Saving Money On Your Business Insurance

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the Hudson Valley’s small businesses, none of them good. Every dollar counts right now, and we want to help you save even more money. We know that you hear things like this all of the time from insurance commercials, but we aren’t trying to save you money by bundling your auto and home coverage. We are a small business just like you, and we know a thing or two about insurance.  

Let’s look at a few of the things that could help your 2021 budget.

  • Has your employee count changed? Have you had to furlough/downsize/fire anyone during the pandemic? We can review your current worker’s comp and disability coverage to ensure that you aren’t overpaying.  
  • Have you added things like outdoor heaters, tents, outdoor seating? All of these items should be added to your coverage. Doing this might slightly increase your rates, but you will be able to replace them if damaged. 
  • Have you give up your storefront and are operating solely from your home residence? Did you remember to cancel the policy covering your retail space? Did you call your agent to inquire how these changes impact your business insurance needs and the possible savings?
  • Do you have a business partner? Do you both have Key Person Life Insurance policies? Yes, this is an expense, not savings, but hear us out. Can you afford to keep your business going if your partner passes away? This coverage ensures that the doors can stay open. You buy life insurance because you want your family to survive financially. You buy key person coverage because you want your business to survive financially.  

But the most important thing that you should do to help with your business insurance costs is this- call your insurance agent. 

Restaurants and Contractors are examples of businesses that can benefit from talking to an independent insurance agent. Here’s why. Their insurance rates are based on different things: sales, number of employees, square feet of space you are occupying. Or total annual payroll. If your sales have dropped or you are now working with a skeleton crew, call your agent and request a policy review. These reviews can bring you refunds and/or lower rates.  

Hudson Valley Agents has 30 years of insurance knowledge and 24/7 phone service, all waiting to help your business stay in business. Call today for a free insurance review or a free quote 845-78-2141. You can also use our secure dedicated link http://business-insurance.link/ Shop local, hire local, and insure local!  

Financial Planning And Your Insurance

October is Financial Planning Month, and we want you to know how important your insurance agent is to this plan.

Your insurance agent is a smart cookie, seriously, especially if they are an independent rather than a captive agent. Captive agents can only sell you the insurance policies that their company offers; State Farm and Geico are examples of captive agencies. Independent agents write policies with MANY different companies. That ensures that you have coverage that can be customized to fit your individual needs.

1- Life Insurance. This one is obvious. Planning for your family’s future MUST include Life Insurance. Want to make sure that your family can continue to thrive and survive after you are gone? Call us for a stressfree Life Insurance quote.

2- Homeowners Insurance – If you have a mortgage, you have to have Homeowners coverage, but when was the last time you had it checked out? Upgrades to the home change the cost of what it takes to rebuild it if your house becomes damaged. You may have updated your kitchen with a natural stone flooring, but your homeowner’s policy was written way back when you had linoleum, and that’s what they are going to pay to replace.

3- Renters Insurance. Your Landlord’s insurance does not cover your couch or your laptop. Renters Insurance is surprisingly inexpensive, and most companies will discount your car insurance if you purchase both policies. Total win/win and smart financial planning.

4- Disability Income Insurance. Should you become injured or ill and unable to return to work, this policy has your back.

For more ways your independent insurance agent can help you plan for your financial future, give us a call. 845-778-2141. Hudson Valley Agents has 30+ insurance companies to work with, 30 years in the business, and outstanding Google reviews! Find out what a difference an Independent Insurance Agent can make, call, click, or stop by and say Hi.

Is Your Insurance Ready For The Rest Of 2020?

September is National Preparedness Month, and we want to help you prepare for the rest of 2020.

The Hudson Valley is at the beginning of a many month-long stretch of potential disasters. Don’t believe us? Take a look:

Hurricane Season for the Northeast begins in June but generally does not impact the Hudson Valley until late August into November. The high winds and rain bring down trees and powerlines, sometimes both, and sometimes on top of your house.

House fires are more prevalent from November thru the end of December. First time using the fireplace, lots of cooking and baking for the holidays, and don’t forget about all of those holiday candles!

January through March brings the potential for below zero days, high winds, ice storms, and blizzards. There is a much higher potential for frozen pipes, increased risk of fire from space heaters, and the possibility of long periods without electricity.

