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Westchester County Auto Insurance: Cutting Car-Buying Process in Half

Westchester County Auto Insurance: Cutting Car-Buying Process in Half Buying a car can be a long, lengthy process. It takes time, research, test driving, and a significant amount of haggling to get that shiny new pair of keys. Now however, car showrooms are looking to cut the time you spend negotiating a deal. Shoppers are going online and conducting extensive research before they even enter the showroom. According to J.D. Power and Associates, 80 percent of buyers spend an average of 18 hours online researching models and prices. However, despite that, new car buyers spend 12.5 percent more time negotiating at showrooms last year than in 2010 negotiating the deal, hammering out financing, and training on the vehicle’s technology. Even though car buyers enter the show rooms more educated on what they are looking for, it still takes a significant amount of time. To combat that, vehicle showrooms are utilizing a new range of tools from mobile devices that can calculate a car’s trade-in value to expanded call centers to handle the increased traffic from smartphone shoppers. AutoNation Inc. is rolling out a new pricing strategy that bases selling prices on current market data, rather than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. In addition, new software allows them to present a menu of financing or leasing options. The goal of these transactions is to cut transaction times in half. It’s a learning curve- dealers are still testing policies that benefit a new generation of digitally savvy customers. For example, more dealers are moving away from writing price offers on paper and using digital software systems instead. The new systems allow salespeople to use an iPad to adjust variables such as the trade-in value of a used care or down payment. The information can also be sent directly to a sales manager, so the salesperson doesn’t have to run back and forth. You and your vehicles deserve quality coverage from a responsive, community-based agency that always goes beyond just the policy. We invite you to request a courtesy quote by calling (888) 639-4560, or if you prefer email us or return the form on this page for more information about our Westchester County Insurance including Harrison car insurance. Source: Wall Street Journal

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New Rochelle Flood Insurance: Key Facts About Flood Insurance

New Rochelle Flood Insurance: Key Facts About Flood Insurance Since Hurricane Sandy, the Westchester County area has struggled to restore the damage done. In the aftermath of destruction, one tragic trend has emerged- too many property owners are either unprepared or underinsured against financial damages they could suffer in the event of a catastrophic flood. It’s a common mistake that most people assume their New Rochelle County homeowners insurance policy would cover them in case of a natural disaster, but that is not always the case. Certain areas along the eastern coast may be located in hurricane-prone areas, in which wind damage could be the main threat. Other New Rochelle homeowners may be situated in a flood-prone area, which in the case of a flood, would cause unimaginable damages. This was the case with Hurricane Sandy- this super storm ended up being a threat for flood damage as opposed for wind damage that is typically associated with hurricanes. Property Casualty 360 discovered that a minimum of 25% of properties damaged had no flood insurance coverage. Yet, there are plenty of reasons why New Rochelle Flood Insurance is a crucial guard against damages caused by floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Obtaining the right New Rochelle flood insurance policy is designed to help protect your Westchester home and property against losses due to heavy rains, flood surges, storm drain backups, etc.. In assessing the risks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), placed more than 20,000 communities in the U.S. into a flood zone category. The Westchester County community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. This government backed program is designed to assist property owners to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. We not only can provide insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but also have critical access to alternative markets, which in many cases are better suited for the areas we serve where flooding is prevalent. As your insurance agent, we will consult federal flood maps to find your flood zone, which will affect the cost of your insurance, the type of coverage you need, and the limits of coverage for areas of your home that lie below the lowest elevated floor, such as basements and crawlspaces. Contact us today for more information about our New Rochelle Flood Insurance programs.  1 (888) 639-4560

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What You Need to Know About Westchester County Yacht Insurance

