Independent contractors need an independent insurance agent!

IMAG2650

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.

Insurance & the college student

 

All across the Hudson Valley high school seniors are gearing up for graduation. Parents everywhere are planning graduation parties and preparing themselves for that day when their child leaves for college! The one thing that almost every single parent forgets to put on their “to do” list is – CALL YOUR INSURANCE AGENT!

Health insurance, car insurance, and renters insurance are all subject that need to be addressed before your college bound child sets off on their newest adventure and that’s why a call to your insurance agent is an absolute must, here’s why –

– Many colleges require that incoming students prove that they have health insurance coverage, if they are not covered by your health insurance they will have to purchase it through their college.

– Most homeowners insurance policies will cover your college student’s possessions but there might be limits. Check with your agent to see if you need to purchase an insurance rider or renters insurance. Cell phones, laptops, tablets, and printers can be very expensive to replace.

– Will your college bound child be taking their own car with them to an out of state college or will their car remain home? Call your agent to find out if you need to make any changes to your car insurance policy.

A call to your insurance agent could actually save you money (believe it or not). There are discounts for good grades, multiple vehicles, multiple policies with the same company, and more but many insurance companies do not automatically give you these discounts you have to ask for them.

Parents have a lot to plan for when it comes to their college bound children and sometimes we forget to protect our assets by insuring them properly. Take five minutes out of your already busy day and give the insurance professionals at Hudson Valley Agents a call. They’ll reevaluate your current insurance policies and find you great coverage with great prices and they’ll make sure you get all of the insurance discounts you deserve!

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.

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!

3 ways HVA can insure your love life this Valentine’s Day!

 

I read somewhere that the average person has only one great Valentine’s Day in their lifetime, and while I cannot remember the book this statement comes from I also cannot disagree with the truth of it. If Hudson Valley Agents wrote Valentine’s Day insurance they could make a killing! Sadly there is not one single thing these insurance experts can do to make sure your V Day goes smoothly, but they can ensure that you have insurance coverage for all the other important love-related times in your life.

1- HVA can insure your engagement ring! Don’t take chances with that ring, every single time she looks at it she remembers the day you proposed to her.

2- HVA can insure your wedding! Your wedding day is special and expensive, wedding insurance can be the difference between a happy honeymoon and no honeymoon at all.

3- HVA can insure your honeymoon! The peace of mind that vacation insurance gives you is unexplainable. If you’re planning on leaving the country for your honeymoon travel insurance is a priority.

Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers young and old, it’s the one day set aside to celebrate the bond the two of you share. You have a lot of time, patience, and understanding invested in your relationship, protect the physical investments you’ve made together with insurance coverage that could actually save you money.
Hudson Valley Agents can insure every aspect of your lives together and I can promise that it will be easier and cheaper than it was to plan your wedding. Call them, check out their website or visit one of their convient Orange County locations, This family owned independent insurance agency could actually make you fall in love with insurance. Happy early Valentine’s Day Hudson Valley – shop local, eat local, and #insurelocal with HVA.

4 ways to choose a health insurance plan (#4 is your best bet)

 

The deadline for signing up for health insurance is February 15th and that date just keeps getting closer and closer doesn’t it? If you are currently uninsured and have not done your taxes yet you are in for a nasty surprise, this year you will be penalized for your lack of health insurance coverage. Penalized to the tune of 1% of your income going to the government instead of you and that my friends is a special kind of horrible.

Shopping for health insurance without assistance can be daunting and that is why you need a guide. Hudson Valley Agents can help guide you through the health insurance maze but if you insist on going it alone I have some suggestions that might help you choose your new health insurance plan.

1- Talk to friends and family, are they happy with their current plan? Are they able to use the health care providers they already know or are they forced to use physicians and facilities they aren’t comfortable with?

2- Check the health insurance company’s rating. Health insurance plans are ranked and you can see these rankings by going to ncqa.org.

3- Ask your doctor if he has had any positive or negative experiences with the health plan you are considering..

4- Call a independent insurance agent that has decades of health insurance experience. I have the number for a very reputable agency and I’m happy to share it with you 845-673-5515.
Choosing a health insurance plan is incredibly important and incredibly difficult, add a looming deadline to this stress stew and it’s enough to make you scream! Let Tom and Dave Sr lower your stress levels by finding you the health insurance coverage you need, you can even get your taxes done at the same time! Hudson Valley Agents can save you time, money, and a major stress headache with one phone call and that my friends is a special kind of wonderful!