Then Spring rolls around and brings flooding. Flooded basements can breed mold problems. Most insurance companies give limited at best coverage for mold or Fungai damage and abatement, and homeowners’ insurance policies are not designed to cover you for a flood loss.

Because there are hundreds of insurance companies and multiple different coverage forms for them to choose from, the chances of you having coverage for every possible catastrophe is next to impossible.

If you are one of the 80% of people who have a standard HO3 policy, give us a call. We will look over your current homeowners’ policy, tell you where your potential inadequacies are, and give you the options to fill in those gaps.

The best part of all of this, the absolute cherry on top of this insurance sundae surprise, is this-
*Because we provide home insurance from more than 15 different A-rated insurance carriers, we can help fill in those gaps and save you money in the process!

We can offer you quotes from more than 15 different A-Rated insurance carriers, FIFTEEN! Many of our clients find that they can lower their monthly rate AND increase their coverage. Being prepared never saved you so much money!

Better coverage, lower rates, and 24- hour service. You can request a quote online or over the phone. 845-778-2141 #safeathome #homeownersinsurance

So you’ve moved to Kingston, now what?

Uptown Kingston NY

Hi, welcome to Kingston!

Hudson Valley Agents has a small presence in Kingston, small but mighty! Our boss, David, and our social media manager, Lisa, have been Kingston residents since 2013, and they are happy to be your guide to the best that Kingston has to offer. Today we are talking about furniture, fixtures, and home decor. You bought the house, now you have to make it your own and these places are where you should start.

We miss cruising the Hudson on the Rip Van Winkle!

Let’s start with the waterfront. EVERYONE wants to be here in the summertime, everyone, so expect crowds when the sun is shining. Bring home a fresh look for your new home and stock your pantry at Clove & Creek. There is always something new and unique at the Folk House Collective, and you’ll be supporting local artists as an added bonus!

Mural by Matthew Pleva

Uptown Kingston is where the action really is, and they keep that energy going all year long! Museums, so many restaurants, shops, parks, I could keep going and going. Looking for some home decor for your new place? Stuff or Kingston Consignments should be your first stops.

Brushworks Factory mural

Mid-town Kingston is where the magic really happens! If this city had a creative heartbeat, you would hear it here. Zaborski Emporium is the place to find everything you need to remodel your vintage home. You never know what you’re going to find there! Looking for something with a more updated feel? Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co. is the place to find the perfect serving board or andirons.

Covid-19 has changed a lot of things, including business hours. Check websites and social media before you head out. Please remember your mask.

Welcome to the neighborhood, we are so happy to meet you all! Next week we will share our favorite restaurants, hidden gems, best parking spots, and shortcuts to get you around the city with ease. We can tell you where to find a bagel that rivals the best Brooklyn has to offer and save you time and money on your insurance in the same phone call. It’s that easy. 845-778-2141 or hvagents.com or business@hvagents #insurelocal

Creating Your Outdoor Space? Call Your Insurance Agent!

Hi there, Hudson Valley! Was that a gorgeous weekend, or what? We know that many of you spent the weekend in your garden, planting, cleaning up, maybe putting up a tire swing, or a gazebo, or even building a new deck… any of that sound familiar?
You want your garden or patio area to be an oasis, especially with so many of us spending our time at home now, and it takes time and money to create that. But what changes should your insurance agent know about?
1- Call your agent if you are adding any detached structures to your yard to ensure coverage if damaged.
2- Call your agent before buying a trampoline to clarify coverage or lack thereof.
3- Call your agent if you have built an outdoor kitchen, you will need to discuss adding it to your current coverage.
4- Call your agent if you want to add tree removal to your policy, this may not be covered by most standard homeowners policies.


Your outdoor space is just as important as your indoor space, and it needs the same insurance protection. Hudson Valley Agents can help with that,
just call 845-778-2141 today!

How To Support Hudson Valley Small Businesses

Hi there Hudson Valley!

Small businesses like ours can help fuel local economies. But for a lot of us, times are tough right now.

In light of recent events, many local businesses are modifying their hours and the ways they serve their communities. Some are even closing our doors altogether. Here’s how you can help make a difference.

Shop online or call. Whether you’re buying a one-of-a-kind find from your favorite vintage store or toilet paper from your local pharmacy, visit their online shop – it’s always open.

