3 Easy Ways To Save On Business Insurance

Running a small business is never an easy task, and it is made monumentally more difficult during a pandemic. We are going through the same thing, and we want to help. Let’s look at ways your business could save some money on your insurance rates and fix any problems that could occur in the future.

1- Business owners have made multiple changes to how they do business during the pandemic. Less staff and changes in hours are just the beginning. Is your storefront still open, or have you moved to fully online sales? Significant changes in your business should be reflected in your current policy.

2- Have you purchased a new vehicle for deliveries? Maybe added some graphics to it so that your business’s name is visible as you drive around town? Did you buy a commercial auto policy? No? Do not have an accident; your regular car insurance WILL NOT COVER IT.

3- When was the last time you shopped around for lower insurance costs? How confident are you that you have the best coverage and the most affordable rates? Every penny counts right now, so take the time to give us your information so we can shop around for you.

Our small business is here for your small business. We make it easy, affordable, and local. Workers compensation, business liability, commercial auto, commercial real estate, seriously, we do it all, and we do it well.

Call Hudson Valley Agents today for your free insurance review. We will make this as quick and painless as possible; we know you have a business to run. 845-778-2141, business@hvagents.com, or hvagents.com. You can also use our secure dedicated link http://business-insurance.link/ . Shop local, hire local, and insure local!  

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.

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!

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.

Get To Know Kathy, Our Commercial Lines Agent.

Finding a job that you want to do for the next thirty years of your life is almost impossible, impossible, but not undoable. Kathy Livingston started working for Hudson Valley Agents in October of 1990. She is still here and is an invaluable asset to the running of our office.

Kathy handles our commercial lines, workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, Business Owner Policies, and more. If you need insurance for your small business, there is no one better qualified to help you than Kathy.

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?
Kathy – It is never dull. So many different things to do in a day and having to keep up with all the company changes. Taking calls, quoting, making changes to policies, and making sure that all the companies are completing what is requested.
Question – What is the one thing that you wish your clients knew about your job?
Kathy – That it can sometimes become more hectic than anyone could imagine. People think of an insurance office, and they automatically assume that it is dull and slow-paced. It can be a real zoo sometimes, so please be patient with us.
Question – What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t at work?
Kathy – Just one? I love to spend time with my grandchildren, bake, and garden.
Question – What is your favorite movie?
Kathy – Sweet Home Alabama
Question – What is your favorite holiday?
Kathy – Christmas. Time for family and friends to be together, and I love the decorations and lights.
Question – If you were not in the insurance industry, what would you do?
Kathy – After 30 years, that is hard to say, but I think something in a hospital caring for people.

Kathy has a very loyal following with the many contractors who insure with Hudson Valley Agents. She knows how busy they are, that time truly is money, and that when someone needs a certificate of insurance, they need it NOW.

Your small business deserves the personal touch that an independent insurance agent offers. Kathy and the rest of the HVA staff can help protect your largest financial asset, your business.

#insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance

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

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

We Love InsuringClassic Cars!

July 12, 2019, is Collector Car Appreciation Day!

Classic car insurance is different than regular auto insurance – classic cars are not meant to be driven regularly. This means that in general, classic car liability premiums are lower because the risk on the road is reduced.

Mileage – Accordingly, carriers often limit the number of miles you can drive your classic vehicle annually. Some are more generous than others – while some have stricter limits rewarded by lower premiums. Always be sure to check before signing on the dotted line to be sure you can drive to attend all the shows you want.

Some specialty classic car insurers offer replacement cost to what is called “Agreed Value” (or Guaranteed Value). This means that the car owner tells the insurer what they consider to be the value of their classic car. The insurer will confirm the accuracy and the two parties will ‘agree’ to a final guaranteed replacement value.

“Stated Value” refers to an amount that is ‘stated’ at the beginning of the policy – supported by documentation supporting the replacement cost. However, in the case of a loss, the insurance company does not guarantee that amount and will pay either the stated value of the actual cash value of the vehicle, whichever is less.

Commercial insurance for classic car dealers is also available. Insurance for this type of business can cover:

Damage to vehicles you own and are selling

Damage to vehicles owned by others in your care, custody, and control

Loss or damage to collectibles, memorabilia or products sold by the dealership

Physical damage to property, gas pumps or equipment

To learn more about personal and commercial classic car coverage, contact your independent insurance agent.

And if you’re in the Hudson Valley, come see us at our Hudson Valley Agents booth at the Fair Street Reformed Church’s Seventh Annual Classic Car Show in Kingston, NY on Saturday, August 17 at the corner of Fair and Pearl Streets in Uptown Kingston. #classiccarinsurance #insurelocal #HudsonValleyInsurance