Fire Prevention | Homeowners Insurance | NJ

Common Causes of House Fires

Fire gives us warmth and light and cooks our food, but it’s also a major danger. It doesn’t take much to start a fire that can become an inferno. That’s why it’s important that people understand the common causes of house fires. This knowledge helps us prevent disaster and keep our families, homes, and belongings safe.

Electrical Problems

One of the leading causes of house fires is electrical problems. Those electrical problems can be from faulty equipment, overloaded outlets, or simple neglect. Electrical fires are usually easily preventable, but it takes vigilance and proper care to ensure that your appliances, outlets, tools, and other electrical components in your home are used safely.

Candles

Candles are another common cause of house fires. There’s not much that sets the mood for a relaxing evening as much as a nice candle or two. But candles can be a major danger when they’re left burning unsupervised. The glass that houses the candles can sometimes get hot and shatter. A candle can be placed too close to a wall or curtain. If you’re not careful with your candles they can cause major problems.

Dryer Lint

Your dryer’s lint catcher and vent is there for a reason. That lint catcher is made to be cleaned out often. When you neglect your dryer’s lint catcher and vent, you run the risk of a fire. Lint can burn easily and fast. In fact, lint is sometimes used as tinder in emergencies.

Matches and Lighters

Unattended matches and lighters are another common fire starter that you need to address. When you have children in your home, lighters and matches can be a major concern. Children are interested in fire and that means they can accidentally start them with unattended matches or lighters.

Cooking

Cooking is something we have to do. Cooking well is something we should do. Cooking safely is something we must do. The kitchen can be a dangerous place when you’re not careful. Especially when using hot oil, cooking is a leading cause of house fires. Like all of the things on this list, a little prevention and proper use can help keep you safe when cooking.

No matter how well prepared you are, your home or property may still be damaged by fire. That’ why it’s important to be prepared, be safe, and make sure you’re insured. When fire causes damage to your property, the right insurance plan can help you recover quickly and get back to your daily life. ABCO Insurance Agency, Inc can help you find the perfect insurance plan. Be prepared and contact us today!

life-insurance

Don’t Let These Reasons Hold You Back from Buying Life Insurance

People everywhere know that having a life insurance policy in place is a priority.  A recent survey revealed that 85% of us are all well that life insurance is a good thing to have.

That said, over half of us don’t have it!

So, why the disconnect?  If you’re part of the vast, equivocating mass that resists securing a policy, then don’t let these reasons hold you back from buying life insurance.

 

  • It’s expensive!

 

Most people who don’t have life insurance believe it’s financially beyond their reach.  But that’s because they’re unaware of how affordable life insurance can be.

In the survey cited above (conducted by LIMRA), respondents were asked to ballpark the cost of a $250,000 policy.  Their responses reveal how widespread the misconception that life insurance is a costly pipe dream is.

The most common guesstimate was more than 3 times what that policy costs!

 

  • Health concerns

 

Again, there are a lot of misconceptions about how a pre-existing or ongoing health condition can impact your illegibility for life insurance.

But whether the problem was treated in the past or is currently being treated, you may still be able to secure an affordable life insurance policy.

 

  • I’m a stay-at-home parent

 

All work has value.  That much is clear. So, if you’re a stay-at-home parent, or you’re working in the home to care for an elderly or disabled relative, the work you do would need to be replicated, should you no longer be there to do it.

Life insurance would provide funding to continue the valuable work you do in the home for your family.

 

  • No children

 

Just because you have no children doesn’t mean to say you don’t need life insurance.  The financial capital you build with a life insurance policy can cover you and your family for so many other contingencies in the event of your death.

If you’re the breadwinner, a life insurance policy provides your family with welcome funds to cover funeral expenses, the mortgage and other financial needs.  Money may even be disbursed in your name to charitable organizations.

 

  • Too busy to get it done

 

We’re all busy.  That’s a fact of life.  All the same, life can turn on a dime.  Being prepared with a life insurance policy ensures that what you leave behind is a supportive framework for those who depend on you, covering outstanding debt, end-of-life needs and other contingencies.