What You Need to Know About Westchester County Yacht Insurance While it may still be a crisp 40 degrees here in Mamaroneck, nonetheless it’s spring! With the promise of warmer weather, it’s time to start thinking about your sunny vacation plans. Boat sales have risen ten percent this year, in the first significant boost since the recession, and yachts are a large part of that picture. But owning a yacht also exposes you to some unique exposures. Here are some tips to watch out for to make sure you have the proper coverage for your vessel. Consequential damage. This applies when a yacht is disabled due to engine failure and suffers resulting hull damage. Although it is covered in most policies as a result of a storm or other event, it may not be if it is a “consequence” of mechanical failure. Parts Depreciation. As your boat ages, the parts can lose value, and most insurers will cover only the depreciated value of the part, not the full cost of replacing it. Navigation zone restrictions. Where you are, or where you plan on boating could affect your policy. Many policies are written based on navigation zones. They may be as narrow as the Florida Keys. And it may mean that a boater insured for the Bay Area in California may not be covered for damage that occurs in Mexico’s Pacific coast. So, as a boater, it is wise to check out any geographic limitations ahead of time. Experience. Of course, as a boat owner, experience always matters. Where you travel, how many years you’ve been boating for, and your type of boat can all affect your Westchester County Yacht Insurance policy. Whether you are docked in the marina at Stamford, garaged at your house in Rye, or cruising the Long Island Sound, your boat needs its own special type of insurance. A.J. Benet, Inc. knows that not all boat owners and their requirements are the same. Our staff strives to learn your particular habits and help you find insurance that addresses your personal risks. Contact us today for more information about our Westchester County Yacht Insurance coverage. Source: P&C 360

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Fine Jewelry Insurance: Make Sure You’re Covered

Fine Jewelry Insurance: Make Sure You’re Covered Your jewelry collection is extremely precious to you. Whether you’ve amassed a family collection of heirlooms or some personal, highly valued gifts, you want to make sure you are protected. But misunderstandings of what exactly is covered in a homeowner’s policy could leave you high and dry if your jewelry is lost or stolen. At the essence of an issue is often a communication divide. There is a common disparity between perceived value and the actual value. An owner might have sentimental value, or overinflate the value of their jewelry, and have an estimate that conflicts with an expert opinion. Or, they might assume it is covered under their homeowner’s insurance when it really is much more valuable than that. Most homeowner’s policies do cover jewelry items. However, when the actual loss of an entire jewelry collection does occur, it is extremely rare that the owner receives a settlement that comes close to the true value of the missing items. To avoid that position, homeowners must have a firm understanding of the exact value of their possessions and base their insurance coverage accordingly. If you have a high end jewelry collection, you want to take the time to make sure every item is covered and properly insured for its current value. The key is documenting in detail, comprehensive information on each piece you own. Many jewelry appraisals conducted at local stoops- and their certificate of authority relies on simple sales techniques that may not adequately assess the value of a piece. It is essential that the value may have changed over time. The price of gold has increased significantly in the past 20 years; if you have an antique piece of gold jewelry; it is most likely worth significantly more today. High-value items need better protection than a standard homeowner’s policy. A.J. Benet offers sound, well-priced coverage for these valuable items either with a floater added onto your Westchester homeowners insurance policy or a stand-along policy . Contact us today for more information (888) 639-4560

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Westchester County Auto Insurance: A Guide to Car Insurance

Westchester County Auto Insurance: A Guide to Car Insurance Insurance is as complex as it is confusing, especially when it comes to Auto Insurance. Knowing which coverages you need is crucial to you & your family. Everyone who has ever purchased an insurance plan knows how overwhelming it can be to take in this much information, which is why we created this insurance friendly, simplified cheat sheet on the basics of Westchester County Auto Insurance. Once you read this over, give us a call and let us help you determine the right amount of coverage for you, at the right price. All descriptions below are simplified descriptions of common auto insurance coverages. All auto insurance coverages are subject to the individual limits, terms and conditions of the auto insurance actual policy that you purchase. Bodily injury liability coverage – In general, bodily injury liability can pay for damages to the driver and passengers of the other car when you are responsible for an accident. Another benefit of this coverage is that it can provide coverage to help defend you if you are sued. Property damage liability coverage – Property damage liability coverage is designed to help pay for property damage of the other parties involved when you are responsible for the accident. This coverage can also assist you to defend yourself in court if you are sued because of an accident. Medical payments coverage – Medical payments coverage generally covers you and your passengers for medical expenses from injuries sustained in an accident. Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage – Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage is designed to assist in payment of damages for bodily injury to you and your passengers when caused by another in an accident. and the person legally responsible either has inadequate or no insurance. Collision coverage – Collision coverage generally pays for damage to your automobile in the instance that you hit another car or object. Comprehensive coverage – Comprehensive Coverage pays for damage to your car if it is stolen or damaged by certain causes other than collision. Some examples of this is claims such as hail, vandalism, or theft. The right protection is the protection that matches your needs. You and your vehicles deserve quality coverage from a responsive, community-based agency that always goes beyond just the policy. We invite…
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Flood Insurance Facts of New York

