Consider your coverage
The NY State Senate and Assembly voted to allow ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft to expand across New York. At the time of writing, the bill is awaiting the Governor’s approval, which is expected.
Accordingly, Uber and Lyft are building their infrastructure for Upstate NY. You may receive solicitations for these companies asking if you would like to be a driver. Before signing up, it is best to understand the insurance implications of driving for these ride-hailing services.
Your personal auto insurance policy covers you when you are driving your vehicle for personal use, but they exclude coverage for “livery” – using your vehicle for hire or delivery. Uber and Lyft provide coverage for the duration of a trip, once you have a customer in your vehicle. The grey area, or gap, in coverage comes when you have your app turned on and are actively looking for riders, but have not yet picked up a passenger. You are actively operating the vehicle for livery purposes, which triggers the exclusion in the personal auto policy, and the Uber and Lyft policy only responds once there is a passenger in your vehicle.
No personal auto insurance companies in NY currently offer coverage if a vehicle is driven in whole or in part for livery. If you already have a personal auto policy and your company finds out that one or more of the vehicles are being used for livery, they may not renew your policy. The best option for proper protection would be to buy a commercial auto policy specifically for livery.
These ride-hailing apps could have a great impact in our area – reducing the rates of drunk driving, getting visitors from Hudson to the rest of Columbia County, and providing good freelance jobs.
If you are considering driving for Uber or Lyft, be sure to reach out to your MetzWood advisor to make sure that you have the proper coverage in place.
Traveling is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. However, along with all of the positive things that come with travel, there also comes plenty of uncertainty. Medical emergencies, trip cancellation due to inclement weather, unforeseen political turmoil, and other events can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.
The standard Travel Insurance products now available typically provide coverage for one single trip. The cost of this “one-time” policy is usually around 10% of the total trip cost.
The alternative to this option is an annual policy called “Passport 360”, available through Chubb Insurance. Passport 360 covers all of your trips during the year and you pay only one annual premium (ranging from $350-$700, depending on coverage levels).
Passport 360 is a comprehensive package with no prior trip arrangements required. It allows you to travel freely without worry of coverage during any travel crisis. If an injury, illness, or another unfortunate situation interferes with your trip, Passport 360 is the one plan to handle it.
You can travel confidently no matter where you are or what you need when you have a plan in place. Passport 360 provides insurance protection to surround you with solutions for travel’s many “what ifs.”
Passport 360 was previously only offered to Chubb policyholders as a unique benefit. This year they have made it available for purchase to all MetzWood customers.
Please contact a MetzWood advisor at (518) 392-5161 to learn more and take advantage of this great policy.
We have all encountered the (first-world) problem that is managing all of the passwords that come with our digital universe. It seems every site and service requires their own unique username and password. We know that using a weak password, or even repeating a strong one, puts our digital identity at risk. One of the best ways to balance convenience with having unique and secure passwords is to consider using a Password Management software.
Some of the most popular Password Managers include the services 1Password and LastPass. There are many others but the functionality is more-or-less the same. Use one strong password that you can remember to unlock your “password vault.” Your vault houses all of the passwords and usernames that you need to remember. In addition, these services have plug-ins for most major web browsers (even on your phone) that will automatically enter your login information.
Not only does having a Password Manager make organizing and remembering passwords easier, it also allows you the ability to generate new secure passwords for each site you visit. Because you are able to enter your passwords in your web browser using a plug-in, you don’t actually need to remember your password. And since you don’t need to remember your password, you can make it as complex and secure as you want.
Several employees at MetzWood utilize these services and we are currently investigating options for use in our business. For more information and how-to instructions, you can visit bit.ly/metzwoodpass.
Rental Reimbursement is a great coverage that you can include as part of your Auto Insurance. In the event of a covered claim, Rental Reimbursement coverage will help pay for a substitute vehicle while yours is in the repair shop.
For years, the standard limit for Rental Reimbursement has been $30 per day. That limit may not be enough to cover the full price of a substitute vehicle. As prices for rental cars increase you, too, should consider increasing your Rental Reimbursement limit.
