Good News for Hudson Valley Filmmakers!

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Movies are being made all over the Hudson Valley, and Hudson Valley Agents wants to be a part of the magic!  We recently began working with PHLY, an insurance company that offers some of the best insurance coverage for filmmakers that we have ever seen.  How fortuitous that the very day we begin working with PHLY  our SMM stumbled upon a movie being made in Kingston when she went out for lunch today.

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This unknown film production is not the only movie production that will be filming in the Hudson Valley/Kingston area.  Stella May Productions has been working on “They All Drank the Water” and Newburgh has become a film production paradise recently!  It seems that the film world has recently fallen in love with the Hudson Valley, and we couldn’t be happier!

So if you are making a film in New York state or you know someone who is, please call Dave Jr at Hudson Valley Agents today.  Insuring all aspects of filmmaking in the Hudson Valley just became a whole lot easier!  #insurelocal

 

Did you know that HVA insures festivals?

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Those of you who regularly read our blog know that we are HUGE Mountain Jam fans!  For four days, rain or shine, you will find Dave Jr, and friends sitting on Hunter mountain grooving to some tunes.  This event is one we never miss and we always find HVA fans while we’re there.

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Insuring an event of this magnitude is daunting but it can be done and it can be done affordably. When you insure a festival these are a few of the things you need to take into account:

  • Event cancellation coverage (rain or performer cancellation)
  • Fireworks liability (if you plan on having fireworks)
  • Vendor coverage
  • Event planner coverage
  • Liquor liability coverage (if serving adult beverages)
  • Property coverage
  • Performer liability
  • Venue Liability
  • Security personal/Assault and battery liability
  • Bonding (usually for municipalities)
  • Liability coverage for the land owner

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Gathering up information and quotes on all of these different types of coverage might seem like a daunting task but the festival insurance experts at Hudson Valley Agents can do it and they do it well!

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As a matter of fact, we can insure all kinds of festivals, concerts, street fairs, sporting events, and seasonal events like hay rides or winter carnivals.  If you need to insure an event or festival  we’ve got you covered!

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Are you a vendor who travels to the many festivals happening all across the Hudson Valley?  We can take care of your insurance needs too.  Just call 778-2141 and ask for Dave Jr, just  don’t expect to get in touch with him during Mountain Jam, he’ll be on the mountain.  #insurelocal  #festivalinsurance #mountainjam

Could Dr. Xavier get homeowners insurance?

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Hudson Valley Comic Con is May 7-8 this year and it’s looking like it might be a whole lot of fun to go check it out.  Finding their website the day after watching an X-Men flick with my fiancee led me to wonder if any of our favorite comic book hero’s had Hudson Valley connections.  When I found out about Dr. Xavier’s school and Strong Guy’s connections I was hooked!  But this information left me with one very serious question, could Dr. Xavier insure his home/school?

Dr. Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is located in Westchester county so he would be able to call Hudson Valley Agents for his homeowners insurance.  That point alone would save him thousands of dollars, but what about the “Gifted Youngsters” who also reside in the house?  Wouldn’t all of the fires, frozen pipes, and broken walls force Dr. Xavier to submit multiple claims to his homeowners insurance company?  According to the insurance experts at HVA, when you make multiple claims on your insurance policy you can expect your rates to increase.  When you look at all of the damage that those “Gifted Youngsters” inflict upon the structure Dr. Xavier might be better off just paying for his repairs out of pocket.  Save the insurance claims for when a spaceship lands on the house and just pay a local contractor (who insures with Hudson Valley Agents) to do the repairs.  Of course, there’s the whole issue of whether or not this is a school or a residence but that’s a topic for a different blog post.

Dr. Xavier is not the only X-Men with a Hudson Valley connection, Strong Guy (of X-Men fame) was “born” in Rhinebeck, which is located in Dutchess County. as is Bard College where Dr. Xavier studied before going to Oxford.  This terrific article from the Hudson Valley Almanac Weekly has a much more precise list and it is a great read.