Flood Insurance Facts of New York Flood insurance is an essential component to ensuring your home and business is protected. However, flood insurance does not come standard in most homeowners policies, a fact many are unaware of until it is too late. Flood insurance remains a somewhat murky concept. How much flood protection insurance do I need? Do I really need it if I don’t live in a flood-prone area? Does my homeowner’s insurance cover any part? Here are some facts about flood insurance that you made not have known: There is no such thing as a flood-free zone. Some low-lying areas, near water, or downstream near a damn are at a higher risk- FEMA updates flood maps periodically identifying low, moderate, and high risk flood areas. In a high risk area, your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by flood than by fire. Even low-risk areas account for 20 percent of NFIP claims, and receive one-third of disaster assistance. Even a small amount of water can be a serious disaster. According to the Flood Cost Calculator Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it is important to buy it sooner rather than later. The average annual U.S. flood losses in the past 10 years were over 2.9 billion. Two feet of water is enough to float a vehicle. New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction alters natural runoff paths. Over 5.5 million people currently hold flood insurance policies across the United States. In the event of a flood, there are numerous resources in New York that can aid you, in providing information and updates. The New York City Office of Emergency Management has a list of government organizations, including federal, state, and local, that help residents with flood related issues, ranging from temporary homes for displaced residents to general information. The Tri-State region has seen a significant increase in flooding. Flood and Excess Flood insurance is a crucial component of your insurance package to make sure you and your family are protected. At A.J. Benet, we have the expertise to help you secure a comprehensive Westchester County flood insurance plan. Depending on your needs and your home’s value, we will determine how much coverage you need…
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Thousands of Cars to be Crushed After Superstorm Sandy

Thousands of Cars to be Crushed After Superstorm Sandy A few weeks back, we looked at Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the Auto Industry in our blog post. This week, we’ll update you on the latest news. According to the Insurance Journal, the estimate of 230,000 insurance claims for vehicle damage remains unchanged. Thousands of vehicles are damaged beyond repair. In addition to sorting through the claims, there has been a huge issue of what to do with the cars. Many of the flooded vehicles were towed to holding areas. From there, they are being loaded onto car haulers and taken to facilities to be crushed. The damage has hurt individual owners and dealerships alike. In Brooklyn, NY, more than 7,000 brand new vehicles were parked in holding areas awaiting delivery to dealerships when Hurricane Sandy struck. The holding area was flooded with more than three feet of water. All resources were initially directed towards disaster and emergency relief efforts. Now that the immediacy has passed, government agencies are trying to get these vehicles towed to the holding areas, where they will be identified and crushed. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is focusing its efforts on making sure the vehicles are identified. If you are looking to purchase a new car, be wary of buying any vehicle with previous water damage. Using the NICB’s VINCheck system, consumers can enter the VIN of a vehicle they are interested in purchasing to see if it has ever been declared as salvaged. Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, consumers can use the system to ensure they aren’t swindled into purchasing a flood damaged car, and to determine if a vehicle had ever been reported as stolen. You and your vehicles deserve quality Westchester County Auto Insurance from a responsive, community-based agency that always goes beyond just the policy. We invite you to request a courtesy auto insurance quote by calling (888) 639-4560.

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Holiday Safety Tips for a New York Winter