Most companies offer higher limits at very reasonable prices. We recommend higher Rental Reimbursement limits if you:
- Own a van, SUV, or luxury vehicle
- May need to rent a car downstate
Conversely, if you have more vehicles than you do drivers, you may opt to remove the coverage from your policy. You could simply use another vehicle that you own and reduce your insurance cost.
Please contact your MetzWood advisor to determine what limit is right for you.
We are always looking for ways to give back to our local community and came up with an idea for a new referral program that creates a win-win outcome. The idea for our new program is simple – for every referral we receive at MetzWood, we donate $10 to a different local non-profit organization. We believe that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive.
The recipient of our referral program changes on a quarterly basis. Referrals from July through September generated funds for Heroic Food. Referrals received in October through December will help raise money for COARC.
Your referrals mean the world to us! If you are happy with the service we provide you, we would appreciate you telling your friends and family. Help us help these great community organizations!
To learn more about our referral program, please visit metzwood.com/refer.
“I’ve been with MetzWood for almost 30 years. They are continually very proactive in finding me the best coverage at the best price. It seems every year they find a better piece of coverage that makes my overall risk management efforts more effective and efficient. I find MetzWood a key part of my financial strategy.”
– James J.
“My wife and I are very pleased with MetzWood. Everyone we have ever been in contact with has always been professional, interested, knowledgeable and personable.”
– Martin M.
“I called MetzWood in desperate need of immediate coverage. I was given a very quick response and everyone that I spoke to was very helpful and friendly. They got me what I needed very quickly.”
– Brenda S.
Earlier this year, MetzWood’s third-generation President, M. Scott Wood, Jr., died suddenly while on a golf trip to Scotland.
Scott spent 40 years as President of MetzWood Insurance in Chatham, where he expanded the business after succeeding his father, Marcus Wood, and grandfather George Metz. From relatively small beginnings, Scott transformed MetzWood by providing exemplary service and advice to customers and members of the community. MetzWood currently provides the insurance needs for over 5,000 individuals and families as well as nearly 1,000 businesses. Scott’s son, Matt, who has been active in the agency since 2012 has taken over as MetzWood’s President.
Employees at MetzWood know of Scott’s many sayings and maxims – known lovingly as “Scott-isms.” They include, “WIFM,” “The Big Picture,” “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there,” and “Kaizen.” Kaizen is a Japanese phrase, meaning continual improvement, popularized by Toyota in the 1980s. Scott saw everything as an opportunity for continual improvement. He had high standards for himself and those he worked with.
As a dedicated professional, he earned his Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter and Certified Insurance Counselor designations. Scott was very well-respected by his peers and partners in the insurance industry. He sat on Regional and New York State Advisory Boards for several insurance companies, as well as the National Advisory Boards of Travelers and Encompass, and was named Agent of the Year by Travelers at their national conference in 2010. Scott also served on the Professional Insurance Agents of NY Board of Directors.
During his life, Scott was dedicated to the betterment of Columbia County and Chatham. He believed deeply in giving back to the community. In addition to his generosity to many local charities, he was actively serving on the boards of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the Columbia County Agricultural Society. Scott was the past president of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and the Morris Memorial Association. He was previously a member of the Northern Columbia Rotary and a board member of the National Union Bank of Kinderhook and the Berkshire Taconic Foundation.
Let’s face it, no one likes billing fees. Billing fees, in the form of installment fees and late fees, can add up quickly if you aren’t careful.
The good news is that there are several options that may help you save on billing by reducing the chances of a late payment, decrease installment fees, and may offer you a discount on your policy.
In addition to the money you will save, these payment options make your life more convenient. Who doesn’t want one less piece of mail to open, one less check to write, and one less stamp to buy?
Pay in Full
The policy premium is paid in full by you at the beginning of each policy period.
Recurring Credit Card Billing
Each payment is automatically charged to your credit card of choice. This is a great option if your card provides rewards like Frequent Flyer miles!
Electronic Funds Transfer
You choose a bank account to have your premium deducted from, and the day of the month to have it deducted.
Make the smart choice. Call or email your MetzWood Advisor today.
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