We always knew that the Hudson Valley was a very special place and knowing that other’s like it enough to put it into their own work makes us smile.  Hey Hudson Valley Comic Con, Hudson Valley Agents offers affordable event insurance so give us a call next year!  #insurelocal

What does insurance have to do with the Super Bowl?

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The Super Bowl (or Superbowl) is one of “America’s Drunkest Days” according to Forbes.com and there is a lot of truth behind that statement.  In 2015, NYS Troopers made 31 DWI arrests and handed out 1,400 tickets on Super Bowl Sunday.  Considering the fact that American’s are expected to consume roughly 325 gallons of beer this Sunday, I’m actually surprised that last year’s statistics are as low as they are.  The average cost of a DWI conviction for a first time offender in NY is almost $10,000.  Your car insurance premiums will increase and drive that number even higher.  Uber has teamed up with MADD has a promo code to be used on Super Bowl Sunday.  For every person who uses the promo code “thinkandride” Uber will donate $1 dollar to MADD.  It can only be used between 3 pm and 12 pm EST.

American’s will consume close to 1.23 million chicken wings and approximately 9 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday.  Now, add to that, gallons of guacamole, chips, and any other junk food you could dream up and watch our bellies grow.  Obesity, like smoking, could cause your health insurance costs to skyrocket.

If you plan on serving alcohol at Sunday’s party you should give your insurance agent a call to find out if you are fully covered for any injuries to your guests or damage to that brand new television you bought just for the game.  You should also ask your insurance agent about social host liability too.  Always serve alcohol responsibly and have the phone number of a local taxi service on hand.

So stay safe this weekend Hudson Valley, enjoy the Super Bowl no matter who wins and please drink responsibly and drive safely!

 

Garlic & Grapes 2 Fall Festivals happening this weekend

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Happy Friday Hudson Valley! Fall is the best time to be a Hudson Valley resident isn’t it? We have access to so many of the wonders fall has to offer – farmers markets, apple picking, pumpkin picking, hiking, leaf peeping, and tons of fall festivals. My favorite fall festival is happening this weekend; The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival. If wine is more your thing check out the Grape Stomp Festival happening this weekend too!

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival – 2 days of garlic flavored fun in Saugerties! Saturday hours are 10-6 and Sunday’s are 10-5. Admission is $10 at the gate and get there early because parking can be a nightmare. When I tell you that this festival is a big deal I truly mean that it is a BIG DEAL. The first garlic festival was held in 1989 with little to no advertising. When it was held in 1990 425 people came and that number increased each year. In 1995 45,000 people came to Saugerties to indulge in all things garlic and who knows how many people will be there this year. Expect crowds, be kind, and enjoy some garlic flavored popcorn while you’re there.

Grape Stomp Festival – I have visions in my head of Lucille Ball stomping grapes and I have to laugh. I doubt anyone who attends this festival will have Lucille’s comic timing but you never know! Robibero Family Winery in New Paltz is holding this event on Saturday and Sunday from 11-6 each day. Admission is $20 and for that you get to stop grapes, sip wine (either a full glass or do a tasting), and a wine glass with the Robibero Family Winery logo. There are lots of things for the little one’s to do, while the adults stomp and sip as well as food trucks and live music.

Get outside and explore the Hudson Valley this weekend! Stomp on some grapes, eat some chocolate covered garlic, meet new people, and enjoy! Eat local, shop local, explore local, and insure local with Hudson Valley Agents!

Kingston is THE place to be this weekend!

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Welcome to the weekend Hudson Valley! There are tons of exciting things to do in the city of Kingston this weekend and I am going to attempt to enjoy all of them. Allow me to share with you all of the free, kid friendly fun events and I hope to see you at at least one of these.

The Kingston Film Festival – This film festival runs from the 14th – 17th at BSP on Wall St in uptown Kingston. Tickets to most films are $10. The Kingston Candy Bar is right next door & has terrific treats! You have to see this place to believe it and be prepared to act like a little kid in a candy store.

