Get To Know Ashley, Our Car Insurance Guru!

If you have ever called 845-778-2141, or stopped by our office in Walden, then you have more than likely met Ashley Berry.

Ashley has been with Hudson Valley Agents since 2013. If you have car insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or motorcycle insurance with us, then you have spoken to her or met her at our office. She handles our personal lines, and she is one of the very best in the business.


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?
Ashley – LOL! It actually isn’t. I really enjoy helping my clients find the right policy for their needs, I would want someone to do the same for me.
Question – What is the one thing that you want your clients to know about your job?
Ashley – Quoting insurance takes time. I really want to ensure that my clients have the best coverage for their dollar, and we work with 30+ companies.
Question – If you were not an insurance CSR, what would you be?
Ashley – I would be a meteorologist!
Question – What is your favorite movie?
Ashley – “Better Off Dead” I want my $2!!!!!
Question – What is your favorite holiday?
Ashley – Thanksgiving! Can’t go wrong with food and family.

Ashley’s customer service is legendary. Seriously. Just go to Google and check out the reviews for Hudson Valley Agents, we’ll wait.

See! Ashley is personally mentioned over and over again as someone who makes insurance a pleasant, dare we say enjoyable, experience.

Find out what she can do for you, call, click, or stop by. We’re always here to help. #HudsonValleyInsurance #insurelocal

3 Things You Must Do To Protect Your Home This Winter.

We realize that everyone is just gearing up for pumpkin spice latte’s and apple picking, but we need to talk about winter. Winter arrives in the Hudson Valley on December first, and it doesn’t leave until March nineteenth, and we all know how rough winter can be along the Hudson River…

Now is the perfect time to start getting your home ready for all that cold and snow. The temps are comfortable, the sun is still shining when you get home from work, and the longer you wait, the worse it will be.
We put together the top 3 things you can do to prepare your home for the arrival of Jack Frost:


1- Clean your gutters! Gutters without caps will quickly fill with leaves and other debris, leaving nowhere for rain and snowmelt to go. But, water has to go somewhere, so it will back up underneath your roof and do some serious damage.
2- Wrap your pipes! Frozen pipes are the worst and usually preventable. Who wants to deal with a flooded basement when it’s ten below outside?
3- Check the trees on your property and have dead or diseased branches (or whole trees) removed. Highwinds and heavy snowfall have brought down more than one mighty oak, and tree removal is not a part of a standard homeowner’s insurance.

Do you know what your homeowners’ insurance covers and what it doesn’t? The time to find out is not when there’s a flood in your basement or a maple tree in your bedroom. When the worst happens, you want to know that you only have to make one phone call and everything will be taken care of. That is the reason you need an independent insurance agent.

We are Hudson Valley Agents, serving the needs of the Hudson Valley for 29 years. #insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance

Welcome To Insurance That Actually Makes You Smile!

People often ask us what makes us different from other insurance agencies, and that is a question that can be difficult to answer.

You see, every insurance agency is the same, but they are also quite different. Captive agencies like State Farm or GEICO can only offer you the insurance products that they carry. These companies have one or two different types of car insurance coverage, and they have little to no wiggle room when it comes to cost and coverage.

An independent insurance agency can provide you with insurance choices from a variety of different insurance companies. If one company is not a perfect insurance fit for you, we’ll move on to another. We have the freedom to shop around, thus ensuring that you have the policy you need at an appropriate price.

We know that insurance can be confusing; it is a legally binding contract between yourself and the insurance company. Hudson Valley Agents is the broker who acts on your behalf, the agency who ensures that the insurance company holds up their end of the bargain. We stand for truth, justice, and the American… wait, um, sorry, that’s Superman.

In our small way, we really are superheroes. Our sole purpose is to ensure that our clients can rebuild their lives and businesses after a catastrophe. Break free from those captive insurance agencies and enjoy the freedom that comes with having an independent insurance agent. #insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance #insurancesuperhero

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover My Broken Stove?

If you have ever wondered if your dishwasher or furnace was covered by your homeowners’ insurance, we have a good news/bad news answer for you.

THE BAD NEWS – The average homeowners’ policy does NOT cover appliance breakdown. Nope, nada, zip.

THE GOOD NEWS – We aren’t your average insurance agency, and Preferred Mutual isn’t your average insurance company.

Our boss recently had to replace his furnace and hot water heater to the tune of $6,000. The average cost of a new dishwasher runs the gamut from $400 to $1000. The average cost of a new refrigerator can set you back between $700 and $2,000. For the incredibly low price of $10, you can add this money-saving coverage to your Preferred Mutual policy.

Just check out these images for more information & then call Hudson Valley Agents and ask for Ashley 845-778-2141. Find out what an independent insurance agent can do for you. #insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance

Top 4 Homeowners Insurance Claims In The Hudson Valley

The leaves are turning and the nights are getting chilly, welcome to fall in the Hudson Valley!