Order delivery or pickup. Your favorite meal spot may not be open for table service – but they might deliver curbside or right to your door. Who said social distancing couldn’t be delicious?

  • Buy a gift card to use later. Show support now and treat yourself later; your timely purchase could make a difference.

Our small businesses are a large part of what makes the Hudson Valley such a wonderful place to live. Support them now, and they’ll be there to support our communities later. #weareallinthistogether #supportlocal #HudsonValleyStrong

The Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make

Just look at that homemade bread…..

Hi there Hudson Valley! The COVID-19 pandemic has left us with time on our hands to try new things. So we thought we would help you learn how to make the best bread you have ever tasted!

The boss’s wife makes the best bread! She makes Milk Bread,

Milk Bread

Dutch Oven Bread,

Dutch Oven Bread

and is currently trying her hand at Sourdough, but this is the recipe that she can make in her sleep, and everyone loves it! Trust us, this is fool-proof breadmaking at its finest. Great bread recipe for the first-time baker.

Fresh Bread

Easiest Bread You’ll Ever Make


2 envelops of Active Dry Yeast (or 4 & 1/2 tsp if using jarred)
1 Tablespoon & 2 teaspoons of sugar
2 Cups of warm to warmish water
1 & 1/2 Tablespoons of salt
5 cups of flour (you can substitute bread flour, but it will make for VERY HEFTY loaves, we are talking a ton of bricks heavy)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 or more Tablespoons cornmeal (to scatter over a baking pan or pizza tile)
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tablespoon of water (to brush over bread before baking)
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, everything bagel seasoning, coarse salt or Whatever you want to sprinkle over the top
Spray oil
Ramekins for hot water
Hot water

Using a standing mixer (or large bowl) combine yeast, sugar, and water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Doing this gives your yeast the ability to bloom. If you watch the mixture, you will see little eruptions, that’s the yeast coming to life!

Add to this mixture your flor, salt, and olive oil. Using a dough hook and occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl, mix for 5 to 7 minutes. If mixing by hand, stir and scrape the sides of the bowl until the dough forms into a ball, once it forms into a ball, turn onto a floured surface and knead for 3 to 7 minutes. The dough should not feel wet, if it does, add flour by the tablespoon until it begins to feel dry. Put the dough into a well oiled large bowl. Cover with a clean dishcloth or oiled plastic wrap and let sit for an hour. If you find that you have a conference call in an hour, or you fall asleep while binging Netflix, DON’T WORRY! The dough can rise for as long as two hours, as a matter of fact, the longer the rise, the better the bread tastes!

Your dough should have doubled in size by now. Let out some of your isolation frustration and punch it down with a swift smack to the middle of it. Cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes. Use that 5 minutes to line two baking sheets with parchment paper or tinfoil. If baking on the baking sheet & using tin foil, spray the tin foil with cooking spray and then generously dust with cornmeal. If using a pizza stone, sprinkle a small amount of flour on parchment paper, save the cornmeal for the stone itself.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and use a sharp knife to divide it into two lumps. Set one lump aside and cover it with a clean cloth. Take a rolling pin and roll it out into a rectangle that is about 3/4 of an inch thick. If you want to make round loaves, roll the dough into a tight ball using well-floured hands. Place your newly formed loaf onto your prepared baking sheets and cover with clean cloths or well-oiled plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 400, if you are using a pizza stone, put it in the oven while it is heating up. Brush each loaf with your egg/water mixture, then take a sharp knife and slash the loaves. Long loaves usually get three slashes, round loaves 2. Then sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

Carefully transfer loaves to pizza stone for baking.

Before putting your loaves in the oven, you can fill ramekins with hot water (or an oven-safe coffee cup works in a pinch) to help create steam to help the bread rise while baking, but if you forget it still works.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When you take the loaves out of the oven, make sure to tap the bottom, if it sounds hollow, then it is done. Do your best to let the bread sit for at least half an hour before you cut into it, but we totally understand if you can’t wait.

We would love to hear from you about your favorite bread recipes, and if you try this one, share a picture of your loaves with us!

From everyone at Hudson Valley Agents, stay safe, stay healthy, stay home, and bake bread! Remember, we are all in this together.

Comfort Television, What Are You Watching?


The new normal for Americans in the time of Covid-19 is still evolving, but there is one thing that most of us are doing to beat the self-isolation blues – Watching TV.