Holiday Safety Tips for a New York Winter String the lights. Decorate the house. Invite the relatives. Bake the cookies. Find a tree. Buy gifts. The holidays can be overwhelming and the to-do list seemingly endless. In the craziness of the season take a moment to read these holiday safety tips for a New York winter. Holiday Safety Tips #1 – Lights. There should be no more than three standard-size set of lights per extensions cord. If you have to use multiple strings of lights, use several power strips. Make sure to use higher quality models that have a built in circuit breaker. Check your lights. Frayed or exposed wires can easily overload your power once the weather turns bad. Always turn Christmas lights off before you leave home or go to sleep. Holiday Safety Tips #2 – The tree. Make sure to buy a fresh tree. It should be green with no signs of any brown needles, and the needles should be hard to pull from the branches and don’t break when you bend them between your fingers. Keep the tree away from the fireplace, radiators, or any other heating sources. If you choose an artificial tree, choose one that is “fire resistant.” Holiday Safety Tips #3 – Candles. Blow out all candles before you leave the room. Make sure all candles are secured in holders and on steady surfaces that won’t tip over. Make sure all smoke alarms are installed on every level of your home. Check them monthly to make sure they work. The experts at A.J. Benet know how hard you work to protect your family year long. A package policy allows you to take advantage of benefits by consolidating multiple policies with one insurance company. A.J. Benet offers Westchester County Home Insurance policies from top-tier insurance companies that are designed to insure your liability risks and property under one master program, helping to mitigate the problems you can encounter when you have multiple policies with different insurers. Contact us today for more information. Source: Institute for Business & Home Safety

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Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on the Auto Industry

Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on the Auto Industry While many of the mass transit systems are up and running again, the auto industry is facing significant long term effects in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The results are mixed, and often contradictory. Auto insurance claims are pouring in by the thousands. Demand for used cars is increasing as people seek to repair storm damaged ones, resulting in a shortage of rental vehicles available. The new car market will get a boost, but many dealerships have suffered losses and have to scrap thousands of brand new vehicles. Estimates by the National Automobile Dealers Association tally the results at up to a quarter-million vehicles across the East Cost may have been damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Nearly a month later, cars still line the streets, idly waiting to be towed. Rental cars are difficult to come by. Consumers need replacement cars for their own storm-damaged vehicles and emergency responders and local utilities need cars and trucks for the recovery effort. The result has left the rental car industry sorely scarce of vehicles. According to the New York Times, rentals for the four largest companies- Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Global Holdings, Avis Budget Group Inc. and Dollar Thrifty have all sold out in key location. Many are diverting vehicles from other areas to compensate for the high demand in the upcoming holiday season. Sales of autos have also seen a spike. Insurance companies have received thousands of auto claims, and many are looking to replace storm-damaged cars. But, auto dealerships located in storm ravaged areas have felt the effects. Despite the expected boost, large numbers of brand new cars were damaged. According to Auto Blog, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan, and Honda are set to scrap around 15,000 new vehicles ruined by the storm. Contact A.J. Benet today for more information about our Westchester County Auto Insurance. (888) 639-4560 Source: Wall Street Journal

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Mamaroneck Renters Insurance: Apartment Walk-through Checklist

Mamaroneck Renters Insurance: Apartment Walk-through Checklist You’ve signed the lease, packed up the bags. But before you move into that brand new apartment, make sure to schedule an apartment walk-through with the landlord. Similar to a home safety checklist, our apartment walk-through checklist can help ensure that you avoid any fees for damages inflicted by the previous tenant when you move out. Here’s our Apartment Walk-through Checklist Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #1 – Come prepared. Bring a camera to document any problem areas or damages you find. During the walk-through, take notes. And, it helps to bring a tape measure to make sure your furniture will fit through them- it will ease any moving difficulties ahead of time. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #2 – The basics. Keep an eye out for insect or rodent infestation, such as droppings or chew marks. Plug your cell phone charger into the outlets. And make sure home phone and cable jacks are available, functioning, and accessible. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #3 – Safety checks. Proper fire safety equipment should be installed throughout the apartment. This includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as fire extinguishers. Make sure all safety equipment is working, and located in the proper areas. If you’re living in a large apartment complex, find the fire escape plan and make sure you know where to go in the event of a fire or other emergency. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #4 – Doors & windows. Check that all windows and doors open and close properly, and make sure the screens on all the windows are intact. Test all the locks; if there is more than one type of lock, make sure you the necessary keys. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #5 –Bathroom & Kitchen. Run all the faucets, and check for leaks underneath the sinks. Make sure all the appliances and plumbing are working as well. Check the shower head, and make sure the water heats up, and the water pressure is good. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #6 – Bedroom & Living Room. Check all light switches, and test the air conditioner. Look for cracks in the wall, and check aesthetic details such as carpet stains, chipped paint, or nail holes in the wall. When the walkthrough is complete, schedule any repairs, and make sure to sign a document detailing the agreed-upon condition of the property.  Make sure to be detailed and thorough, and take…
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