5 ways to #insurelocal with HVA

HVA insuring the hv

Hudson Valley Agents has adopted the #insurelocal hashtag for a very good reason, we have 5, yes 5, New York state-based insurance companies that we work with and that is a pretty big deal.

When you insure with a regionally based insurance company your rates are regionally based.  For example, if your homeowners insurance is with Allstate or State Farm then you might have noticed an increase in your premiums after the California wild fires destroyed so many homes.  This happens when your insurance company covers everything everywhere.  A locally based insurance company’s rates reflect the risks and losses of their region and not the rest of the country.

If you would like to #insurelocal then give us a call, we work with these local companies –

Keep your money where you live, shop locally, eat locally, play locally, and insure locally with Hudson Valley Agents!

 

Creating a home inventory list

creating a home inventory list

When I purchased my home 2 years ago this month I did not immediately create a home inventory list and I really regret it.  It would have been so much easier to just photograph and list each item as I unpacked it but I, like so many other people, just put aside the task of creating a home inventory list because the job just seems to large to tackle.

If your home is destroyed by a fire and you did not have a home inventory list the insurance adjuster will be forced to “guesstimate” what you may or may not have actually have owned.  The amount of money paid to you when your claim is settled might be much, much lower than you expected.  If you can show an accurate list, with photographs, of your home’s inventory you will be able to replace (and in some cases, upgrade) everything you lost.

If the task of creating a home inventory seems daunting and that is why you have put it off then take heart, there are apps to help with that!  There are several great home inventory apps and knowyourstuff.org is a great place to start.  Some insurance company’s would like your home inventory lists to include or exclude certain things so looking over your policy or calling your insurance agent before you begin is always a good idea.

Hudson Valley Agents can help you with all of your homeowners insurance needs.  Give us a call today at 845-778-2141 and find out just how much money we can save you!  #insurelocal

Let’s talk about your engagement ring

engagement ring with prosecco

If you happen to be one of the thousands of women who happened to get engaged over the holidays you probably haven’t been able to stop staring at your ring finger.  Sparkly isn’t it?  If he loved you enough to put a ring on it then you really need to make sure that gorgeous ring has insurance coverage!

Diamonds and gold usually make up the average engagement ring and those things do not come cheap.  That ring deserves the best insurance coverage you can get and that is why you need to call Hudson Valley Agents right now.  Many homeowners insurance policies will cover your engagement ring if it is stolen, there are renters insurance policies that do this as well, but there could be a cap on the amount of funds you receive.  Adding a rider to your current homeowners policy could be a better option.  This is the reason you really need to sit down and talk to an insurance professional at Hudson Valley Agents.

You and your fiancee should make talking to an independent insurance professional part of your wedding planning.  Knowing that all aspects of your wedding and honeymoon are properly insured gives you peace of mind and asset protection that can not be beat!

Insurance coverage for big ticket holiday gifts

 

hva big ticket holiday gifts

Today I found myself reading an article about insurance coverage for big-ticket holiday gifts.  As I read the article I thought about an incident a friend of mine had about ten years ago.  My friend bought her son a new video game console and three “must have” video games to go with it.  She knew that her son and her husband were horrible snoops and hiding any of their holiday gifts at home meant that they would surely be found.  After giving the situation some thought she decided to bring all of their gifts to her office and store them there until the big day.  The day before she planned on bringing the festively wrapped gifts home to place underneath the tree the sprinkler system in her office went berserk and caused nasty sprinkler water to soak every inch of space.  Computers were destroyed, rugs were sopping wet, and her gifts were ruined.  My friend ended up writing the whole thing off as a gigantic loss and made up for it the next year.

This memory prompted me to call Dave Jr and ask if the same situation happened in 2015 would her office’s insurance cover the loss or could she claim it on her homeowners insurance?  His answer surprised me, I had assumed that all homeowners insurance would cover the loss, just like losing your expensive camera while on vacation.  He stated that “Unless you have a personal effects rider on your office policy you are out of luck.  However, there may be coverage on your homeowners policy for personal effects off premises.  An agent would need to go through to see.  It all comes down to what form your homeowners policy was written on.”  It would seem that not every homeowners insurance policy covers the same things.

When you purchase an insurance policy you enter into a legal contract with an insurance company.  That contract should be read and reviewed annually to ensure that the coverage you think you have is truly the coverage that you actually have.  Read it before you sign it!  The other lesson that can be taken from this little walk down memory lane is this, call your insurance agent the very same day you purchase those big ticket holiday items and make sure they are properly insured should the unthinkable occur.

Do you find yourself wondering exactly what your current homeowners insurance covers?  Hudson Valley Agents will happily re-evaluate your current insurance policy and find you the homeowners insurance coverage you truly need.

September is National Preparedness month, are you ready?

disaster plan

Most of us spend September preparing for back to school and the colder weather and that’s a good start to National Preparedness month but our preparations shouldn’t stop there. Today’s blog is about three ways to prepare for National Preparedness month.

Making a family disaster plan is probably one of the most overlooked items on the preparedness checklist. Without a family disaster plan how will family members who are not at home know where to go to meet up with other family members? Have a family meeting and set up everyone’s “In case of emergency” contact information on their cell phones. If your home or street has become unreachable due to flooding or fire make sure your family has another location to meet at and make every family member aware of how to reach that location.

Making a disaster plan that includes your pets is really important too. Keep a small bag of their food and any needed medications as well as their leashes and copies of their vaccine information in an easily accessible location. Keep cat carriers within easy reach. Your pets are family members and need to be included in your preparedness plans.

