Does your hobby need insurance?

Hobbies run the gamut from cheap and easy (reading) to wildly expensive (building stock cars), and then there’s everything in-between.  Did you know that there are scrapbook tools that cost more than $400?  We didn’t.

Think of it this way, if you have invested more than $500 in your hobby you should speak to your insurance agent about how to properly protect your hard work and financial output.  If your hobby’s costs are less than $500 you should still add those higher ticket items to your home inventory.  January is an excellent time to update your current home inventory list, don’t forget to add all your new electronics too!

Almost every hobby requires some amount of financial output, and if your hobby creates something of worth (such as jewelry making), then your investment is increased.  Ensuring that your investment has proper insurance coverage is where we come in.  Insurance coverage that actually covers your belongings is a reality.  Visit our website, pick up the phone, or just stop in for more information.

#insurelocal  #hobbyinsurance  #independentinsuranceagent  #homeownersinsurance  #hudsonvalley

 

 

The top 3 phone calls we get during December

December is a busy month for insurance agents and here are the top 3 types of phone calls we’ve been receiving:

1- Help!  I hit a deer!-   Everyone in the Hudson Valley has had to make this phone call at least once since they first got behind the wheel.

2- Help!  My pipes have frozen and burst!- Your homeowners insurance will cover the repairs to your walls and floors, but not to the pipes themselves.

3- Do I need extra insurance coverage for…. – Did you ask Santa for a new car?  What about a drone?  Some of your holiday gifts need specific insurance coverage (drones), and some (like high-end electronics or jewelry) need a low cost insurance rider in order to ensure coverage.

Don’t allow holiday mishaps to turn you into a Grinch, make sure your insurance is ready for all of your holiday fun!  Our insurance experts are here to help you make the season bright.  Call 845-778-2141 for more information & great insurance rates today!

#holidayinsurance  #carinsurance  #jewelryinsurance  #insurelocal  #independentinsuranceagent

3 Reasons to love your insurance agent!

When someone mentions the holidays there are things that always come to mind, shopping, wrapping paper, decorations, carols, but no one ever thinks about their insurance agent!

Here are 3 very good reasons to love your insurance agent this holiday season:

1- Sewer Backup.  Did Aunt Marge pour all of the turkey grease down the kitchen sink?  Did Uncle George clog your toilet again this year?  If your insurance agent made sure you purchased Sewage & Drain coverage, then you are covered!

2- Stolen holiday gifts.  So, you spent the day shopping for the holidays, after a few grueling hours spent fighting the crowds you make a quick stop at the grocery store for eggnog, and you come back to the car you find that all of your newly purchased gifts have been stolen!  Now what?  If you have a homeowners or renters policy you have nothing to worry about.  No renters or homeowners policy?  Contact your credit card company.

3- EVERYTHING ELSE.  If Santa Claus gets stuck in your chimney, you are covered by homeowners insurance.  If the Grinch breaks in and steals all of your gifts and your roast beast, covered by homeowners insurance.  If Rudolf and his cohorts fall through your roof during a hard landing, covered by homeowners insurance.

A good insurance agent will make sure that your insurance fits your budget.

A really good insurance agent will make sure that your insurance fits your coverage needs and your budget as well.

If you have questions about your current insurance coverage, or you are in the market for lower insurance rates, please give us a call.  David, Kathy, Ashley, and Philip are ready to put their insurance knowledge to work for you.

#holidayinsurance  #insurelocal  #hudsonvalleyagents

Stress relief for small business owners

Lower Your Small Business Stress for a Happier Holiday Season

The holiday season is once again upon us and if you are a small business owner, you’re likely nervously hoping for a safe and successful season of robust sales.

Since November is Stress Awareness Month and the Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday, we thought we’d give you a few tips to ease your anxiety while protecting your business.