Nobody really wants to dwell on the fact that they won’t always be here.  But that’s the nature of life. Life insurance is a sensible way to leave a legacy that says you’ve thoughtfully considered the needs of those around you.  It says you care.

ABCO Insurance Agency

At ABCO, we’re dedicated to getting you covered, offering you quotes from 50 different companies to obtain the most advantageous life insurance policy possible.

Don’t let these reasons hold you back from buying life insurance.  ABCO Insurance is here to ensure that you leave a legacy of security and continuity.  Contact us.

Flood Insurance | ABCO Insurance | New Jersey

Hurricane Season is Almost Here, Are You Prepared?

Hurricane season is around the corner. In fact, there’s already a chance that a storm currently in the Caribbean Sea could become the first hurricane of this season. The official start of the season is the first of June. As many remember, hurricanes can be a major problem for coastal New Jersey residents, as well as those living farther inland. Recent storms like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy delivered heavy rains, flooding and high winds that wound up causing heavy damages in the area. So, be prepared this year for hurricane season with the right insurance plan.

Flooding

When it comes to hurricane damages, coastal towns and flood areas can be the hardest hit. Flood damage is not easy to recover from and it’s important to remember that most homeowner’s insurance plans do not cover flood damage. That means you need separate flood insurance if your home and property are in areas that flood easily. If you remember the hurricanes mentioned above, you likely remember whole shore towns covered in several feet of water. This led to lost homes, destroyed business, and damaged property costing a lot of money. Make sure you’re prepared for this possibility by making sure your home, business, and property are insured for the right amount.

High Winds

Flooding isn’t the only danger from hurricanes and tropical storms. High winds can wreak havoc for miles during one of these storms. That means trees can be downed, electrical lines can be severed, and roads can be blocked. All of this equals a highly dangerous environment for your home and property. Trees coming down on your home or vehicle can cause thousands of dollars in damages, if not more. Downed power lines can lead to fires and electrical issues that can cause damage to your property or even destroy your home. And blocked roads can make it hard for professionals to make repairs and manage any fires that do occur.

It’s important to make sure that you have a comprehensive insurance plan that covers damage to your home, vehicles, and other property that can occur from high winds during a hurricane. The right insurance plan will make it easier to recover from these losses and make sure you have the resources to rebuild after such devastation.

The Right Insurance Plan

If you need an insurance plan to protect you from hurricane damages, ABCO Insurance Agency, Inc. can help. Contact our expert team today! We’ll help you find the perfect plan.

Life Insurance In South Jersey From ABCO Insurance Agency

Life Insurance – Why You Should Pursue It

Life is uncertain and it has an expiration date.  And while we’re living in the moment, the future continues to loom.  But there’s little time to think about that as we enjoy life’s pleasures.  And one of those pleasures is having a family.

But the future’s still there.  What if, at some point, that future no longer includes you?  It’s a sad thought, but one which realistic, forward-thinking people address with life insurance.

If you have a family, what will happen to the people you love should you no longer be here to help them make their way through life?  If you’re the sole breadwinner, it’s a good question to ask and one that life insurance can help you answer.

More affordable than you think

Many people think about life insurance as a frill.  We all have bills to pay and our monthly earnings only go so far.  But did you know that life insurance is more affordable than you think?

Let’s think about it a little more.  The cost of life insurance is easily defrayed by the peace of mind it brings and the knowledge that your loved ones will be cared for, should you no longer be there to help.

The best thing about life insurance is that the younger you are when you buy it, the more affordable it is.  Lock in a rate under the age of 30 and you could be paying the equivalent of a week’s worth of Starbuck’s coffee and breakfast buns.  People under 40 can get an enviable rate if they think ahead and act while their policy costs remain low.

Of course, as you age policies climb in price, but they continue to be accessible.  But acting early makes life insurance an imminently affordable option.

Helping your loved ones

Life insurance is a gift you give your loved ones.  You’re telling them you care when you buy life insurance that covers them for both long-term and short-term needs.