Preparing for winter is a top priority for Hudson Valley homeowners because our winters can be brutal and no one wants the added annoyance of having to call their insurance agent to start a claim.  Here are the top reasons that homeowners in Kingston and Poughkeepsie make claims on their homeowners’ insurance during the winter months-

1- Exterior Wind Damage.  If a tree falls on your home or car due to high winds, 9 times out of 10 your insurance will cover the removal.  If a tree falls across your driveway or just on your lawn, regular insurance WILL NOT cover removal, an additional endorsement can be purchased to cover this.

2- Plumbing or appliance water damage.  This one is not as clear-cut as you might think.  Your homeowner’s insurance will cover the water damage done to your home if your pipes burst or your dishwasher decides to flood your kitchen, what it will not cover is the repair of the pipes or dishwasher.  Taking steps to avoid frozen pipes is the homeowner’s responsibility, not the insurance company’s.

3- Hail damage.  Covered by homeowners insurance.

4- Ice and snow damage.  You are responsible for maintaining your roof and gutters by keeping them in good repair and clear of debris.  If the damage to your home is due to the weight of snow and ice, you’re covered.  If the damage to your home is due to an ice dam because you haven’t cleaned your gutters in 5 years, then your claim will be denied.

Insurance is a legally binding contract between the homeowner and the insurance company.  If you are unsure of what your current policy covers and what it doesn’t, give Hudson Valley Agents a call.  We want every Hudson Valley homeowner, from Westchester to Albany, to have the best coverage the insurance industry has to offer and at affordable prices.  #insurelocal  #HudsonValleyInsurance

Is Your Insurance Ready For Hurricane Season?

As I write this Hurricane Florence is predicted to hit the Carolina’s, and evacuation plans are already in place.  We truly hope that everyone in its path remains safe.

Hurricanes rarely impact those of us in the Hudson Valley, but remember Hurricane Irene and all the damage that arrived with her?  When the winds and rains hit, they leave behind destruction that the average homeowner never expected and many people find that their insurance does not cover some pretty major expenses.

We want our fellow Hudson Valley residents to be prepared, everyone from Westchester to Albany should know what their insurance will and will not cover in the event of a hurricane.

HOMEOWNERS-

  • Flooding.  Flooding by rivers, ponds, and lakes are only covered if you have already purchased a separate flood policy.
  • Tree removal. You must purchase a separate endorsement to cover this.
  • Back up of sewer and drains.  This is not standard on every homeowners policy, but many independent insurance agents will make sure they add it on.  Double check your policy or contact your agent for details.
  • Mold removal.  Mold removal is complicated, it is usually covered by insurance but your agent needs to discuss the hows, whens, and whys.

CAR INSURANCE

  • Flooding.  This is covered by the Comprehensive part of your Comp and Collision coverage.  If you are carrying the New York State minimum amount of insurance coverage, then all costs to fix this will be out of pocket.
  • Damage to your car by falling trees.  This is also covered by the Comprehensive portion of your Comp and Collision coverage.  Everyone else will have to pay their repair bills out of pocket.

Many insurance companies will not allow you to add extra coverage to your existing policy if there is a storm predicted to hit the area.  The best time to purchase additional insurance coverage is before the event is predicted, not afterward.

The time to ensure that your home and car is properly insured is right now, not the day before the hurricane is supposed to hit, we can help with that.  Call Hudson Valley Agents today for fast, friendly, affordable insurance coverage that actually covers what you need covered.

The Truth About Dogs and Your Homeowners Insurance

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” – Josh Billings

Some say that we didn’t domesticate dogs, they domesticated us, and there is some truth to that. They have moved from our fires to our couches, and that is just fine.  Unfortunately, many insurance companies are not as willing to accept our canine companions as we are, but do not let that stop you from adopting one!

Here’s the truth about dogs and homeowners insurance:
1- Ownership of certain breeds of dogs will cause your homeowners’ insurance to be canceled. If you adopt a dog that looks like a Pit Bull or an Akita your insurance company will assume that it is a purebred and cancel your policy.
2- Most dogs in shelters are not purebred and may only resemble a Pit Bull or Akita, or a Doberman. Canine DNA tests cost less than $100 and often prove that the dog in question is actually a beagle/labrador mix and not a Pit Bull at all so that you can keep your dog and your homeowners’ insurance too.
3- There are options for those who live with Pit Bulls, German Shepards, and other dogs on the “bad dog list.” Some companies will still write your policy, but exclude coverage for dog bites or damage caused by your dog. You may be able to purchase a particular policy to cover those instances.
4- You are responsible for your dog’s behavior. Children are most often the recipients of dog bites, and inadequate adult supervision is often the reason. Most dog bites can be prevented if owners are paying attention.

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” – Andy Rooney

Take some time this weekend to visit some of your local animal shelters, the UCSPCA, DCSPCA, or Hudson Valley SPCA. If you find your new best friend and are unsure if your current renters or homeowners policy will cover them give us a call, we can help. We believe that mans best friend belongs in the house, not at a shelter. Adopt, don’t shop. Contact Hudson Valley Agents at 845-778-2141 for further information.
#adoptdontshop #homeownersinsurance #hudsonvalleyinsurance #hudsonvalleyagents

Are you overdue for an insurance coverage review?