  • Review your current business owner’s insurance to make sure the coverage for your business contents and your liability are up to date and will cover you if you have a loss.  Some people just ‘let it ride’ as their businesses grow and when a loss happens, they might find they aren’t insured for an appropriate amount.
  • The same for your building if you own the property.  Make sure your coverage reflects your real replacement costs. And check with your tenants to ensure that they are also carrying adequate liability insurance.
  • Make sure your signs and plate glass windows are covered. Many business owners don’t know to insure them specifically because they might not be covered by a general business policy.
    One of our clients had a bar and nightclub open next to her luxury retail store where she had more than 40 linear feet of plate glass as part of her storefront.  She confessed to lying awake some nights wondering if that was the night she’d receive ‘the call’.
  • Consider adding a central station burglar and fire alarm system that will notify the fire, police, or monitoring agency. Maintain fire extinguishers annually and consider installing an automatic sprinkler system. Not only will these help protect your business, you’ll receive credits that will lower your insurance premium significantly.

It may seem like a lot of work, but if you work with your independent insurance agent, he or she can help you navigate through it and find you the best coverage at the best price.

In closing, we’d like to wish everyone a joyful, safe, and successful holiday season from all of us at Hudson Valley Agents.

And relax. We’ve got you covered.

(P.S. If not, give us a call!  We’re really good at this.)

#shoplocal  #smallbizsaturday  #insurelocal

Here’s the secret to lower homeowners insurance costs

HVA Knowledge Tip

Because Knowledge Is Power!

Today’s blog comes to us via David J Bonne, our VP

When it comes to insuring properties, whether it be your own home or rental properties as a landlord, you need to know this one thing in order to make sense of your insurance costs:

The better shape the property is in, the lower your insurance premium will be.

Here’s the logic:

Property insurance covers damage to the property and the interior from common perils such as water damage (not flooding), wind damage, fire and smoke damage, etc.…

· If your property has curling shingles on the roof, the chances of interior water damage are much greater, therefore you will pay more for your insurance through a company that factors that into their risk assessment. Other companies may just turn you down or demand repairs within 30 days in order to avoid cancellation.

· If your property has old electric or fuses instead of 100+ amp circuit breakers, the chance of a electrical fire are much greater, and therefore you will pay more for your insurance through a company that factors that in their risk assessment.

· If your property still has old fashioned plumbing that does not wear well and gets pitted and is prone to leaks, your chances of water damage will increase immensely and once again, you will pay more for your insurance through a company that factors that in their risk assessment.

· If your property has old non-insulated windows from the beginning of time, your chances of incurring frozen pipes and the ensuing damage from that will increase quite a bit. I’m sure you know what comes next.

These are just a few glaring examples as to why your insurance carrier makes these demands that you may or may not feel are unreasonable or none of their concern, but there are many more than just this.

Hudson Valley Agents has an insurance market for almost every type of property out there, from the preferred pristine property to a property with one or more of these risk multipliers mentioned above. Just keep in mind the costs are commensurate with the condition of the property.

#propertyinsurance  #insurelocal  #rentalinsurance  #homeownersinsurance  #landlordinsurance  #HudsonValleyAgents  #WaldenNY

Even artists need insurance

“Art is literacy of the heart”- Elliot Eisner

Today’s blog post was written by Philip Bender-Tymon

Where Creative and Covered Meet
Creative individuals, artists, and freelancers are noticing a new trend in their business dealings with clients.  Many who work with corporate clients, or at institutions or spaces where work is either created or installed on-site, are now being asked to carry general liability insurance.
In today’s lawsuit-prone society, it makes smart business sense for formerly free-spirits to carry at least a basic liability insurance policy.
Say you are a sculptor and your installation at a gallery falls over, seriously injuring a patron. If that patron sues and you have a policy in place, the insurance company takes over the lawsuit, hires the lawyers and conducts proceedings and settlements (if any) on your behalf.
Situations like that are exactly what’s driving requests by gallery owners, government agencies and corporations to request what is called a Certificate of Insurance – or COI – as a proof of insurance coverage.
And fortunately, it’s not expensive.
A variety of options are available for covering anything from a one-day event for as little as $40 to a 12-month policy that might only cost a couple hundred dollars.
Talk to your independent insurance agent about what coverages are available to protect you.
You’ll sleep better – and so will your clients!
#insurelocal  #liabilityinsurance  #HudsonValleyAgents  #WaldenNY  #HudsonValley

Personal Injury Liability Insurance

Today’s blog comes to us via a guest writer, our own VP – David J Bonne.