Should you pass away unexpectedly, your loved ones will still need to pay the rent or mortgage and the bills.  Then there are the funeral expenses which can be as much as $10,000, depending on the arrangements your family makes.

You may also have amassed debt from student loans or credit card use.  You don’t want to stick others with the cost of clearing up your debt after you’re gone and a life insurance policy ensures you won’t.

Following the death of a significant member of any family (especially the breadwinner), there’s enough to deal with.  Your loved ones can grieve in peace and in the knowledge that they’re not going to lose the family home, the ability to go to college, or caring for elderly or disabled relatives.

That’s a precious gift.

And if you have a business, your life insurance keeps it running, because the funds will be there for your family to draw on.

ABCO Insurance Agency is your source for comprehensive life insurance.  Contact us.  Give your loved ones a precious gift.

Homeowner's insurance | Fire Prevention | NJ

Fire Prevention Tips from ABCO Insurance Agency Inc.

A house fire can cause immense destruction and even put your life at risk. The best way to protect yourself and your home from a fire is by taking preventative steps. Here are the best tips from ABCO Insurance Agency Inc. to prevent a fire in your home.

Fire Prevention

The first thing to do to help prevent a fire in your home is to keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything in your home that gets hot. This includes candles, space heaters, fireplaces, ovens, or stove tops. This seems like common sense, but it’s easy to make mistakes.

Never leave a fire, candle, space heater, stove top, or oven unattended while it’s lit or burning. Make sure that you’re careful when you’re cooking and never go to bed with a candle burning. Candles can be an extreme hazard when they’re left unattended. If you’re enjoying your fireplace, make sure you’re turning the fire off if it’s gas or electric and make sure you’re using an appropriate grate or cover for traditional fireplaces to keep hot embers and logs from falling out.

Educate

If you have kids in your home, make sure they know the dangers associated with fire. Educate any children who are frequently in your home about how dangerous it is to play with matches, lighters, candles, and anything in your home that may cause a fire.

Make Your Home Safer

You can do things to make your home safer. For example, keep matches and lighters safely out of reach of children and properly stored. Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and in sleeping areas.

Make sure that you maintain and clean your heating sources and keep an eye on your electrical outlets, the wiring in your home, and the electronics you use in your home. Replace frayed extension cords and use electronics safely.

Insurance

Even if you’ve followed these steps to keep your house safe from the dangers of a fire, sometimes things are out of your control. So, it’s necessary to protect your home in other ways than those mentioned above. Homeowner’s insurance is one of the best ways to make sure that you don’t lose everything in a fire. Homeowner’s insurance can cover damages that a fire can cause and will keep you on your feet after this kind of tragedy. If you’re interested in homeowner’s insurance or any type of insurance plan, contact our team today!

Firearms and Insurance

Firearms and Coverage on the Home Insurance Policy

Owning a firearm which you keep in your home is not to be taken lightly.  All you need to do is watch the nightly news to understand that negligence is a common problem with firearm ownership and one which causes injury and loss of life.

This post is about addressing getting insured for your firearm, what you need to understand the coverage and ensuring that you’re held coverage in the event of an incident, loss or theft.

Home insurance and the sublimit

Because firearms are portable, usually valuable and easy to grab in the event of a robbery, they’re subject to a sublimit.  While they’re considered personal property, they fall under a different rubric than other items in your home.

Your home insurance policy limits your coverage with respect to firearms, in other words.  They’re covered only in the event of theft and usually in the amount of about $2,500.  You may wish for more secure coverage than this, so it’s always a good idea to have a sit down with your insurer to supplement your policy with respect to firearms.

Two excellent options

The first option to obtain more comprehensive coverage for your firearms is to add a rider to your existing home insurance policy.  Riders cover small, valuable items that represent “above and beyond” risk in terms of insurance (easy to grab).  Conditions for riders are, in general, more generous than for standard policies.  It may be that you’ll be able to cover your firearms for more than just theft, with this type of coverage.

A separate policy for your firearms is probably your best bet.  Finding one is a matter of being connected to firearms groups like the NRA (National Rifle Association).  The NRA and associated affinity groups attract insurers seeking niche markets for their products, so you’ll find the best coverage here.

