Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Is Insurance Really For?

Thanksgiving has almost arrived. This is the time of year when we sit back and reflect on all the things that we are thankful for. What immediately comes to mind?

For most of us its things like our family, our home, and our good health. And guess what they have in common? All of these things are what insurance protects!

That’s why it is so important to me that my clients have excellent insurance coverage.
It’s not just about having an ID card in your car so you don’t get a ticket or fulfilling your mortgage company’s minimum loan requirements.

Insurance is there to make sure that if the worst happens, you can recover from it. It might not be easy, but we’re here to ease the financial burden after your house burns own or a loved one passes away.

All of those TV commercials that just tell you to find the cheapest rate are completely wrong! Of course no one wants to pay more than they have to, but it’s not the most important part of the equation.

Rather than looking for a cheap bare bones policy, take the time to interview and meet with local agents. See who is looking for the best coverage and truly meeting your needs while keeping the rate affordable. Ask about how they handle claims and if they do annual policy reviews.

This Thanksgiving, our agency is extremely thankful for all of our wonderful clients. If you need a local agent to look out for your most prized possessions, give us a call at

888-565-2212 today for a free no-obligation quote. Bryan Insurance is Long Islands leading homeowners insurance agent.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Top Causes of Fine Art Damage

Whether you’ve spent a lifetime acquiring a world-class collection, inherited family heirlooms or simply purchased objects to decorate a home, the condition of each piece will impact its financial worth.

Surprisingly, most art-related losses are caused by circumstances that are under your control to manage (or avoid). Along with distinct insurance coverage, a better understanding of the prevalent risks can help you manage your collection more effectively over time. Consider the following: 

  1. Installation
    Inadequate installation is one of the most frequent causes of damage to private collections, so whenever possible, valuable works should be installed under the guidance of a professional art handler. It is always good practice to use two hooks and two wires for hanging pictures and mirrors, as the redundancy adds stability and decreases likelihood of loss should one hook fail.
  2. Placement
    When deciding on where to install your art, avoid accidental damages by looking beyond the aesthetics of your home by considering the location of doors and pathways. Do not place objects in areas that are highly trafficked, above fireplaces, or beneath air vents. To limit long term damage caused by the harmful effects of sunlight, place objects out of direct sunlight and consider installing UV-filters on your windows.
  3. Environment
    Drastic fluctuations in temperature and humidity can have a negative long term effect on art and antiques as materials dry out or expand and contract over time. As much as possible, maintain a consistent temperature and relative humidity (RH) in rooms containing works of art. In homes with climate control systems, the environmental levels best suited for a general collection are 68-72 °F and a relative humidity of 45–55%. Consult a conservator for specific environmental recommendations for your collection.
  4. Theft It is no secret that works of art are attractive targets for thieves, although surprisingly, most art thefts are crimes of opportunity that easily could have been prevented.  Secure the “envelope” of your home with a central station burglar alarm with motion sensors and contacts on all doors and windows. For jewelry and other portable valuables, install a safe that is bolted in to the fabric of your home.
  5. Fire
    Every minute a fire burns it doubles in size, which means that early detection is critical to saving lives and property. To best protect your home, family and collection, install a centrally-monitored smoke detector in every area of your home and keep annually inspected fire extinguishers handy. Monitored heat detectors can be used in kitchens and unfinished basement areas.
  6. Storage Ideally, all items that are not installed in your home should be stored off-site in a professional climate-controlled facility. If that is not feasible, dedicate one room in your home for art storage only. To protect items from leaks and spills, never store anything on the floor, even temporarily. If pictures need to be stacked, stack them front-to-front and back-to-back, alternating vertically and horizontally to minimize the chance of one pushing into another.
  7. Emergencies Writing a collection-specific emergency plan will ensure that you and your service providers act efficiently and effectively to protect your collection before and after a catastrophe.  A standard plan includes: a priority list of items to be removed; a communication list with contact information; a list of tools and equipment needed; wrapping and handling instructions; the locations of gas, water, and electricity shut-offs, with instructions; training an emergency response team; and a conservation plan for the post-event period.
  8. Documentation Maintaining up to date inventory records reduces the likelihood of mysterious disappearance and an inventory with images helps expedite the claims process in the unfortunate event of a loss. The format you use can be as simple as a comprehensive list, but we recommend entering descriptions and images into a secure computerized collection management database, with a copy stored off site.
  9. Appraisals The value of your collection will increase over time, regardless of seasonal or annual trends. Since appraisals are used as the basis for insurance coverage, if a piece is damaged, lost or stolen, an outdated value could limit your ability to be fully compensated under your insurance policy. Typically, we recommend that appraisals be updated no less than every three to four years. Consult your appraiser to find out what time-frame is recommended for your collection.
At the Bryan Insurance Agency, we have risk management experts in high value homes and fine art collections. We are the leading insurance agents for home insurance in Long Island and New York. Contact us today to find out how to protect your priceless art collection. 888-565-2212 or 

Reprinted with permission from AIG Premier Client Group. Bryan Insurance Agency is a licensed agent of AIG Premier Client. For more information, visit 

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Home Maintenance Tasks

Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep you home in tip-top shape all year long.  So here are a few tasks you can take on in November!

CO & Smoke Detectors  - Im sure you already have heard us tell you that when its time to Fall Behind with our clocks, its also a great time to replace the batteries in your CO & smoke detectors.  But just in case you forgot or maybe all of your clocks reset themselves automatically, Ill remind you again about those batteries. Take a few quick minutes to test your CO & smoke detectors. Even with new batteries sometimes smoke detectors can still wear out. If you have an old one it might be a good idea to replace it completely.

Maintain Large Appliances - Appliances are a big long-term investment!  That’s why it’s important to take good care of them all year long.  Doing a few quick things now can save you lots of money in the long run. Your refrigerator is a great place to start.  Accumulating dust can make your fridge cooling system less efficient. 

To prevent trouble, regularly pull the fridge away from the wall and clean the condenser coils with a vacuum cleaner.  It’s also a good idea to dust and clean the front lower grille.  This five minute task can add years of service to your refrigerator!

Clean The Oven & Stove Drip Pans - Next move on to your stove.  It’s another appliance that needs a good regular cleaning to keep it working well.  Many ovens have a self-cleaning feature that will do the hard work for you. The only problem?  It can take a while to run the cleaning feature and it usually smells pretty bad while it’s running.  Save this task for a nice day and open up the windows to keep it well ventilated.  Check your stove manual for instructions and take a few minutes to clean the burners too. 

Have Problem Trees Trimmed - Cold weather has arrived.  Have you noticed any large branches hanging over onto your roof?  Get them trimmed as soon as possible.  A good ice storm can cause branches to break onto your roof leading to more damage and insurance claims. 

Save on Home Insurance - Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting your home and belongings.  To make sure you have the best coverage, call the Bryan Insurance Agency today at 888-565-2212 or visit us online for a free, no obligation quote. 

At the Bryan Insurance Agency, we are the leaders in homeowners insurance in New Windsor, Long Island, and the surrounding New York areas. We specialize in homeowners insurance and mobile home insurance.