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    Welcome to the Hudson Valley Agency Representing Farm Family

    Our agency is comprised of four office locations in and around the Albany area: GlenmontKinderhookPine Plains, and Catskill.


    Experience the Difference
    . Our Agents will provide ongoing reviews and recommendations as well as courteous and timely service. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in our relationship with you.

     

    Wednesday
    Sep172014

    Read Your Contracts

    As business owners, we purchase liability insurance to protect us from the financial impact of a lawsuit. And although the insurance company will respond to a covered claim, it makes sense to try to reduce or eliminate the potential for a lawsuit before it happens. For example, if there is a loose step leading into your building, you should repair it to reduce the risk of causing someone to fall, causing injury, and therefore suing you for damages. This is good “risk management”.

    One important area of risk management involves legal contracts. The contract is an agreement that spells out each party’s responsibilities. When signing such an agreement, you are putting yourself at risk of not fulfilling the terms of the agreement. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to practice good risk management by reading and understanding exactly you are promising to do?

    Let’s look at an example…

    A management company hires a contractor to plow snow for the season. A clause in the contract requires that there be “bare pavement at all times” during the winter season. On a very windy day, there is snow drifting across the parking lot and a customer slips, falls, and hurts his back. He sues the business and the management company, who in turn sues the contractor for failing to keep the parking lot in a condition of “bare pavement”.

    One may argue that there are times when it’s impossible to keep all pavement free of snow under certain conditions – and they would be correct. However, the contractor did not question that wording in the contract, and now they are potentially liable for failing to do what they promised.

    The point is that you need to make sure that you can do what you promise to do. If you don’t understand or don’t agree with the wording in a contract then you should have a qualified attorney advise you. Yes, it will cost some money, but the cost is minimal compared to the potential cost of a lawsuit.

    Bill Burke is a Multiple Line General Agent with Farm Family Insurance Co. and is a Certified Insurance Counselor located in Glenmont, NY. You can contact him at BillBurke@Farm-Family.com or (518)431-5555.

    This blog is for informational purposes only and does not offer insurance or legal advice. It is recommended that you contact a competent licensed insurance professional to review your specific insurance program.

    Friday
    Sep052014

    What is your house worth?

    The answer to that question depends on whom you are asking.

    The realtor will value your house based on what it can be sold for in the real estate market. The tax assessor will value your house based on a formula used to collect property taxes in your town. However, the insurance company will value your house on what it will cost to rebuild the house in the event it’s destroyed. And all these numbers can be very different.

    The insurance company does its best to figure what it will cost to replace your home in the event of a total loss. They do this by using a computer program known as a “cost estimator” into which they feed information like the year built, square feet of living space, type of construction, added features such as decks, porches or attached garages, etc… The program calculates the cost of materials and the cost of labor in your area to arrive at an “estimate” of what it will cost to rebuild (replace) the house – this is referred to as “replacement cost”.

    Often times we hear the complaint that the amount of insurance is too high, “I only paid ‘x’ for my house”, or “I could never sell it for that”. But again, those values may have no relation to the cost of construction.

    As an example… an insured buys a 2 family house in the city of Albany for $250,000 which is considered to be a reasonable market value. The house was built in 1930 and has 3,000 square feet of living space. The flooring is all hardwood, there is decorative molding throughout, there are plaster walls and many features that are not typical of modern construction. When all this information is entered into the cost estimator it calculates replacement cost to be $750,000. The reason is that this value is so much higher than the purchase price is that if the house were destroyed in a fire, the insurance company would have to replace all of these items, even the plaster walls if the insured wanted it.

    That being said, it is important for the insurance company to have accurate information regarding your home so that the calculation is correct. This is why it is important to review with your agent periodically so that you have the proper coverage.

    Bill Burke is a Multiple Line General Agent with Farm Family Insurance Co. and is a Certified Insurance Counselor located in Glenmont, NY. You can contact him at BillBurke@Farm-Family.com or (518) 431-5555.

    This blog is for informational purposes only and does not offer insurance or legal advice. It is recommended that you contact a competent licensed insurance professional to review your specific insurance program.

    Friday
    May022014

    Did You Know?

    Personal insurance most likely will not extend to a boat, jetski, atv, motorcycle, etc. that you rent. You should contact your agent when renting any of these items.

    In most cases, the best approach is to purchase insurance through the rental company - but you should read the fine print regarding who is covered, use of the craft and the deductible.

    As always, we are here to help. If you have a question, please don't hesitate to contact us!

    Friday
    Jan172014

    Attention NY Employers

    New York employers: Wage Theft Prevention Act notices must be issued to your employees by February 1st.  For notification templates and related information, visit http://www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/ellsformsandpublications.shtm.

    Thursday
    Jun272013

    Super Storm Sandy - Damaged Cars

    Gov. Cuomo issued a consumer alert warning used-car buyers from purchasing storm-damaged cars. Consumers can determine whether a used vehicle is a "flood car" from Sandy or damaged following other storms or circumstances by clicking here.