Kingston Farmers Market – This is probably the best farmers market in the Hudson Valley! Local farms, crafts people, brewers, distillers, and chefs all bring their A game to Kingston. This is a Saturday only event.

Chronogram Block Party – What happens when the Hudson Valley’s largest free arts and leisure magazine decides to throw a party? Two blocks of uptown Kingston close to traffic and people come from far and wide to enjoy free music, crafts, an etsy market, a charity dunking booth, and more! There’s a wine garden and a beer garden for the adults and tons of fun things for the kids too! This free event starts Saturday at 4pm and goes until 11pm.

Kingston Artists Soap Box Derby – What happens when you put artists together with a soap box derby? You get the most colorful and unique movable art projects to ever race down a hill! This free event takes place in the waterfront section of Kingston and the racers must make a right hand turn to avoid going into the Esopus Creek. The race starts at 1 but get there early to make sure you have a good seat. Stick around after the race for the awards ceremony and to check out all of the fun things to do on the waterfront.

If you have never taken the time to visit the city of Kingston then you don’t know what you are missing. Kingston is where history meets hip and everyone is welcome. Uptown Kingston is filled with fantastic architecture, great shops, and more restaurants than you can count! The Rondout section has Hudson River cruises, a thriving arts community, and great food too. Mid-town is rising and once the traffic changes are made to Broadway mid-town will be just as gorgeous as uptown and the Rondout.

Get outside and explore everything that the Hudson Valley has to offer! Find a new favorite restaurant, or shop at a local vendor (make sure to check out Bop To Tottom when you are uptown, it’s fabulous!) or just enjoy some of the gorgeous scenery. Kingston is THE place to be this weekend, will we see you there?

Shop local, explore local, eat local, and insure local with HVA!

Wedding Insurance – call HVA before your big day!

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Summer weddings are great aren’t they? You get to celebrate your special day outside with a huge party and you get to wear a gorgeous dress to boot. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right? WRONG!

Weddings seem to fall into two categories – heaven or hell. It does not matter how meticulously you planned your big day because the law of averages states that something will inevitably go wrong. The caterer runs out of canape’s – survivable. The photographer breaks down on the way to the ceremony –semi- survivable. Your bridesmaid spills her Cosmo on your dress minutes before the ceremony – NO SURVIVORS! What if I told you that you could purchase wedding insurance that would help take the sting out of some of these disasters, would you consider buying it?

Wedding insurance (also known as special event insurance) can cover many of the pitfalls that you could face on your special day.

Extreme weather – If you’ve had your heart set on an outdoor wedding and there is a hurricane you can be reimbursed some of the costs.

Wedding attire – Should your gown or his tuxedo become ruined during your special day this could cover the cost of repair and or replacement.

Liability – When you combine high heels, cocktails, and an outdoor setting someone is bound to fall down and possibly hurt themselves.

Military service – If the bride or groom happens to be in the US military and are shipped out before the big day this can help you recoup some of those non-refundable expenses.

Illness – Should you or any member of your wedding party become too ill to attend this could help with the costs or rescheduling the event.

Gift coverage – Should any of the wedding gifts become damaged or stolen during the big event this will help replace them.

Change of heart – If either of you happens to decide that wedded bliss just isn’t in the cards then this can help recoup some of those non-refundable deposits.

Some of the things listed above are already covered by your homeowners/renters insurance, others might be covered by the venue itself so before you decide to purchase wedding insurance it is important to sit down with a local independent insurance agent to see what coverage best fits your big day.

Enjoy your special day and don’t sweat the small stuff. Let Hudson Valley Agents insure every aspect of your new lives together as husband and wife. The money you save can go towards a second honeymoon or a really great first anniversary trip! Call HVA today!

Get to know Kingston (you’ll love it!!)

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Every town, village, city, and county in the Hudson Valley has its own vibe, Ulster is where we take it easy and peace out, Dutchess is where we go to visit the upstate elite, and so on. I cannot be the only person who has noticed this, can I? This weekend I found myself defending my county and my city so often that I just had to sit down and blog about it.

