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Time to Give Thanks and Give Back!

Thanksgiving, Christmas and the holidays are typically a time when people stop and reflect on all the things that they are thankful for. Not everyone is as fortunate.  Maybe you help by volunteering at a food kitchen or donating supplies.  There is another way you can help.  April, from our Madison office, heads up the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign in our area. Every year she and her family stand outside of Price Chopper in Hamilton NY to ring the bell and collect donations for the organization.  She helps in many other ways too by putting together gift baskets for less fortunate families in our community.  There is a calendar with slots that need filling.  People volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army.  With your help, we will raise funds here in Hamilton to directly provide emergency assistance to people in need in our community including Madison NY.  The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign funds are used for such emergencies as Food, Clothing, Shelter, Medical expenses, Utilities, School Supplies, even disaster relief!  

Click the link to view the time slots available:

April Staelens can be reached at (315) 982-8268 with any questions or if you need help registering to fill a slot you can just give her a call.

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Let's Talk Turkey...

Many families will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday by having a turkey on your dinner table.  In the past I have blogged about ways to avoid kitchen please read that blog regarding fire prevention. Today lets talk about the turkey specifically.

How to pick the right size turkey: 
 Typically the rule is one pound of turkey for every 1 person, and only use a 1/2 pound per child.  You may want to use 1lb for everyone so you have plenty of leftovers.

How to thaw your turkey: If it is a frozen turkey you should take it out of the freezer and leave in the refrigerator for approximately 3-4 days. For larger turkeys it could take up to 6 days.

How to prepare your turkey:  Once your turkey is thawed, remove the neck and giblets.  I recommend rubbing butter and spices, garlic, salt, pepper on the skin.  Some people like to use poultry seasoning as well. You can also rub this between the meat and the skin.  I then put that in a dutch oven or deep dish baking pan. I throw the giblets and neck right in the bottom of the pan along with 2-3 cups of water.  Cover with a lid or aluminum foil.  If you use aluminum foil - stick some tooth picks into the top of the turkey so the foil does not touch the skin.

How long to cook your turkey:  Normally the rule is 30 minutes per pound.  If it is a twelve pound turkey I cook covered for 5.5 hours, then I uncover, stuff with stuffing, butter the skin again, drain out as much juice as possible and set aside in a separate container or pan, along with the neck and giblets, and place back into the oven uncovered for the half-hour.

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4 Ways to Market Your Business for FREE

The internet is a powerful tool for marketing your small business.  78% of individuals in America are using some sort of social media and the number of individuals world wide is expected to double by 2018.  Following are 4 ways you can market your business for free:

1) CREATE:  Create something for your target market.  Maybe it is a portfolio of your products, webinar that teaches something valuable, a checklist or quiz on Facebook or even a challenge related to your business or product.  It should be something of value that you can offer clients for free.  Once you get started you can even repurpose the items to fit a different audience. 

2)  SPREAD THE NEWS: Once you have created something of value for your clients now you can share the information.  You will want to post it on your social media accounts, ie. Facebook & Twitter.  Share it on your website and your Google+ profile.  A very popular new tool is going live on Facebook.  You could share the news about your new content on a live video feed on Facebook just using your smartphone.

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8 Steps to Starting Your Small Business

There are several things you need to know when starting a small business.  You probably already 'really' started your business but now you want to make it official.  Great news.  Following are the 8 steps you need to know when starting a business:

1)  Write a business plan:  Every business should have a business plan.  A business plan is a written guide or map on what goals your business would like to achieve with regard to marketing, financial and operations, and how to make them happen.  There are several parts to a business plan and we will point out some resources later for you to utilize when writing your business plan.

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5 Things You Need to Start Your Photography Business

If you are reading this blog, then perhaps you are a photographer that is ready to take their passion and take it to the next level.  There are plenty of opportunities to make money by launching your photography business, but there are some essentials things you will need to get started.

1) Equipment

Every photography needs a good camera, tripod, camera bag, lighting, lenses.  You might also consider some backdrops and props to help you stand out from the others.  Investing in good equipment will improve the quality of your photos.

2) Studio Space

Once you get going you may want to consider renting or buying some space for a photography business studio.  Clients could come to you for photography sessions.  

3) Reliable Transportation

More and more people are interested in location photography sessions.  Having reliable transportation is a must.  You wouldn't want to tell a bride you are going to be late because your car broke down.

4) Client Contracts

You will want to have your clients sign a contract.  This protects you and them by clearly having everything upfront and in writing. This also helps to ensure both sides understand what is expected. Be sure and have any contract reviewed by your attorney and insurance agent to be sure all the important legal wording is included.

5) Insurance

Last, but certainly not least be sure you have an insurance policy in place.  The photography business insurance policy will protect your equipment and supplies, perhaps the building and business personal property for your studio and provide liability protection.   Having the proper insurance also helps boost your credibility with clients. We could provide proof of insurance to your clients at no extra charge.  Photography business insurance policies are VERY affordable and start as low as $30.31 a month.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or if you would like to discuss getting your photography business started.  We can point you in the right direction of FREE resources for starting a business and be sure you are protected properly by having the proper insurance in place.

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Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children and adults alike. It’s also a time when accidents and tragedies abound. Many Halloween parties and activities begin starting this weekend.

The following is a list of things you can do to ensure that your loved ones have a safe and fun Halloween.
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Gain a Competitive Edge with a Small Business Alliance

Small business alliances have the potential to offer you and your partner many advantages that could not be secured separately. It is well worth your company’s time and resources to explore possible alliances. The synergy that a business alliance provides can supply your company with increased revenue, improved brand awareness and higher market share for years to come. 

