Independent contractors need an independent insurance agent!

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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.

Calling all contractors – HVA has you covered!

 

CALLING ALL CONTRACTORS – Hudson Valley Agents can provide you with certificates of insurance quickly, and we’ll make sure you have the coverage you need at great prices!

All contractors need insurance, plumbing, electrical, construction, even dog trainers and that is the subject of today’s blog post. What types of insurance coverage does an independent contractor need? Well, that depends on what type of independent contractor you happen to be, an independent caterer needs product and liquor liability coverage, but an electrician does not. A typical independent contractor should carry –

– Professional Liability Coverage – aka errors and omission insurance. This policy protects you should any mistakes be made that cost your client money.

– Workers Compensation – If you have employees this is a must have policy.

– Commercial Auto – If you have a work truck that you use exclusively for business then insure it as such.

– Independent Contractors Liability Insurance – This policy has many sub-categories such as: general liability coverage, property damage, contract liability, bodily injury, advertising personal injury, contract liability and completed operations and product. It is really important to talk with an independent insurance agent about this policy to ensure that all of your needs are covered.

– Business Owners Policy – Many aspects of your independent contractors liability insurance can be combined with other insurance coverage to create an individualized business owners policy (aka BOP) and this could earn you a significant discount on your insurance coverage.

The best way to make sure all of your insurance needs are covered is to talk to an independent insurance agent. Any gaps in insurance coverage could be catastrophic to your business and you work too hard to have that happen. Hudson Valley Agents is the Hudson Valley’s contractor insurance expert and we can get you your insurance certificates quickly and efficiently. Time = Money and your time is too valuable to wait for anything! Call Hudson Valley Agents today 778-2141.

3 Hudson Valley Breweries to visit on National Beer Day

 

Today is the anniversary of a very special day in American history. In 1933 on March 22cnd Franklin D Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison act into law and on April 7th of that same year the law went into effect, for the first time in 13 years Americans could once again legally buy, sell, and drink alcohol. Thus national beer day was born!

The Hudson Valley is home to some of the finest independent breweries in the country and as a result many Hudson Valley residents are “beer snobs”. I happen to be one of the biggest Hudson Valley beer snobs and I think we have a pretty good reason to be snobbish, our local independent breweries rock! Allow me to share my top 2 picks and one that’s on my “To Explore” list with you and please feel free to share your favorites in the comments below, we love your feedback!

#1 – KEEGAN ALES – Is this my favorite because it happens to be only a few blocks from my home, yes and no. The beers are phenomenal, the bar is decorated with local art work, the bartenders are friendly, there’s always live music, and they give back to the community. What more could you want in a brew pub? Hint – Try the Mother’s Milk & Jo Mama’s Milk

#2 – HYDE PARK BREWING COMPANY – Live music, check. Great food, check. Warm comfortable atmosphere, check. Good beer, double check!!! They opened their doors in 1995 and they get better every year. Hint – Try the Rough Rider Red

#3 – THE NEWBURGH BREWING COMPANY – These guys just won the America’s Best Loved Beer Label competition, how cool is that? This place is on my “To explore” list. Just exploring their website for this blog post caused me ponder heading there tonight for dinner!

The Hudson Valley has two other beer related things to celebrate on national Beer day – The Hudson Valley Beer Trail and the Little Beer Bus. Both are the brain children of Hudson Valley native, Tania Dougherty. Enjoy a safe and easy visit to many of the Hudson Valley’s local independent breweries while aboard the Little Beer Bus, what could be easier?

So have a safe and happy national Beer day Hudson Valley. Remember that tickets and DWI’s can and will raise your insurance rates so drink responsibly and always arrange for a designated driver, or call a cab, or schedule a trip on the Little Beer Bus. Shop local, eat local, drink local, and insure local! Oh, did I mention that we can insure your brewery?

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!