apartment building | renter's insurance

Renter’s Insurance: The Risks of Renting

Renting can often be much easier than caring for your own home and, financially speaking, may make a lot of sense for a lot of people. But it’s important to keep in mind that renting does come with risks. When you rent a space, you’re putting a lot of trust in the hands of others. Trust is an easy thing to misplace, especially when problems may not be immediately clear. That is why you should consider renter’s insurance. Here are just a few of the potential risks of renting and how the right insurance plan can protect you.

Landlord

One of the most obvious risks with renting is that you’re at the mercy of your landlord. You hope that your landlord will be honest and forthright about issues in your building, home, or office space, but let’s be real; sometimes people are not honest. A sound plumbing system, electrical system, heating and cooling systems, and structure are all things you hope for when looking at a new place. But sometimes cosmetic solutions and a little truth-bending can disguise serious issues. You never know what your landlord and a bit of paint may be hiding, and those hidden issues can lead to serious problems.

Neighbors

The second clear risk is your potential neighbors. When you’re first moving into a newly rented space, you’re unlikely to be able to get a clear picture of who your neighbors are and what they’re like. Neighbors from hell may appear to be godsent at first. And then there’s, of course, the potential for very human accidents with your neighbors: a candle left burning, a bathtub left running, a meal left on a lit stove. These things happen. So, whether your neighbors doing it purposefully or accidentally, there is a chance that your neighbors can cause serious damage to your rented space and the things you keep in it.

Insurance

Renter’s insurance is a good idea to protect you from the kind of issues that can arise from living in a rented space. Whether a less-than-honest landlord has hidden a nasty leak and left you with a soggy sofa or a careless neighbor has burnt down their bathroom wall and your television has melted as a result, renter’s insurance can help you recover lost or damaged belongings. If you’re interested in a renter’s insurance plan ABCO Insurance Agency Inc. can help. Contact us today to discuss what kind of plan may be right for you!

 

Condos | Real Estate Insurance | NJ

Real Estate Insurance for Landlords

Real estate is a tough act, but when done right it can be very rewarding. There are a lot of things that can impact the return on your investment in real estate, especially for landlords. When you own and manage properties, whether that’s an apartment building, hotel, or even office buildings, things can come up that can seriously affect your profits. From acts of nature to negligent tenants, here are a few things you should consider if you own properties that you rent out and why you need a real estate insurance policy.

Bad Tenants

One of the most obvious risks where renting out your properties is concerned is bad tenants. It’s not uncommon to hear horror stories about property owners who simply wound up with some of the most frustrating tenants possible. Not all policies will be the same, but a lot of landlord insurance will cover your personal property that is left in the house such as microwaves, refrigerators, or lawnmowers. Liability insurance may also be a wise investment for landlords in the event that a tenant or guest gets injured on the property.

Acts of Nature

Bad tenants can be a situation that can be avoided with proper vetting and precautions, but there are things you simply cannot prepare for. Acts of nature can seriously mess up your income if a storm or some disaster strikes and damages your home. The good news is that some insurance policies for landlords will cover these types of damages that may be caused by fires, lightning, wind, rain and other natural problems. Some policies may even cover the loss of income that may occur if you need to repair your rental property and cannot rent it out during that time.

The Right Plan

When you own a property and choose to rent it out, you’re choosing to put your money out there in the hopes of a return on your initial investment and a decent income stream from your investment that can either supplement your current income or be your entire livelihood. That’s why it’s necessary for you to consider insurance for your rental properties. You never know what may happen and you need to be protecting your investment.

If you want to find the perfect insurance plan for your rental property, ABCO can help. Contact our expert team today to discuss what we can do for you!

Vacation | Homeowner's Insurance | NJ

Protect Your Home While Away on Vacation

Vacation season has begun. More than likely you’ve planned to get away from the grind and spend some time away from home this summer. This is always a great idea and can help you relax and avoid burnout. But it’s important to remember that there are some preparations that need to be made before you put on your Acapulco shirt and order any drink on the menu that comes with a small umbrella. You have to protect your home while you’re away, and that means you have to do the following before you leave.

