Wednesday, May 25, 2016

This Month's Insurance Tip

Thwart Dog Bites

Did you know that dog bites cause over 2,000 injuries that require immediate medical care in the United States each day? You can be held legally liable if your dog bites someone. Fortunately, this loss is usually covered by the homeowners policy, with some exceptions. In fact, around 33 percent of all liability insurance claims paid by homeowners policies are for dog bites! Even if your insurance covers the claim (and any ensuing lawsuit), however, imagine the personal grief you and your family would feel for the injured friend, not to mention the time and trouble you would incur in cooperating with your insurer in defending the claim following a tragic event involving your pet.
Therefore, thwarting such an ill-fated occurrence should be your primary objective, and there are steps you can take to reduce or prevent dog bites. Here are some suggestions from the professionals.
  • Consider dog breeds carefully prior to selecting a pet. Some breeds are more aggressive than others, and a veterinarian can help you decide which breeds might best fit your lifestyle.
  • Spay or neuter the animal, as this often decreases the aggressiveness of dogs.
  • Seek a veterinarian's advice quickly if your dog becomes aggressive.
  • Socialize your dog from an early age to encourage appropriate behavior.
  • Never leave dogs alone with small children.
  • Avoid aggressive games with puppies and dogs, such as tug-of-war.
  • Do not place your dog in situations where he or she can be teased or feel threatened.
  • Train your dog to obey commands.
  • If your dog does bite someone, a board-certified plastic surgeon should treat this person to minimize scarring and potential disfigurement. 
There is one other loss exposure concerning dogs you should consider. You may face liability claims if your dog gets out into the road and causes or contributes to an auto accident. You can be sued for violation of leash ordinances by allowing your dog to "run at large." Use a well-maintained and sturdy fence or other safeguards to reduce this exposure.
And if your dog does injure someone despite all your efforts to avoid it, report it to your insurance company immediately to assure your coverage is not jeopardized for late reporting.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ryan & Ryan Insurance Brokers Client of the Month

Hudson Valley Distillers

What did two fraternity brothers from Bloomsburg University fantasize about while vacationing together and enjoying some craft distilled spirits next to an open campfire?  Partnering and opening up their very own distillery, of course. And that’s exactly what Thomas Yozzo and Chris Moyer of Hudson Valley Distillers, our Client of the Month for May, did.  In 2013, Thomas, Chris, along with their two wives, Jennifer and Jennifer, purchased a small apple farm and apple orchard in Clermont, NY. They named it Spirits Grove Farm.  The property also came with a nursery, a house, a retail center, a 150 year old barn, four acre apple orchards, and four greenhouses.  The apple orchard is slowly being restored without the use of chemicals and the 150 year old barn has been renovated by both families. In April 2014, the renovated barn opened as the distillery for Hudson Valley Distillers.  The distillery includes a steam boiler, a 300 gallon still, and a 300 gallon mash tun, from Artisan Still design.   In 2015, when New York State Laws changed their laws for farm distilleries and allowed selling by the glass, Hudson Valley Distillers opened a new and exciting addition to the distillery, Cocktail Grove.  Cocktail Grove is an intimate and inviting space where friends and customers can gather to enjoy unique cocktails (made from the spirits created at Hudson Valley Distillers), and light local fare such as charcuterie, cheese, crackers, bread, and soup. A covered patio has been the most recent addition to Cocktail Grove.   Hudson Valley Distillers is a destination distillery offering tours, tastings, and bottle sales.  The current line up of spirits include Vodka, Applejack, and ‘Fine Shine’, all made from local apples.  They also have a gin made from New York grapes, and two whiskeys, one made from a locally produced beer and the other from a local rye.

There is often an interesting story to go along with how most clients find Bob Ryan, and Ryan and Ryan Insurance Brokers. Bob was not the first choice for Hudson Valley Distillers’ insurance. Tom and Chris actually have a fraternity brother who is also an insurance agent (“Sorry Bob, we hadn’t even met you when we first approached him.”), but he just couldn’t put a real plan together for Tom and Chris. They found out early on, in this burgeoning industry, you don’t want to have to train your insurance broker or banker, you need them to advise you.  Bob had distillery and winery clients prior to bringing Hudson Valley Distillers on and that was a real benefit for them. Tom and Chris signed on Ryan and Ryan from the day they bought their  farm in July 2013, and have been with them ever since.
“We deal with Ryan and Ryan on a regular basis.  A big part of our business is wine and beer fests and they all have differing insurance requirements.  We are constantly asking for Certificates of Insurance and Linda does a great job getting us what we need in a timely manner.  We try not to ask for a COI on Friday afternoon for a Saturday fest, but it’s happened and she has come through.  We also have arcane bonding requirements and no matter how esoteric my bonding requirements, Ryan and Ryan has a quick answer on how to handle it.  We’ll go directly to Bob for more generic business advice, such as guidance on whether it would be wise to start a shuttle service with our van (he recommended against it) or whether expanding into Kingston is a good idea.  Bob has also helped us get into events such as Benedictine Health Foundation’s Sample Sip and Savor and introduced us to  customers such as J&K Wine and Liquor.  You can’t quantify this type of benefit in terms of an insurance premium, but it is definitely a factor in why we stay with Ryan and Ryan.”   Chris also made sure to mention again that he had emailed Linda and left a voicemail for her with a COI request after business hours on Friday for a Saturday fest.  I’m not sure if she was in the office when I made the request, but sure enough, I had it later that evening.  I thought that was impressive customer service.      

Hudson Valley DIstillers is more than just a distillery, Come relax on the patio or lawn, enjoy a cocktail or tasting, or learn about the spirits production process with a tour.  Bring your entire family, children and dogs included, to Hudson Valley Distillers!  Located at 1727 Rte 9 in Clermont, New York, distillery hours are Friday - Sunday, 12-6 PM, for tours, tastings, and bottle sales.  Cocktail Grove is open Wednesday - Sunday, 3-7 PM.  Cocktail Grove is also available for private parties outside of normal business hours.  If you are interested in visiting the distillery, given them a call (518-537-6820), send them an email -  or reserve on-line here: Online Reservations   Also, look for live music and events by visiting their website