When things get anxious, comfort television is one way to ease our minds and help us relax. Here’s what we’re watching:
Kathy – Big Valley and Bonanza
Ashley – Friends and How I Met Your Mother
David – Star Trek and Letterkenny
Lisa – The Office and Twin Peaks

These shows are the anti-news, the break you can take from dealing with the stress of the unknown that we are all facing right now. It seems as though, every time you open social media or turn on your television, there is another closing, another shortage, and no real end in sight for any of it. It becomes too much to bear, and that is why we turn on the television.

Shows like The Golden Girls, or Parks And Rec only take a half an hour to watch, even less without those pesky commercial breaks, and when the credits start to roll, we are smiling once again.

We would love to hear from you, what comfort shows are you watching while self-isolating? We would love to find something new to watch! Did you know that you could have a Netflix Party with this extension to Google Chrome? Now you can curl up on your own couch and watch your favorite shows with friends and family, and you don’t have to share your popcorn! BTW- if you have any suggestions for popcorn toppings, share them with us!!

We know that your car insurance or your homeowner’s insurance is not top of mind right now, you have more significant worries in your life like trying to find toilet paper or helping your kids learn how to adapt to the changes in their routine. This is not the time to try to sell you anything.  We want to be here for our clients and our social media followers and help them through these uncertain times.

If you have questions about your current insurance coverage or are one of those people who find yourself out of work and need to lower your insurance costs, then please give us a call. We are in the office and the phones are ringing. David, Kathy, and Ashley can handle anything that you need via phone, email, and fax. They know that you have a lot on your plate right now, worrying about your insurance shouldn’t be one of them, we are here to help.

Please stay safe and stay healthy Hudson Valley, we’re all in this together. #flattenthecurve

Remembering The Year 2000

Remembering The Year 2000

Tomorrow begins a brand new decade, and that has us all feeling a little nostalgic. We can’t help but find ourselves looking back on where we were ten years ago; it’s just what happens at this time of the year.  

Here’s what we were doing way back in 2000:

Kathy

1- How did you spend New Year’s Eve 2000?

New Years’ Eve 2000 was spent at home with a gathering of family and friends. Only worried a little about Y2K at the office with the computers.

2- What were you watching on TV?

My favorite TV show was a tie, ER and Everybody Loves Raymond

3- What is the best thing that has happened to you since 2000?

The best thing that has happened to me since 2000 is the birth of seven grandchildren!

Ashley

1- How did you spend New Year’s Eve 2000

I was at a y2k party waiting for the power to shut down since that’s what the whole world thought was going to happen.

2- What were you watching on TV?

Friends, and The Soprano’s with my dad on Sundays.

3- What is the best thing that has happened to you since 2000?

Learning to be independent.

David

1- How did you spend New Year’s Eve 2000?

Partied on the strip in Vegas.

2- What were you watching on TV?

I can’t remember what my favorite TV show was 2 years ago.

3- What is the best thing that has happened to you since 2000?

Meeting and marrying my wife, Lisa.  

The world can change a lot in 20 years; your insurance should too. Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to call for a free review of your current insurance policies. Being over-insured is just as costly as being under-insured. Find out what a difference an independent insurance agent can make for your insurance coverage and your budget, call Ashley, Kathy, or David today. 845-778-2141

an image of Kathy Livingston, David Bonne, and Ashley Berry.  Staff photo
Kathy, David, & Ashley

#insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance #HudsonValleyAgents

We’re Trying To Figure Out If Santa Needs Commercial Auto Insurance Or Airplane Coverage…

Ashley celebrating National Ugly Sweater Day!

The holidays are here and everyone has a lot on their plate. Gift wrapping, tree trimming, cookie baking, we get it.

But have you ever wondered what your insurance agent thinks about during the holiday season? We think about Santa Claus. We think about Santa Claus and what it would be like to insure him. We even made a video about it!

The horror of trying to write commercial auto insurance for Santa Claus

Would Santa’s sleigh qualify as a sled or as aircraft? Can we get coverage for the reindeer? How do we send an inspector to examine his workshop, even Google Maps can’t find Santa’s workshop! Don’t get us started on Workers Comp Insurance coverage for the elves…

If Santa Claus needed insurance we could find it for him, for him and all of his elves too. We’re just that good.

Happy Holidays Hudson Valley, may all your days be merry and bright.