Home Maintenance

Taking care of all your home maintenance chores should be the first thing you do before going on vacation. Making sure the grass is mowed, the gutters clear, and that your temperature control system is serviced can make the difference between a relaxing trip and a potential nightmare. Making sure home maintenance is taken care of will allow you to take your mind off your home while your away. But it will also help make it look like your house is occupied. It will also help you avoid disasters while you’re away. Nothing worse than coming home from a vacation to find the basement flooded or some other disaster has befallen your home.

Secure Your Home

Home security is imperative when you go on a trip. Burglars are known to capitalize on the absence of vacationers and use that time to break into homes to steal valuables. Locking your doors, arming alarm systems, letting neighbors or family know you’ll be away, and locking valuables in a safe are all common methods of preventing burglary while you’re away. But there are more subtle things that can be indicators to burglars that you’re away. For example, you may want to have a friend or neighbor pick up mail or packages and you should be careful about what you post on social media. Packages that sit for a long time on the doorstep and pictures of you on a beach are clear indicators you aren’t at home.

Purchase a Good Insurance Plan

Purchasing a good homeowner’s insurance plan is another way to make sure you enjoy your vacation without worrying about your home. The right homeowner’s insurance plan protects your home and some of your valuables from the dangers of disaster and burglary. When your possessions are stolen or destroyed, homeowner’s insurance helps you recoup the loss and allows you to quickly move on.

If you’re going on vacation this summer, make sure your home and possessions are in good hands by calling ABCO about homeowner’s insurance today!

family looking toward sunset | life insurance | NJ

Three Reasons You Should Consider Life Insurance Now

Life insurance is something people often try to avoid thinking about. Mortality is kind of a bummer, so it’s one of those things that people don’t consider unless they’re forced to have a sudden realization. But, whether we want to think about it or not, life insurance can be a valuable investment. You won’t see the benefits of this investment, obviously, but your loved ones will. That’s why life insurance is something you need to start thinking about, no matter what your age. Here are a few reasons why you should consider buying a policy.

Expenses

One of the first reasons to consider life insurance is to cover the costs that your death will incur on the ones you leave behind. Aside from the sadness that will surely come from being deprived of your company, your loved ones will have a lot to deal with. Your funeral and burial expenses are one such thing. Sadly, death is not cheap and there aren’t many ways to avoid a pretty hefty expense to make sure you have a proper burial. A policy, even some of the cheaper ones, will ease the burden of these expenses on your family.

Comfortable Living

Another reason to consider a life insurance policy is to ensure that your family can continue to live comfortably without you. A life insurance policy should help those who are dependent on you and your income to continue living the lives they’ve grown used to. The right policy can help a spouse afford mortgage payments without your income or pay for a college education for your children. When your time comes, it’s good to know that your loved ones can go on and succeed and that they won’t struggle without you. Which leads me to my next point.

Peace of Mind

The immense mystery of dying scares the heck out of most of us, which is why we’d rather not talk about something like life insurance. But when we take away some of the mystery and address some of the possibilities now, we empower ourselves and ease some of the anxiety that can come out of being a mere mortal. Purchasing a life insurance policy now gives you some peace of mind and makes sure that you won’t have to think about these things later unless you need to change your plan.

Life insurance doesn’t have to be scary or complicated. ABCO can help you find the perfect plan to make sure that you’re prepared! Contact us today to discuss what you need from a life insurance policy.

pool safety and homeowner's insurance plan | NJ

The Right Homeowner’s Insurance Plan and Pool Safety

A pool can turn your backyard into an oasis, add to the value of your home, and ensure your summers are never boring. There’s nothing like relaxing by the pool and enjoying a summer’s day, especially if friends and family can join you. But there are things to consider if you’re a pool owner. Safety is paramount poolside. So, you’ll have to be sure that you’re taking the proper precautions and have a good homeowner’s insurance plan.