Sitting down with a local independent insurance agent is also a way to prepare for any disaster. Your insurance will help you rebuild your home and replace lost furnishings. Having your current insurance policies reevaluated can save you money and will ensure that you are carrying the correct amount of insurance coverage.

Hudson Valley Agent’s Veep, Dave Jr, is a firm believer in being prepared and he’s been in the insurance business long enough to know that a good insurance policy can make a huge difference to families who have been through a disaster. Call HVA today and get the peace of mind you deserve.

Learning to love your empty nest

HVA love empty nest

The first day of college is rapidly approaching and many of the Hudson Valley’s graduates will be on their own in unknown towns and cities. There are tons of articles about preparing your teen for their first school year away from home but there is very little made of the fact that their parents will be coming home to what might be their first empty house in eighteen years.

Many different feelings surface when you and your spouse find yourselves alone for the first time in forever. You might be inclined to dance the happy dance or you might just close yourself in your child’s room and cry for a while. No matter what you end up doing just remember that these feelings are only temporary and that you will find a way through this. Remember these things

  • You will have more free time than you ever imagined.
  • You can text and email your kid(s), just don’t over do it.
  • Your kid(s) will be home soon, and so will their laundry.
  • You will no longer have to hide your chocolate stash.
  • You’ll have more free time to indulge in your hobbies.
  • If you don’t have a hobby, now’s the time to find one.
  • You will finally have all of the alone time you and your spouse could ever want.
  • Your home might remain clean much longer than it ever has before.

Having your kid(s) go away to college for the first time is not easy on any parent. There’s a quiet void that just does not feel natural but do not worry, sooner than you realize your home will be filled with your kid(s) and your kid’s friends and you will find yourself missing the quiet. Get yourself and your kid(s) ready for the college scene by making sure that their insurance needs are taken care of. Get in touch with Hudson Valley Agents and make sure that their car, phone, laptop, and other electronics are properly insured. HVA can help you and your college student navigate the confusing world of insurance and provide you with excellent insurance coverage too. Call us today.

Airbnb & nightmare guests, are you properly insured?

 

The Airbnb phenomenon is a unique and inexpensive alternative to the standard motel/hotel experience for travelers and a way to gain income from an unused bedroom for homeowners. It seems to be a match made in heaven, but what happens when heaven turns to hell in one short weekend? A family in Canada found out that not all Airbnb guests are created equally –
After watching that clip I can honestly say that I will (probably) NEVER become an Airbnb host! How do you even begin to clean up such a mess and who will pay it? I asked HVA’s own Dave Jr about it and his response did not sound too promising. “If your home is your prime source of income via Airbnb or a Bed and Breakfast and you only carry a standard homeowners insurance policy then you are probably out of luck.” he said. Airbnb does offer their hosts something called Host Guarantee but is it enough? Will a standard homeowners insurance policy cover an Airbnb host and their guest? No.

A standard homeowners insurance policy was not created to cover all of the pitfalls that a standard Bed and Breakfast runs into, it was never meant to. Your homeowners policy covers the things that a normal family experiences in their normal day to day lives. When you have a Bed and Breakfast or an Airbnb you need additional coverage for these additional problems and unfortunately many people do not realize this and that my friends is why you really need to talk to an independent insurance agent before you decide to own and operate a standard Bed and Breakfast or an Airbnb.

A person who runs a standard Bed and Breakfast knows that they run a business and it must be treated as such, that means proper permits, proper insurance, and a visit from a health inspector. An Airbnb host may be savvy enough to have all of these things but many hosts are winging it and that leaves them and their guests in a sort of business limbo. What happens if an Airbnb guest becomes ill from eating a meal in your home? What happens if someone visiting your Airbnb guest damages your home? If you do not have proper insurance coverage then you and you alone are left paying and you risk loosing your home in the process.

Airbnb’s are a wonderful idea and can be a great way to get to know the people who live in the city you are visiting. It’s the perfect way to meet new people and get extra income out of that spare bedroom that no one ever uses but there is always a downside as the people in Canada found out. For further information on properly insuring your Airbnb or Bed and Breakfast contact Dave Jr at Hudson Valley Agents, 845-778-2141. Your home is your greatest asset, protect it with the right insurance coverage.

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.

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.

Valentines Day proposals and wedding insurance go hand in hand

 

So Hudson Valley, Valentines Day is just around the corner, how will you be celebrating? In 2013 the Huffington Post projected that 6 million Americans were either expecting to be proposed to or were planning on proposing on Valentines Day, that was lot of diamonds to insure!

From the day you get engaged until the day you get home from your honeymoon you are faced with thousands of decisions. Where to get married, what should the color scheme be, where to go on your honeymoon, and on and on. The one question most couples forget to ask is “Where should we insure our wedding?” The average wedding costs $16,000 or more and a lot of that money goes to pay non-refundable deposits, shouldn’t you be insuring something you have invested so much time and money in?

Planning your wedding should also mean re-evaluating your insurance needs because you might be eligible for lower insurance rates. This video from the insurance geniuses at the Insurance Information Institute explains everything –
So if this happens to be the Valentines Day that he decides to “put a ring on it” don’t forget to give us a call. We can insure every aspect of your life easily and that frees you to tackle the really tough questions like “Who’s going to sit next to Aunt Marge” and “Should we have a band or a DJ?”. Planning your wedding can be difficult, insuring it shouldn’t be, call Hudson Valley Agents today!