When I finally decided it was time to own my own home I choose to live in Ulster county, and I purposely chose the city of Kingston. I had grown up in Orange County (Mount Hope – don’t blink or you’ll miss it), my first apartment was in Montgomery, my second was in Goshen. When I got married and started a family we lived in Hyde Park and later moved to LaGrange, both in Dutchess county. But when I finally decided start a business and buy a house Ulster county was where I wanted to be. I rented an apartment in Kingston and decided to see if I liked living there, in less than six months I was house hunting and had found my home.

Over the weekend I found myself having to defend my city to those who had never fully explored it. If you only come to Kingston to see a show at UPAC or to visit one particular restaurant then you miss the charm of the place. I’m sure if the only part of Kingston that I had ever seen was mid-town I probably wouldn’t have chosen to call Kingston home either. But before the haters get too far into their rants let me explain my love affair with New York’s first capital city.

Kingston was an easy choice for me, after years and years of living in places where having a car was a necessity moving somewhere that allowed me to only have to get behind the wheel twice a week (sometimes less than that) was exhilarating. If I want a great bagel or pastries I can walk to my local bakery (The Cake Box). If I run out of milk or cat food I can walk to my local bodega or Stewarts. If I want to go out for a really nice meal there are more restaurants than I have time to list all within a ten minute walk from my home. If I want a new outfit or have to buy a gift all I have to do is walk out of my front door and within minutes I can be at Bop To Tottom or any of the other great shops in uptown Kingston. My hairdresser is there, my bookstore is there, my vintage clothing store is there, my tattoo artist is there (Hi Karma Tattoo) and so is my pharmacy. If I wanted to walk to the grocery store I could do that too, but I simply don’t want to. My Saturday mornings are spent at the Kingston Farmer’s Market and I get all the locally sourced organic produce I want just a couple of blocks from my front door. Why would I go to a grocery store? I have never lived in a place where so many business owners help each other and their communities. I really wish that other communities could experience this type of harmony. The Kingston Uptown Business Association (aka KUBA) has a lot to do with this and they do a magnificent job.

Uptown Kingston is a tourist destination and so is the waterfront. Midtown is still trying to rise to the same level as their counterpoints and I feel that eventually this will happen. Kingston is a city within a easygoing county and while it’s a bit gritty and rough around the edges I love it. Parking is an issue, but show me any thriving city that does not have parking issues. Yes crime is an issue, but our crime rate is much lower than the city of Poughkeepsie or Newburgh. I will willingly walk through the roughest sections of Kingston (and have) but I avoid walking anywhere in the cities of Poughkeepsie and Newburgh because they are really very scary.

My father is a lifelong Orange county resident. He grew up in Newburgh, moved to Montgomery, and has settled down in Maybrook. He is a truck driver and he has to come to midtown Kingston at least once a week, he hates it. He hates the traffic patterns (understandably), he hates the parking (join the club), and he is under the mistaken notion that Kingston is a dying city. He only willingly comes to Kingston once a year and that’s only because we have the only French restaurant that he has deemed “acceptable” (BTW – try Le Canard Enchaine,it is amazing). Other than driving his truck or eating snails he has never taken the time to fully explore all that uptown Kingston has to offer. He’s never checked out the live music scene (sending my love to BSP) or wandered into Rhino Records. He’s never walked next door to Ecce Terra and met Bridget and her amazing staff. He’s never taken the time to walk five minutes to the Stockade Tavern where they serve his favorite gin. When he called me from his truck this past Friday all he did was complain that Kingston has too many parades and not enough ways around them. Sorry Dad, Kingston shines in the summertime and we will do nothing to change that.