Safety

Pools can be a great feature in any backyard, but they can also be a massive hassle for the homeowner. Not only is keeping a pool clean quite a task but making sure that people are safe while using the pool can be difficult. Properties that have pools on them are required to be fenced in if the pool is deeper than 18 inches. This is to help prevent people from entering your yard and falling into the pool, particularly children. Aside from having the appropriate fencing, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have some flotation devices for people who may not be able to swim. You also need to be vigilant while people are in the pool. People should also be told not to run around the pool or dive in shallow pools.

Liability

Aside from proper pool safety, you should make sure you have a homeowner’s insurance plan that covers your pool. The first reason for this is to prepare for possible accidents. Liability coverage is essential for anyone who has a pool. If someone is injured while in your pool, liability insurance will help cover the potential for paying for medical costs and legal costs that may be associated with an accident. You may want to increase liability insurance from the standard coverage just to give yourself peace of mind.

Damage

A decent homeowner’s insurance policy may also cover potential damages to your pool. For example, say a storm brings high winds that pick up the umbrella from your patio set. The wind and sends the umbrella flying into your above ground pool, tearing the side of the pool. The damage done to your pool will likely be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. That means you don’t have to spend a fortune in pool repairs and can get back to enjoying your summer, poolside.

The Right Homeowner’s Insurance Plan

If you’re interested in a homeowner’s insurance plan, ABCO can help you find a plan that suits you and your needs perfectly! Contact us today!

Insurance | NJ

Road Trip Tips for a Safer Drive

It’s definitively “windows-down” driving season. That means more people enjoying everything that the road has to offer. Nothing really defines the carefree summer drive as much a road trip. Hitting the highway, solo or with a group of friends, can lead you to adventure, relaxation, and brand-new experiences. But it’s important to not let the fun and excitement make you forget that the road can be a dangerous place and that proper caution needs to be observed. Here are a few tips to make sure your road trip is safe.

Emergency Supplies

There’s a lot you’ll want to bring with you on a road trip. But one of the major things that Americans forget when preparing to hit the road is to pack emergency supplies. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an extensive bug-out kit of survival gear, but you should plan accordingly and pack a first aid kit, some tools like a utility knife, plyers, and a lighter, some water, some food, and anything else that you may need in a pinch. Especially if you’re traveling far, it’s a good idea to make sure you have emergency items to get you out of a sticky situation and keep you alive and comfortable if you become stranded.

Have a Plan … But Be Prepared to Divert from It

Before heading out on any adventure, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a plan. Flying by the seat of your pants is all good for the minor details of the trip, but your general route and itinerary should be planned in advance. Of course, you should allow for the possibility that this may change. But by knowing this ahead of time, you’ll be able to have a clear picture of where you’re headed and how you’re getting there. This makes it easier for you to adapt quickly if a road is out, you get lost, or something else unexpected happens to divert you from your route. It’s also a good idea to have a physical map with you for areas where there may be no service.

Focus on the Road

Most importantly, you need to make sure that you’re not adding danger to the road by driving while distracted. Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things we do while on the road. Make sure you’re not looking at your phone or doing other things that can limit your ability to react to hazards on the road. It’ll be easy enough after spending so much time in the car to start doing these things, so be mindful and make sure you pull over in a safe place before answering your phone.

Insurance

It’s important to help limit risks by having the appropriate insurance plan too. Of course, vehicle insurance is a necessity if you’re on the road, but you’ll also want peace of mind, knowing your home and possessions are safe while you’re on your trip. ABCO Insurance Agency Inc. can help you find the perfect insurance plan, so contact us today!