Liability

As we mentioned earlier, the nightly news shares cautionary tales about firearms on an almost daily basis.  That’s why it’s so important for firearms owners to consider the liability implications connected to ownership of a weapon, as well as loss, theft, and damage.

Liability is rarely cut and dried and in a litigious environment like the one we live in, relying on the liability portion of your existing policy is probably not enough protection.

If the nightly news isn’t enough to convince you of your vulnerability to liability, google “homeowner” and then look at the news section.  You’ll see numerous results describing legal problems for homeowners who shot intruders and the legal wrangles that resulted.

A personal umbrella policy which provides additional protection against liability is a good way to ensure you’re covered in the event of an incident which involves one of your firearms.

ABCO Insurance Agency

If you’re a firearms owner, then you need to be aware of your options with respect to insurance coverage that protects you against all the things that can go wrong when you have the responsibility of firearms in the home.

For superior support, contact us.  We’ll ensure your covered.

homeowner's insurance | New Jersey

Prevent and Prepare for Burglars

Burglary is something that many people worry about. No matter where you live, thieves are a possibility that you should be prepared for. Here are some tips to prevent and recover from a burglary.

If You’re Traveling

Burglars often strike when you least expect it and are most vulnerable. That means they look for the most opportune times, particularly if you’re away for a long period. So, if you’re going on vacation or are going to be traveling, it’s best to make sure your home is safe while you’re away. To make your home look less appealing to burglars, make sure it looks like someone is home with these steps:

  • Don’t let mail build up on the step or in the mail box. Have someone pick up your mail or ask the post office to hold your mail while you’re away.
  • If you’re travelling in the summer, hire someone to mow your lawn.
  • Set up a light with an automatic timer for a few hours a night.
  • Make sure you lock all of your doors and windows before you leave.
  • Let the local police, friends, and family know you’ll be away and ask if they can check on your house.

When You Go to Bed

Another time when you’re vulnerable to burglars is when you’re asleep. Make sure your home is protected while you’re getting some shuteye with these tips:

  • Use an alarm system and arm it when you go to bed.
  • Lock all of your doors and window before you hit the hay.
  • Secure garage and shed doors every night.
  • Don’t leave valuable items out in the open, such as lawn movers or barbecue grills.
  • Use motion activated security lights near your doors or drive way.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle overnight.

Be Prepared

Even if you follow all the steps above, you may still find yourself the victim of a crafty burglar. In that event it’s best to be prepared with the information you’ll need to recoup what you’ve lost. You should keep an inventory of all of your most valuable items, such as jewelry and electronics. Include a description of the item, when it was bought, its original value, and any identification like serial numbers. Aside from that, you need to make sure that you have a great insurance plan that can help you recover what you’ve lost. The right homeowners plan can help you there. So, contact ABCO Insurance Agency, Inc. for the best coverage around!

ABCO Insurance - Renters Insurance

Think Renter’s Insurance is Only for Your “Stuff”? Think Again!

Typically, renters don’t believe they need insurance.  We hear it all the time at Abco Insurance Agency.  But renter’s insurance is about a lot more than furniture, electronics and other belongings.

Even if you don’t believe you need renter’s insurance because you don’t have a lot of expensive stuff in your place, you’re not looking at the whole picture.

Renter’s insurance is inexpensive and can save you a lot of money, should something unforeseen happen.  Let’s look at what it can do to protect you.

Loss of use

In the event of a fire, your apartment complex could be irreparably damaged – perhaps even destroyed entirely.  And that stuff you don’t think is worth much of anything?  Gone.

You may need to stay in a hotel until you find another place.  And how are you going to cook for yourself?  Eating out can cost a bundle.

You’ll need another place to live.  Finding a comparable apartment can take a long time in this market.  Then there’s your first month’s rent and the deposit.

But renter’s insurance covers you in the event you lose your place to live, protecting you from the high cost of re-locating and starting over.

Personal liability

Don’t think it can happen to you?  We live in an increasingly litigious society.  People sue coffee shops for coffee that’s too hot.  That’s how bad it’s gotten.

