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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Finding a contractor for your Hudson Valley home repairs and remodeling just became a whole lot easier! Did you know that Hudson Valley Agents has a long list of local Hudson Valley contractors who are fully insured and bonded? You will never have to worry about hiring an under insured contractor again! Just call 845-778-2141 and speak to Kathy or Dave Jr about our insured contractors, you’ll be very happy you did! Oh, and while you’re on the phone with them take a moment to ask about our homeowners insurance policies! Finding a great contractor and saving money on your homeowners insurance coverage just got a whole lot easier! #insurelocal
Calling all Contractors!!! We have fast, affordable insurance coverage for your business as well as coverage for artisan contractors and more! Call us today.
Since we all have New Year’s resolutions on our minds I thought I would blog about the one I’m having the toughest time with, saving money. I’ll bet that saving money is one of your New Year’s resolutions too so it only seems natural that I share one of the easiest ways to do it. Get your life, auto, home owners, and business insurance policies reevaluated by an independent insurance agent. This is one very simple step that has the potential to save your family thousands of dollars a month and all you have to do is pick up your phone. Seriously, it is that easy.
An independent insurance agency like Hudson Valley Agents, has the insurance knowledge and the access to many different insurance companies needed to find the perfect insurance coverage with an affordable monthly rate. No need for you to shop online and cross your fingers that you are buying the right coverage for your insurance needs, we’ve got you covered.
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to shop locally more often? Hudson Valley Agents can help with that as well! Not only are we a small Hudson Valley business we also work with many New York state-based insurance companies. Keeping your money in the Hudson Valley and New York state is just as important to us as it is to you.
So there you have it Hudson Valley, 2 great ways that Hudson Valley Agents can help you keep your New Year’s resolutions! Looking to save even more money in 2016? Liberty Tax shares office space with Hudson Valley Agents in our 731 Rt 211 East, Middletown NY office, call 673-4300 for an appointment today. #shoplocal #insurelocal #hudsonvalleyagents #youbelongatliberty
Are you an independent contractor in the Hudson Valley? If you answered yes to this question then allow me to ask you this – Are you carrying the right amount of insurance coverage?
Insurance can be the absolute biggest headache an independent contractor has to deal with. Generally an independent contractor should carry several types of insurance coverage –
– Coverage for errors and omissions: This coverage is for independent accountants, landscape architects, financial planners, and interior designers. This covers the liability risks that can be incurred if your advice to your client causes damage or they incur losses.
– Liquor and product liability: Independent bartenders and caterers need to protect themselves an illness or injury occur due to food or alcohol.
– Property damage and physical injury: Backhoes and other heavy equipment can do some damage if they aren’t operated properly.
These three things are just the tip of the iceberg! Don’t forget about contract liability coverage, professional liability, commercial vehicle, advertising personal injury, disability insurance, health insurance, general liability and more. How can an independent contractor figure all of this out on their own?
Hudson Valley Agents understands the insurance needs of the independent contractor. We are the Hudson Valley’s family owned independent insurance agency and we have been doing this for twenty five years. We can customize your independent contractors insurance policy to fit your needs and your budget and we do it quickly. We work with many companies and know which ones offer the best independent contractor insurance discounts. Protect your business, protect your assets, with low cost NY insurance from Hudson Valley Agents.