Professional Liability Insurance | NJ

What Kind of Businesses Need Professional Liability Insurance

If you own a business, insurance can be a tricky thing to navigate. No matter what kind of business you’re in, you need insurance. Aside from homeowner’s, life, and auto insurance, business owners need to protect themselves from the many risks that can come with owning and operating a working business. Professional liability insurance is one type of insurance that most businesses need to consider investing in. Also known as professional indemnity insurance, or errors & omissions insurance, professional liability insurance protects you by covering losses that can result from lawsuits filed against you. But what kinds of businesses need this insurance?

Any business that provides a service or gives advice to a client needs this type of coverage. But the following industries have a particular need for this.

Contractors

There are few industries that can be as hazardous and unpredictable as contracting. The potential for contractors to make mistakes is one thing, but weather, materials, and time are another. All of these can lead a client to sue a contractor for not delivering. That can be because they missed their deadline, or their work did not meet expectations. Contractors are not always at fault for mistakes on a job site, but some clients may still sue them.  So professional liability insurance can protect you.

Lawyers and Doctors

Legal professionals and medical professionals often find themselves facing lawsuits from disgruntled clients.  Many states require these attorneys and doctors have some type of professional liability insurance. So, if you’re a doctor in lawyer in one of these states, it’s a necessity for you to have this insurance. But even if it isn’t required by law, considering the potential cost of facing a malpractice lawsuit, you should consider professional liability insurance.

Creatives

Independent contractors and freelancers who work in creative fields such as writing, or photography run the risk of lawsuits when they can not deliver the work they agreed to complete. This can happen for a number of reasons. Some of those reasons are absolutely legitimate such as illness or a death in the family. Some clients may not be reasonable about a missed appointment or delay in work, though. This means you can run the risk of facing a lawsuit. For many creative professionals, legal fees may seem impossibly expensive when they face a lawsuit. Professional liability insurance will cover or at least defray some of the costs incurred.

If you need professional liability insurance, contact our team today!

Insurance Agency | NJ

Don’t Let Your Guard Down – Spring-Time can be Dangerous

Spring is a time that people rejoice in. The weather changes and the trees and flowers start to bloom. It’s really a great time of year and full of life. But life, as many of us know, is unpredictable. And even in these moments of joy and life, disaster is possible. Spring is a great time of year, but there are risks that come along with the spring weather. Here are a few of the possible problems you should be wary of and be sure not to let your guard down just because it’s warm enough to wear short sleeves. And be sure you have an insurance plan that will protect you!

Rain

April showers bring May flowers, as they say. But rain can also cause major damage to your home and property. Especially after severe winter weather, your home’s defenses may be weakened. Your gutters may not be diverting water away from your house in the right way, or your roof may have damage you didn’t notice. It’s important to make sure that your home is prepared for spring rains. Water damage can ruin your home’s foundation, leak into your ceilings and walls, and flood your basement. Don’t let spring fever make you neglectful.

Mud and Flooding

With rain comes two other potentially disastrous spring conditions: mud and flooding. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you need to be ready for spring storms that may bring heavy rain. Be sure to take proper precautions and follow any instructions from officials if roads flood. It’s easy to misjudge a flooded road and swamp your car. As for mud, you should be aware that mud can be a dangerous element. Loose, muddy ground caused by rain can make it easier for trees to come down during storms. Not to mention, mudslides can wash out roads, and lead to major destruction. Be aware of muddy areas, steep inclines, and runoff around your home.

Fire

With all this talk of rain and water, you may think that fire is not a major problem during spring, but you may not be thinking about the fact that spring is also a time for night-time firepits. As a warm day turns into a cool night, a lot of people like to have backyard fires to keep friends and family warm during get-togethers. High winds and dry conditions can make this potentially risky. Be sure to pay attention to weather and warning before having a backyard fire this spring.

Insurance

Of course, you hope that none of this will be an issue for you, but you can protect yourself and be sure that if it does, you’ll be able to recover with the right insurance plan. ABCO can help you find the perfect plan. Contact us today to discuss what types of insurance will work best for you.