So I think it is safe to say that I am a devoted Kingstonite.  I took the time to get to know the business owners and community leaders before I decided that Kingston would become my home base.  The friends and family members that visit us find that they fall in love with my city almost as quickly as I did.  Friends who insisted that they never go out on New Years eve find themselves at my home every year for the big New Year‘s Eve celebration, complete with ball drop.  Other friends make a point of being here for the big Chronogram Block Party and still others make the Kingston Artists Soapbox Derby their reason to visit.  So the next time you find yourself in Kingston take the time to get to know us, you’ll be surprised by just how much we have to offer!  Oh, and just because Hudson Valley Agents isn’t based in Ulster county does not mean that we don’t insure here!  HVA has a large Kingston client base and they understand the insurance needs of this historic city.  We offer low cost NY insurance to all of the Hudson Valley and we work with many New York state based insurance companies too.  HVA insures the entire Hudson Valley so give them a call today!

2 Festivals happening in the Hudson Valley this weekend

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It’s hot air balloon time in the Hudson Valley this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! Have you been to the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival?

The Hudson Valley Balloon Festival started way, way back in 1990 and it gets better every single year! It officially takes place at the Dutchess County Airport, 263 New Hackensack Rd in Wappingers Falls, and HVA client Joe Daily (of Q92 radio fame) will be donning his “Balloon Tycoon” persona to give live updates. This is pretty exciting stuff!

Those who frequent this event have their favorite places to watch the mass hot air balloon launches that happen Friday and Saturday evening from the banks of the Hudson River. (I plan on planting myself on the Mid-Hudson Bridge both nights) There are several other launches scheduled throughout the weekend and Saturday night there will be “moon glows”, that’s when the balloons are fired up but never leave the ground. It’s a gorgeous sight and a lot of fun to photograph.

 

If hot air balloons aren’t your thing then perhaps you might want to head over to Brotherhood Winery on Saturday. The winery is holding a Wine and Beer festival on Saturday July 11th. Tickets are $48 on the website. America’s oldest winery is teaming up with America’s oldest brewery, Yuengling for this event. Newburgh Brewery will also be there.

There is always something to do in the Hudson Valley and this weekend is no exception. If you have an event you would like us to highlight please email our social media manager, social@hvagents.com and we’ll share it on our social media platforms. We at HVA have a whole lot of love for the Hudson Valley and enjoy sharing (and attending) our local festivals and events. We also provide insurance for Hudson Valley events and festivals, we insure the Hudson Valley!  #insurelocal #HudsonValleylove #HudsonValleyAgents

Explore the Hudson Valley – Rhinebeck

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It’s Friday Hudson Valley! Time to explore more of the towns, villages, hamlets, and cities that make our valley such a great place to live and today we are going to focus on Rhinebeck.

Rhinebeck is in Dutchess county and if I have read the wikipedia entry correctly, was founded by the Dutch settlers that decided to move away from Kingston. (as a Kingston resident I just cannot grasp why anyone would leave here, but I digress) The village of Rhinebeck is attracting some major interest, Chelsea Clinton got married here and Miley Cyrus behaves herself when she visits (she was here last weekend). Emma Roberts, Ramona Singer and Rufus Wainwight all once called Rhinebeck home.

Rhinebeck has something for everyone and this video from visitvortex.com proves it


The biggest and best of all of the NY county fairs happens every August right here in Rhinebeck – The Dutchess County Fair! Don’t forget to check out the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome or catch an indie flick at the original Upstate Films, the only place in the Hudson Valley that I know of where you get fresh popcorn with real butter or homemade brownies. The farmers markets, the great shops, and restaurants that are beyond compare.

Get outside and explore the Hudson Valley! Take pictures, act like a tourist, and enjoy all the diverse and wonderful things our valley has to offer. Who knows what you will find or who you might see. Take a day trip and find your next favorite spot in the Hudson Valley. That’s the great part of living in the Hudson Valley our towns/cities/villages are all different, we are unique, fiercely independent, and stunningly beautiful too. Hudson Valley Agents can and does insure all things Hudson Valley and we do it with the same independent spirit so give us a call before you head out on your next Hudson Valley adventure!