chapter President of the Poughkeepsie Holistic Chamber of Commerce.
Maryalyce is one of the reasons we love working with small business owners. She spent time talking to us about all of the aspects of her business to ensure that her work would be properly covered. She wanted asset protection, and she was willing to take the time to ensure that she had it. Her particular business requires something different than the standard sign it, pay for it and find out later that it covers nothing insurance policy.
Holistic healing centers can be challenging for some insurance companies, is it retail? Is it a yoga studio? Is it a learning center? Finding the right fit is easy when you have access to many different insurance companies, independent insurance agents are like magic in that respect. If you need it insured, we can find a way to do it. Ensuring that every aspect is covered means more than just writing a policy that will protect the holistic business owner from being sued for a trip and fall accident. Maryalyce gave us an hour of her time, we gave her an insurance policy that would ensure that she never had to stress about her coverage again. Peace of mind for those who help others achieve peace of mind.
Thank you Maryalyce and Akasha’s Journey for your business. Thanks for keeping it local. #shoplocal #insurelocal
Hey Hudson Valley! Our own Philip Bender-Tymon is ready, willing, and able to share you with all of his insurance knowledge.
Are you overdue for an insurance coverage review?
One of the things I encourage my clients to do – and friends and family for that matter – is to conduct a regular insurance review to make sure they’ve got the right coverages.
All too often, people ‘let it ride’ on their insurance policies only to find out that they are under-insured, improperly insured, and/or paying too much.
Here are some things I suggest:
• Make sure you carry personal liability as part of your homeowner policy. This protects you and your family for any at-fault injuries or damage they may cause to others ON or OFF your property.
• Consider adding a personal umbrella. That provides an extra layer of personal liability coverage to both your homeowners AND your automobile coverages. And it’s very affordable.
• Make sure you have sewer and drain backup coverage. One incident is all it takes to make you realize how important it can be.
• Tree and debris removal. As recent storms have shown, many people are not aware that some carriers provide endorsements that help homeowners clear their property after a storm. Without it, most basic homeowner policies do not cover those expenses.
• Has your automobile situation changed? Did you retire and stop commuting to work? Did you pay off your car loan? Did you take a defensive driving course? Each one of these, among others, is an opportunity to save money off your car insurance premium.
• Has your employee count changed? If so, review your workers compensation and disability coverages to see if you need to change it up before you get an audit surprise. Ask your agent about ‘real-time’ workers comp programs that change with you throughout the year.
• Have you added business personal property (equipment, furniture, technology, retail stock, etc.) since you last renewed? If your answer is yes, have your agent update your policy ASAP. A small premium increase is well worth avoiding a loss that is not fully covered.
• Do you operate off-site events or ‘pop-ups’? Make sure your business policy covers them or consider ‘day of’ policies that provide 24 hours of coverage.
• If you perform credit card transactions electronically; store sensitive customer information on computers, phones or tablets; or keep recorded customer information on-site – you need Cyber Liability coverage. One data breach can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and can drive small business owners out of business in a matter of months.
Spending just one-half hour spent with your independent insurance agent or broker once a year can save you money, time, and heartbreak.
Let us help you – that’s what we’re here for!
Hudson Valley Agents has been helping people ensure that their homes, cars, and businesses are properly and affordably insured for 28 years. We work with many New York state-based insurance companies (some of which are really local- Kingston and Montgomery type close.) and with larger companies such as Progressive and Safeco (part of the Liberty Mutual family). Find out what an independent insurance agent can do for you- call, click, or stop by!
#insurelocal #hudsonvalleyinsurance #homeownersinsurance #carinsurance #businessownerinsurance
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 –
Or this one, it’s all about UFO’s visiting Pine Bush –
Motorcycle insurance questions? We have answers!
Opening up a new distillery in the Hudson Valley? We can help with that too!
Get to know Hudson Valley Agents, find out what a local, independent insurance agency can do for you –
The Hudson Valley NY region is arguably the best place on earth, producing craft spirits from small-batch distilleries to microbreweries, cideries, and vineyards. Because of the farm to table atmosphere here and so much fresh produce and food accessible in the area including the Catskill Mountain range bordering the west side of the valley, it’s normal that wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries are incredibly dominant here as well. There’s no better way to complement the exceptional food found here than matching it to a fine bourbon, wine, cider, or craft beer produced right here in the region. In fact, the Hudson Valley is known for being the oldest wine region in the United States.
Insuring the regions precious commodities such as these may, however, require a little finesse. You can’t just go to any insurance company and say “insure my craft spirit facility please.” If you do, you may be in for many surprises. Such as incomplete or improper coverage if the company or agent is not entirely familiar with your type of risk, or you could also end up paying too much as well if our business is not appropriately rated.
If your policy doesn’t have extra non-standard benefits like Water processing, Contamination, and adulteration, Product withdrawal expenses, or Special processing equipment coverage just to name a few, then you may have already started out on the wrong foot. You should also know what is not covered under these types of policies. For example, many of the vineyards hit by the celebrated Napa Valley fires that destroyed much of the California wine industry were finding out after the fact that while their inventory and property may have been appropriately covered, their crops were not in many cases. This resulted in major expenses they were unaware of when restarting their operations.
In summary, insuring a craft distillery is similar to insuring a farm in the sense that there are quite a few coverages that do not apply to ordinary insurance policies and quite a bit of finesse required to build the proper policy.
David and Philip are the people to speak to when you’re talking about insurance coverage for your distillery, your tasting room, and your off-site events. Hudson Valley Agents, problem-solving insurance agents on a mission to offer affordable, comprehensive insurance to every Hudson Valley business.
#insurelocal #distilleryinsurance #wineryinsurance #breweryinsurance
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
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org
#farmtotable #farminsurance #eatlocal #insurelocal #farmtotableinsurance #HudsonValleyInsurance