Here at Tanner Insurance we not only form an alliance with you, but we also have a unique program where we partner businesses with insurance carriers - and I mean top rated national carriers. Not everyone qualifies for this FREE program, but by answering a few quick questions about your business we can see if your business qualifies. Contact me to learn more at 315-363-0223.

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3 Common Auto Insurance Myths and Dispelling Facts

Myths about auto insurance abound; here are some of the most common misconceptions and the facts that dispel the fiction.

Myth #1: Auto insurance is more expensive for new vehicles than used ones

Fact #1:  When it comes to car insurance make and model of the vehicle carry a heavier weight than calendar year in which the vehicle was manufactured. Different makes and models of cars attract different types of drivers. For example, someone who drives a turbo-charged sports car will pay more than someone who drives a midsized family sedan or SUV because it is more likely that the person who drives the sports car will engage in more risky behavior (like speeding) than someone who drives a family car.

Other factors that insurance companies take into account include:

·         How likely the vehicle is to be stolen. Believe it or not, the most stolen vehicles are ones that haven’t changed much over the years, like mid-90’s Accords, Civics and Camry’s.

·         Safety features.  New cars tend to have more safety features, which can significantly decrease the cost of their insurance policy.

·         Cost to repair and replace parts. The difficulty of finding and replacing parts is taken into account when determining insurance premiums. The harder it is to find parts and repair the vehicle, the higher the cost to insure.

·         Your driving history. Your insurance rate is partially determined by your driving history and the coverage options you select. A driver with an impeccable driving record will pay less than someone that has many past driving infractions. Similarly, the type of coverage options – such as comprehensive vs. limited liability policies – will in part dictate your rates.

Myth #2: It costs more to insure a red car

Fact #2: The color of your car has no impact on your auto insurance rates. In general, here are the factors that insurance companies take into account:

·         Make

·         Model

·         The size of your engine

·         The body type

·         Age

·         Driver age

·         Driving record

·         Credit history

·         Sticker price

·         Cost to repair

·         Safety record

·         Risk for being stolen.


Myth #3: Keep your rates from increasing by not reporting an accident


Fact #3: It doesn’t help you to withhold information about an accident. In most states, you are required by law to report an accident when the damage exceeds a certain limit (check the DMV for pertinent laws in your state.) The other driver or owner of the other vehicle may report the accident, in which case you will be held liable for any damages. If you are issued a ticket, it can appear on your driving record and trigger a premium increase.


Separating fact from fiction when it comes to auto insurance can make a difference when it comes to choosing the right vehicle. NY car insurance can be complicated. Let the experts at Tanner Insurance Agency, Inc. help you find the right auto insurance policy for you. 

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Switching Auto Insurance Companies

Auto insurance is ranked as the third highest expense of owning a vehicle, which means auto insurance can be a significant amount of your budget. While it makes a lot of sense to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal out there for your circumstances, no one can afford to make these mistakes that can have a detrimental effect on your finances.

Mistake #1: Not telling your current insurance agent

It may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it’s incredibly important that you contact your current auto insurance agent before you switch to a different company. A professional agent will handle your call in a businesslike manner and may even be able to offer benefits that are not available to you as a new customer somewhere else. Take advantage of your agent’s expertise with the company you are currently with so that you are making a fully-informed decision. Also, your agent can review the lower-priced auto insurance quote (always get insurance quotes in writing) to make sure you are getting a comparable policy. 

Mistake #2: Not making sure your new policy is in place before dropping the old policy

If you don’t make sure your new policy is active before the old policy ends you could find that there is a gap in your coverage, which could be a costly mistake if something happens. Furthermore, letting an insurance policy lapse could signal risky behavior to an insurer, which could translate to higher insurance rates in the future.
If your original company sends a notice of renewal and you simply ignore it could create a costly problem because your policy won’t be cancelled right away. Rules vary by state, but in general there is a period of time where an auto insurer is required to give a grace period for nonpayment, which you then are still required to pay the premium. Paying that double premium could present a hardship for policyholders on a tight budget.

Mistake #3: Not getting a refund for the coverage you won’t use

If you paid for your auto policy up front you may be entitled to a refund for the portion of the coverage you won’t be using. For example, if you paid for a 6-month policy up front but decide to switch after only 3 months, you are entitled to a refund for the remaining 3 months. Sometimes insurers don’t make it easy to get back what you’re owed, so it is to your benefit to follow up and make sure the insurer refunds you the money you are due.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to switch out your new ID cards

It’s so easy to forget to change out your old auto insurance ID card for your new one. With the ease of digital downloads and the ability to print your own ID cards, making the change can be an easy task to put off. But, if you’re pulled over and don’t have valid proof of insurance, you could face a fine, or at least an inconvenient trip to traffic court to prove you have coverage. 

Mistake #5: Not notifying your finance or leasing company of the change
It is important that you notify your finance company and/or leasing company of the change of insurance provider and the amount of your insurance coverage. Part of your responsibility is to ask your new insurer to send proof of insurance to the leasing company as well as to you.

Please feel free to contact us for a free quote!  If you decide to switch to our agency we take all the hassle out of switching for you by handling everything for you - notifying the carrier, agent, lein holder, providing you new ID cards the same day you switch and even advise if you should expect a refund or not.

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September is National Preparedness Month: Business Spotlight

September is National Preparedness Month and a great opportunity to make sure our clients are ready for any disaster, including flooding—the Nation’s most common and costly natural disaster. 

Most property owners are unaware of their flood risk and how expensive recovery can be. Just a few inches of floodwater can cause thousands of dollars in damages, and many people are surprised to learn that homeowners or business owners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. Anywhere it can rain it can flood, and it typically takes 30 days before a flood insurance policy goes into effect. 

We want to share what to do before, during, and after a flood with our clients by using our preparedness checklists for business owners:

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