The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the Hudson Valley’s small businesses, none of them good. Every dollar counts right now, and we want to help you save even more money. We know that you hear things like this all of the time from insurance commercials, but we aren’t trying to save you money by bundling your auto and home coverage. We are a small business just like you, and we know a thing or two about insurance.
Let’s look at a few of the things that could help your 2021 budget.
- Has your employee count changed? Have you had to furlough/downsize/fire anyone during the pandemic? We can review your current worker’s comp and disability coverage to ensure that you aren’t overpaying.
- Have you added things like outdoor heaters, tents, outdoor seating? All of these items should be added to your coverage. Doing this might slightly increase your rates, but you will be able to replace them if damaged.
- Have you give up your storefront and are operating solely from your home residence? Did you remember to cancel the policy covering your retail space? Did you call your agent to inquire how these changes impact your business insurance needs and the possible savings?
- Do you have a business partner? Do you both have Key Person Life Insurance policies? Yes, this is an expense, not savings, but hear us out. Can you afford to keep your business going if your partner passes away? This coverage ensures that the doors can stay open. You buy life insurance because you want your family to survive financially. You buy key person coverage because you want your business to survive financially.
But the most important thing that you should do to help with your business insurance costs is this- call your insurance agent.
Restaurants and Contractors are examples of businesses that can benefit from talking to an independent insurance agent. Here’s why. Their insurance rates are based on different things: sales, number of employees, square feet of space you are occupying. Or total annual payroll. If your sales have dropped or you are now working with a skeleton crew, call your agent and request a policy review. These reviews can bring you refunds and/or lower rates.
Hudson Valley Agents has 30 years of insurance knowledge and 24/7 phone service, all waiting to help your business stay in business. Call today for a free insurance review or a free quote 845-78-2141. You can also use our secure dedicated link http://business-insurance.link/ Shop local, hire local, and insure local!
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.
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.
8 Things Independent Business Owners Should Know about Insurance
So, you’ve decided to take the leap and open your own independent small business. It can be a scary proposition if you don’t have any guidance up front.
One of the advantages of buying into a franchise business is you are generally given a roadmap, and some companies even recommend insurers and other vendors.
But as an independent, you’re on your own.
Here are at least eight types of insurance you should know about and consider for your business.
- General Liability – Every business, even home-based businesses should have general liability coverage. This provides defense and damages should you or your employee cause physical harm or property damage to a third party.
- Property Insurance – If you are a property owner, this coverage protects you in cases of fire damage, vandalism, smoke damage and theft. Your property coverage should also include loss of income and business interruption should your property be unusable to conduct business.
- Business Owner’s Policy – Commonly known in the industry as a ‘BOP,’ this policy covers general liability and offers protection for your building and business property (stock, furnishings, computers, etc.). Somewhat of a hybrid encapsulating both general liability and property coverage, BOPs offer popular endorsements (additional coverages) and are very popular with and competitively priced for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Commercial Auto – This protects your company’s vehicles that are used to transport goods, people, or equipment. This policy covers, trucks, SUVs, vans and cars from damage and collision. If your vehicle has lettering and/or your business logo on it, you MUST have commercial auto insurance to be properly covered.
- Hired and Non-Owned – If you don’t have company vehicles and you and/or your employees drive personal autos to conduct company business, you need hired and non-owned. This protects the company if the vehicle causes physical harm or property damage and is an endorsement generally offered on a BOP.
- Professional Liability/Errors and Omissions – This coverage protects those who provide professional services to clients. This includes insurance agents, lawyers, strategic and financial consultants, and even hair salons, among many others. This type of coverage is not covered by your general liability.
- Workers Compensation and Disability – In New York state, if you have at least one employee or a contract employee working via a 1099 form, you are required to carry both coverages. Workers compensation provides continued pay (usually at 50%) and medical benefits to an employee who is injured on the job. Disability insurance offers temporary cash benefits to an eligible employee who is disabled or taken ill outside of work or becomes disabled through pregnancy.
- Cybersecurity/Data Breach – Increasingly, businesses need this coverage to help them, and their clients recover if their private personal data is stolen. Businesses who take credit cards, store customer data electronically, or who keep detailed private personal information on file are especially at risk. This insurance helps pay for credit monitoring services for potentially exposed customers, legal fees, and professional service fees needed to recover. It also provides resources and systems to help the insured protect themselves from attack in the first place.
For more information on what kind of insurance is right for your business, contact your independent insurance agent.
Hudson Valley Agents #insurelocal
Every office should be lucky enough to have someone like Kathy Livingston. Kathy has been with Hudson Valley Agents since they opened their doors in 1990 and we hope she stays until at least 3220!