Homeowner's insurance | NJ

Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Spring is in the air and people are getting excited about it. Parks are packed on the weekends with families barbecuing and picnicking, people are out and about everywhere you look, yard work is being taken care of once again. All this points to winter moving on and summer preparing for its entrance. But there are things you need to take care of as a homeowner before you can enjoy the spring weather. Here are a few home maintenance tips that will help you get your home ready for warmer weather, spring rains, and the possible return of snow, which all make homeowner’s insurance necessary.

Winter May Not Be Over

The first thing to keep in mind during spring is that weather is unpredictable and winter may not have released her grasp quite yet. Especially in early April, it can be dangerous to assume that winter has officially given up. So, the first tip is to make sure that you don’t overestimate warm weather and leave windows and doors open overnight. Even on the warmest spring days, the night can bring major cooldowns that can bring things down to freezing levels. It’s also a good idea not to put away shovels and salt until you’re sure that the weather is going to stay warm.

Rain

Another thing to prepare for in spring is rain. The old adage goes “April showers bring May flowers”, but rain can also bring major problems for the unprepared. As spring moves in, it’s a good idea to check and clean your gutters and inspect your roof. If you’re comfortable on a ladder, these are things you can do yourself. If not, you can hire professionals to do it.

Outdoor Faucets

You should also check outdoor faucets for any damage. Winter weather can lead to broken pipes that you may not notice until Spring. You can easily check by turning on the water and placing your finger over the faucet. If the water stops, it may be escaping through a crack or break.

Trees

Your yard will likely need attention too, it’s very important you check out the trees in your yard while you’re doing this. Spring storms can bring down dead trees and rain can wash away sturdy ground, making it easier for trees to fall, damaging your home.

Furnace and Air Conditioner

Spring is also a good time to clean your furnace and get your air conditioner ready for summer. Cleaning out air filters, blowers, and motors can make it easier when it comes time to use these things in the future.

Homeowner’s Insurance

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your home is well protected with the right homeowner’s insurance plan. ABCO can help you with this, so contact us today!

restaurant insurance | NJ

Restaurant Insurance: Protection in a Very Risky Business

A lot of people think they can start a restaurant because they have some great recipes or because they host great dinner parties. But the restaurant business is risky. In fact, most restaurants fail pretty early on after they open. That doesn’t include the potential risks outside of the balancing act of trying to make your restaurant successful. There are a lot of liability issues to contend with where fire, water, people, food, and alcohol come into close contact. Restaurant insurance is a necessity.

Kitchen Accidents

You’ve probably invested a lot of money in your restaurant, so it’s important to protect that investment. Restaurant insurance helps you protect your restaurant and your finances from the unpredictable. Considering that your kitchen uses fire, heat, electricity, and some sharp, potentially dangerous equipment, having the right insurance plan is imperative. Fire can cause damage to your property or even potential injuries to employees. The same goes for water in your kitchen or your dining room.

Guest Accidents

Not to mention that a successful restaurant is one with customers. Guests who come to your restaurant can potentially have accidents. Slipping and falling, tripping, and other potential accidents can lead to lawsuits and more. When someone comes into your restaurant you are responsible if they have an accident. It’s better to protect yourself instead of hoping the worst never happens. The right insurance plan will help protect you in the event that something happens.

Food Problems

There are also less obvious threats to your financial security in the restaurant game. Food can be immensely fickle. If there’s a power outage and you’re not aware of it, you may lose thousands of dollars in spoiled food. Employee theft can also lead to losses you were not prepared for. Replacing damaged equipment can also cost a lot, whether it’s your dishwasher, oven, broiler, or other kitchen implements.

ABCO

The restaurant industry is not easy. Or a sure way to riches. But ABCO can help you find an insurance plan that will cover you for all of the above potential losses. That kind of coverage can help you recover from a disaster in a business already prone to potential failure. Contact us today to discuss restaurant insurance for you from ABCO.