2019 New York State Paid Family Leave Updates

By | Employee Benefits, Insurance News

Year 2 of New York State’s Paid Family Leave On August 31st, New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) published the NY Paid Family Leave (PFL) rate for the 2019 calendar year. For 2019, the maximum contribution rate for Paid Family Leave will go from 0.126% to 0.153% of the employee’s gross annualized wages capped at the new annualized New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW) of $70,569.72* per year (learn more here);  which translates to a maximum annual premium contribution of $107.97 per employee. The rate for Paid Family Leave has been increased 21.4%. This takes into consideration the increase of benefits for 2019 which has also…

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Is your landscaper or that deck builder insured? Does it Matter?

By | Accidents, claims, Homeowners Insurance, landlord protection

When others do work at your house, should they be insured? As the summer months come upon us, contracting season goes into full bloom.  New patios and decks or weekly grass cutting bring contractors to your doorstep. They provide estimates, plans, ideas, and more. What about insurance? What is said about that? Is it on your list of things to ask about? It needs to be. What’s the risk? Home Ownership 101. What happens on your property is your responsibility. That’s right…yours and yours alone. Just because someone has fancy graphics on a truck or a business card, does not…

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Too Many Motorcycle Riders are Dying

By | Auto Insurance

Motorcycle Fatalities at Their Highest Rate Since 2008. It’s March, and that means warmer weather is coming. It also means motorcycle season is about to begin once more. This is an exciting time for many bike enthusiasts. The opportunity to be out riding during Central New York’s few warm months is merely a dream between October and April. As we move toward making those dreams come true, we must first face some hard facts. Riders are dying. They’re dying at a rate not seen since 2008. 2016’s totals (most recent published statistics) yielded 5,286 fatalities. To put it into perspective,…

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Do you think your house is over insured?

By | Personal Insurance

Do you think your house is over insured? Have you asked your agent: “Why is my house insured for so much? It isn’t worth that!” It might be the most asked question in ALL of insurance (except for health insurance, which has its very own continent as far as insurance questions are concerned). I have a client who buys a house for $140,000. They call for an insurance policy. The insurance value on the house comes in at $225,000. The confusion ensues. Why is there such a discrepancy between what the insurance company thinks your house is worth, compared to…

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DON’T Break Glass in Case of Emergency!

By | Auto Insurance, claims

Don’t Break Glass in Case of Emergency! The sound of the car door closing behind you rings in your head, and then it happens. Keys!! You turn and peer into the window, and there they are. Sitting like orphans on the front seat, or hanging from the ignition. Your brain goes through rapid fire scenarios and possibilities as to how you’ll resolve this. Do you: Call someone at home to bring a spare key? Use your roadside assistance plan? Call a locksmith? Grab a wire hanger? or…. Bust the window!? If you have comprehensive insurance coverage with a zero dollar…

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Realtors, Loan Officers, & Attorneys: The home insurance transaction is not what you think.

By | Personal Insurance

3 Things to Know About Your Buyer’s Homeowner’s Insurance As a professional who is a part of a residential real estate transaction, you know that homeowner’s insurance is a critical part of the closing. However, there are three things about it that could make or break your deal: The effective date of the policy is the effective date. If you insist on the buyer/borrower clearing the underwriting hurdle for a paid receipt and binder, beware. Once bound, it cannot be changed. Unlike a closing date, that works as an on-or-about kind of date, an insurance policy is different. A binder,…

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New York Paid Family Leave

By | Employee Benefits

New York Paid Family Leave Commences New York Paid Family Leave has officially begun (Jan. 1st 2018). But…what is it? I’ve talked to a large number of employers and an even larger number of employees who have no idea what it is. Like most insurance coverage, understanding New York Paid Family Leave seems like a daunting task. However, after a thorough review, I can tell you, it isn’t. What is New York Paid Family Leave? New York Paid Family Leave is a mandatory benefit for non-public employees. It provides wage replacement when temporarily leaving work for a specific life event….

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New York Rules that Auto Insurance Rates Can’t be Based on Driver’s Level of Education

By | Auto Insurance

New York says goodbye to Auto Insurance Rates being based on driver’s education Could New York auto insurance rates get smarter? The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has finalized a regulation aimed to protect New York drivers from being unfairly discriminated against. The regulation centers around insurance carriers that were using a driver’s level of education or occupation data when determining an auto insurance rate. After a multi-year investigation, the DFS came to a couple conclusions. Education played no role in determining whether someone was a better driver. The risk of loss was not higher regardless of a…

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don't let frozen pipes in syracuse new york happen to you

Have you heard that one about the exploding pipe?

By | claims, Homeowners Insurance

We choose to live this way. Maybe that’s the problem. We could all band together and begin the mass exodus out of Syracuse. Perhaps the northeast altogether? When the average high temperature resembles a pro-golfer’s score through 3 holes, things get tempting. Alas, we will forge on and swear to never complain about the heat in August. In the meantime, let’s be sure to keep the heat on and run the water. Bursting pipes and water damage are some of the most frequent claims in the wintertime. While a standard home insurance policy will provide coverage for such a claim,…

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Example of a an employee getting injured and needing workers comp

What does workers comp insurance do?

By | Business Insurance

Question 100 in 100 Insurance Questions in 100 Days Video Series! Workers’ Compensation is typically the largest part of a business’s insurance expense. It applies to workers who are injured or become ill due to their job function or environment. It also compensates for lost wages. The wages are replaced up to a certain percentage amount. There is a seven-day waiting period in order to do that. It is not the same as short-term disability. Short-term disability covers for injuries and sicknesses that occur away from one’s employer. Workers’ Compensation also covers unlimited amounts of medical expenses that happen and…

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