 

Hey Hudson Valley!  Our own Philip Bender-Tymon is ready, willing, and able to share you with all of his insurance knowledge.

Are you overdue for an insurance coverage review?

One of the things I encourage my clients to do – and friends and family for that matter – is to conduct a regular insurance review to make sure they’ve got the right coverages.

All too often, people ‘let it ride’ on their insurance policies only to find out that they are under-insured, improperly insured, and/or paying too much.

Here are some things I suggest:

Personal Insurance

• Make sure you carry personal liability as part of your homeowner policy. This protects you and your family for any at-fault injuries or damage they may cause to others ON or OFF your property.
• Consider adding a personal umbrella. That provides an extra layer of personal liability coverage to both your homeowners AND your automobile coverages. And it’s very affordable.
• Make sure you have sewer and drain backup coverage. One incident is all it takes to make you realize how important it can be.
• Tree and debris removal. As recent storms have shown, many people are not aware that some carriers provide endorsements that help homeowners clear their property after a storm. Without it, most basic homeowner policies do not cover those expenses.
• Has your automobile situation changed? Did you retire and stop commuting to work? Did you pay off your car loan? Did you take a defensive driving course? Each one of these, among others, is an opportunity to save money off your car insurance premium.

Business Insurance

• Has your employee count changed? If so, review your workers compensation and disability coverages to see if you need to change it up before you get an audit surprise. Ask your agent about ‘real-time’ workers comp programs that change with you throughout the year.
• Have you added business personal property (equipment, furniture, technology, retail stock, etc.) since you last renewed? If your answer is yes, have your agent update your policy ASAP. A small premium increase is well worth avoiding a loss that is not fully covered.
• Do you operate off-site events or ‘pop-ups’? Make sure your business policy covers them or consider ‘day of’ policies that provide 24 hours of coverage.
• If you perform credit card transactions electronically; store sensitive customer information on computers, phones or tablets; or keep recorded customer information on-site – you need Cyber Liability coverage. One data breach can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and can drive small business owners out of business in a matter of months.

Spending just one-half hour spent with your independent insurance agent or broker once a year can save you money, time, and heartbreak.

Let us help you – that’s what we’re here for!

Hudson Valley Agents has been helping people ensure that their homes, cars, and businesses are properly and affordably insured for 28 years.   We work with many New York state-based insurance companies (some of which are really local- Kingston and Montgomery type close.) and with larger companies such as Progressive and Safeco (part of the Liberty Mutual family).  Find out what an independent insurance agent can do for you- call, click, or stop by!

#insurelocal  #hudsonvalleyinsurance  #homeownersinsurance  #carinsurance  #businessownerinsurance

Insurance Solutions for Hudson Valley Airbnb Hosts

Did you know that there are more than 100 listings on Airbnb for Kingston New York.  100 + people are either renting out their homes or rooms in their homes, and they probably do not realize that their homeowner’s insurance will drop them like a hot potato if they ever found out.  And trust me, they find out.

Airbnb is cool; it opens up a whole new world to those who travel and a much welcome bump in income to those who open their homes.  Sounds like a win/win to me.  Remember, with every blessing, there is a curse, and within every curse, there is a blessing.  Increased income is the blessing; insurance headaches are the curse.  Not to worry, we can help with that.

Airbnb does offer limited coverage that is meant to supplement your existing homeowner’s policy.  Please note the use of the word LIMITED.  Limited or not, at least you have an extra cushion should disaster strike,  right?  Don’t be so sure about that.  Insurance companies don’t like risks and having unknown people have full run of your home while you are/are not there is not something they look upon with happiness.  Ask most insurance people how they feel about insuring an Airbnb, and you will see just the slightest grimace of pain cross their faces.  Very few companies in the industry have embraced the sharing economy, and that makes it difficult to ensure that you have coverage that you can use if the need arises.  

Not every insurance policy is created equal.  Some companies will still cover your home if you list it on Airbnb, but they will only cover you if you rent out for a set amount of days, and they probably require you to be in residence for the entire time you have guests.  There are insurance companies who will not cover you at all if you list on Airbnb, and there are those who simply require that you increase your coverage.  You never know what you’ll find until you ask, and once you ask, you might not be happy with the answer you receive.

Ensuring that your home has the correct coverage can be as simple as picking up your phone and dialing 845-778-2141.  Ashley, Kathy, Philip, and David are ready, willing, and able to solve all of your insurance dilemmas, and we do it with a smile.  We are Hudson Valley Agents, the Hudson Valley’s insurance superheroes!

#insurelocal  #hudsonvalleyinsurance

 

Youtube your way to insurance knowledge

Our Youtube channel has many fun and informational videos to answer many of your insurance questions.

Like this one about why some car insurance rates are higher than others –

#lowcarinsurancerates

Or this one, it’s all about UFO’s visiting Pine Bush –

Motorcycle insurance questions?  We have answers!

#motorcycleinsurance

Opening up a new distillery in the Hudson Valley?  We can help with that too!

#distilleryinsurance

Get to know Hudson Valley Agents, find out what a local, independent insurance agency can do for you –