Whether you are a landlord of a small one to four family dwelling or a larger apartment complex, there is a very important insurance coverage you should probably consider and it doesn’t even cost that much; its called “Personal Injury Liability.

Many insurance agents that are not familiar with true landlord exposures, may not even offer this optional coverage to you, even though it generally costs as little as $40 – $50 to have added to your policy.

Personal Injury Liability on a landlord or business owner’s insurance policy covers “wrongful acts.” Wrongful acts sounds like a harsh term since most of the potential acts are usually committed in error (not intentionally) or not committed at all, but perceived to be by a tenant.  These potential wrongful acts can be one or more of the following:

  • Wrongful eviction
  •  Discrimination
  •  Slander
  •  Libel
  •  False arrest
  •  Invasion of privacy, etc.

A personal injury liability endorsement on your policy will simply add these coverage definitions to your existing landlord liability, which usually only covers basic scenarios such as trip and fall, or tenant property damage. Some insurance companies limit what is covered under wrongful acts, so be sure to check with your agent for coverage definitions by the insurance carrier you are written with when asking for this important coverage.

You should also try to reduce potential future claims of this sort by performing the following simple tasks:

  •  Do not deny a tenant a lease on the basis of race, color, religion, etc.
  •  Keep good records of all tenant leases and any interactions you have with them.
  •  Make notes of conversations and follow up with a confirmation letter on what was discussed and the date.
  •  Know your responsibilities as a landlord. Check the housing and urban development website portal for the State of NY
  •  Never enter a leased rental without ample prior notice, unless it is an emergency.
  •  Follow all eviction laws and guidelines.

When an eviction is necessary, document the reasoning, every step taken, and all relevant information for your legal protection.

Happy landlording

David J. Bonne

Hudson Valley Agents

Walden, NY

(845) 778-2141 7 (845) 764-4482

http://www.hvagents.com

 

#landlordinsurance  #personalliabilityinsurance  #insurelocal  #hudsonvalley  #waldenny

Are you addicted to your cell phone?

 

We just realized that every single person in our Walden office has their cell phone sitting on their desk, usually right next to their keyboard.  Every.  Single.  One.  Of.  Us.

We are cell phone addicts.  We check our phones while brushing our teeth, before we get out of bed in the morning, and while watching television.  Is this just fear of missing out (#FOMO) or are we truly addicted?  No matter what you call it, checking your cell phone while driving can negatively impact your car insurance premiums!

If you are caught using your cell phone while behind the wheel you could rack up almost 5 points on your drivers license and that will definitely increase your auto insurance premiums and, in some cases, could cause your insurance company to not renew your insurance at all.  Court fees, fines, increased insurance costs, the total could run into the thousands, it simply isn’t worth it.

Here is the other cost of cell phone use while driving –

 

#distracteddriving  #cellphoneaddiction  #insurelocal  #autoinsurance  #HudsonValleyAgents

7 Summer vacation tips

Planning a summer vacation is more than just booking a hotel and buying plane tickets, there are many other things to plan for and we are here to help ensure that all your vacation I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

1-  If you are renting a vacation home contact your insurance agent to ensure that you and your belongings are covered.

2- Do not post your travel plans on social media, if Facebook knows that you are away, then everyone knows you are away, including thieves.

3- Leave your house keys with a trusted neighbor or friend and ask them to check on your home.

4- Put your lights on a timer!

5- Always pack medications, toothbrush, and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost.

6- Consider investing in travel insurance if you are traveling outside of the US.

7- Download our free app for iPhone and Android!  You can start a claim, make a payment, or locate your car in an unfamiliar parking lot!

#travelinsurance  #vacationinsurance  #HudsonValleyAgents  #insurelocal