This isn’t Kathy’s first bio-blog (& it won’t be her last either!), so this time we had to give her questions that she was not expecting:
1- How long have you lived in the Hudson Valley? 40 years
2- What is your favorite place to visit in the Hudson Valley? The Christmas Tree Shop & Mt Alvernia
3- How long have you been in the insurance biz? 26 years
4- What’s your favorite song? It’s a hymn “Go make a difference”
5- What’s your favorite movie? Romeo and Juliette
6 – If someone made a movie of your life who would play you? Sally Field
7- What is the best part of your day at HVA? When people thank us for saving them money and taking good care of them
Kathy is our office manager, and single-handedly runs our commercial lines. Stop by our Walden office and say Hi one day, find out why we are the Hudson Valley’s best independent insurance agency!
#employeeappreciationday #insurelocal #HudsonValleyAgents
Please join us in welcoming Philip Bender-Tymon to the HVA family! Philip is an Ulster county resident with firm ties to his community, he is currently the Director of Communications for the Kingston Uptown Business Association and his husband is a local business owner. Philip has an extensive background in communications and problem solving, and is looking forward to putting those skills to work for our clients.
We were worried that Philip might find the world of an independent insurance agency a little slow compared to his previous life in corporate America, but he assures us that this is not the case,”I’m having a way better time meeting one-on-one with current and future clients and helping them to protect the things they love and treasure. Not having to set my alarm to 4 a.m. for a conference call to China is a huge bonus.”.
You can contact Philip at our Walden office, 845-778-2141 or via email email@example.com. Remember to eat locally, shop locally, play locally, and insure locally with Hudson Valley Agents!
#welcometothefamily #HudsonValleyAgents #insurelocal
It’s Tax Season and there are 3 things you should know about income taxes and insurance:
- This year the tax penalty for not having health insurance is 2.5% of your household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, whichever is higher is the one they’ll hit you with!
- Car insurance settlements are usually not taxable.
- Life insurance payouts are not usually taxable.
There is one man who can help with your income taxes and your insurance and he happens to be in our Middletown office, David Bonne Sr. Dave Sr has decades of insurance experience and five years of income tax experience with Liberty Tax Service and he’s happy to put all of that knowledge to work for you.
Let our family help your family save time and money today! #LibertyTax #HudsonValleyAgents #insurelocal #taxseason #deathandtaxes
There are only 4 more days left in 2016, and for that we are thankful! 2016 has been the year from hell for most of America and we find ourselves looking towards 2017 with hope and a little bit of nervous laughter. 2017 will be welcomed in with hearts filled with the hope that this will be the year we actually keep our New Year’s resolutions.
Making resolutions for the new year is something we have all done and 2017 will be no exception. An impromptu poll of Hudson Valley residents (we asked our friends and family members) shows that these are the 5 most popular Hudson Valley New Year’s resolutions:
1- Lose 10 pounds
2- Save money
3- Live your best life
4- Shop locally more often
5- Become more organized
Hudson Valley Agents can help you keep 3 out of 5 of these resolutions!
- Saving money on your insurance is easy, call, click, or stop by for a free quote on all of your insurance needs. We work with many insurance companies that offer competitive rates and many of them are located on the east coast.
- We love to shop local and we really love to insure local! We work with several Hudson Valley-based insurance companies as well as companies based in New York state. We also offer affordable insurance coverage for small businesses throughout the state. You can always #insurelocal with us!
- Organizing your insurance policies is easy with our free app for iPhone and Android users! Finding your policies, making claims, making payments, even finding your car in a crowded parking lot just became a whole lot easier.
#HudsonValleyAgents #NewYearsresolutions #insurelocal
Allow us to introduce you to HVA’s phone app! Now Android and iPhone users can start a claim, make a payment, get a free quote, find their parked car, and more just by downloading our free app. The Hudson Valley’s number one independent insurance agency just made insurance a whole lot smarter and easier.
Find out why we are the Hudson Valley’s #1 independent insurance agency, get your free insurance quote today! #hudsonvalleyagents #insurelocal
In honor of Small Business Week (#DreamSmallBiz) we thought we would answer the “What is a BOP?” question. A small business owner needs insurance, and a BOP is simply a Business Owners Policy. A BOP covers many of the things that a small business owner needs coverage for- basic liability and business property.
Your Business Owners Policy covers these specific things:
- Unexpected business stoppage. If you cannot open your business due to certain circumstances, this policy helps you pay things like payroll and rent.
- Liability protection. If your business is ever sued this is the coverage that helps you handle it.
- Property coverage. If your place of business is damaged or your equipment is stolen this is the policy that helps you get back on your feet.
It is important to keep in mind that a BOP might not be all of the insurance coverage your small business needs! The only way to truly ensure that your small business is properly protected is to speak to a Hudson Valley Agent’s agent. Call 845-778-2141 and speak with Dave Jr or Kathy about insuring your small business today. If your small business has an artisanal flare keep Hudson Valley Agents in mind, we have specific policies to fit your unique insurance needs.
Follow us on Instagram @hvagents & don’t forget to #insurelocal