What if your dog bites someone?  What if a close friend comes over and trips over the cat?  You may believe that no one you know would be petty enough to sue, but like the title says – think again!

Renter’s insurance will hold you covered for any legal expenses arising in the event of a liability lawsuit, even covering you if the court rules in the plaintiff’s favor.

PRO-TIP:  Make your agency aware of all dogs in your apartment and their breeds, as some hounds may not be covered.

About your stuff

Are you completely sure that your stuff isn’t worth anything?  Were there to be a fire in your apartment building and you lost everything, how much would it cost to replace your belongings?

Even your clothes aren’t cheap to replace at today’s prices, but furniture, collectibles, electronics and artwork can add up to a lot of money.  And what about that vintage Grateful Dead poster?  It’s worth money.

Renter’s insurance holds you covered, so you can start over from scratch.

Take a moment, right now.  Sit down and tally up the value of the contents of your apartment.  You’ll be surprised at how impressive that number is, even if you think your stuff isn’t worth much.  Having to replace it all can be a costly endeavor.

Abco Insurance Agency

Since 1979, Abco has been insuring thousands of individuals and businesses, collating quotes from 25 different insurers to get you the best coverage possible, at the best prices.

Life happens.  Tomorrow, your rented apartment may be flooded by a burst pipe or consumed by a fire.  Let Abco protect you against life going sideways.

South Jersey Car Insurance Savings

The Hidden Costs of Cheap Car Insurance

You love the convenience and freedom of owning a car, but you bridle a bit when it comes to insuring it.

So, you go the cheap route.

But the problem with “cheap” is that it’s rarely of the quality you need to cover yourself adequately against all the potential hazards and pitfalls car ownership and driving can expose you to.  But the hidden costs of cheap car insurance can come back to haunt you in a very big way.

Let’s examine why that’s the case and rummage through the fine print of nonstandard policies to see why they’re just not worth it.

More scrutiny

You won’t like this one!

While an insurer will check your driving record once a year or every other year, cheap policies may check every six months.

If you have moving violations on your driving record, this triggers vigilance on the part of those insurers offering a cheap fix.  They’ll lie in wait until they find something and then your premiums will go up.

No more cheap policy.

Punitive damages

Fender benders and other accidents can lead to lawsuits.  Don’t count on your cheap, nonstandard policy covering you if you’re found to be at fault in court.

In many cases, you’ll be on the hook to pay punitive damages.  And that’s not cheap.

Need repairs?  Look out

Anyone who owns a car knows that repairs aren’t cheap.  If your car sustains a ding in the parking lot or in a collision, a cheap policy factor in depreciation as part of its payout.

That means you’re only paid out for a portion of the cost of repairs.  The market value of your car is used to calculate reimbursement, meaning you bear a substantial chunk of the expenses.

Other drivers?

If you’re not the only person who uses your car, a cheap policy may work against you.  While not all nonstandard policies are alike, reading the fine print in this regard is a must before signing on the dotted line.

Teenage drivers may be excluded, especially if they’ve got a moving violation on their record.  You may not even be able to lend your car to relatives and friends if “permissive” drivers (people you allow to borrow your car) are excluded.  Some common exclusions are drivers under the age of 25 or 21.

While there’s quite a lot of variance involved in nonstandard car insurance policies, the common thread is limiting your coverage in multiple ways that can wind up costing you more money.  Policies like these also restrain decision-making about who can use your car.

A standard car insurance policy with Abco takes care of everything.  We get quotes from more than 10 insurers in the market to ensure you get the best coverage at the best price possible.

Abco Insurance Agency

At Abco, we’ve been creating solid car insurance policies for drivers like you since 1979.  With accessible pricing and comprehensive coverage, you get certainty about where you stand, with no secrets in the fine print to trip you up later.

Contact us.

history of insurance | ABCO | NJ

Insurance: An Ancient Practice and a Modern Necessity

From the ancient days of grain storage to the modern insurance agency, people have always tried to prepare for the worst ahead of time. Insurance is a modern necessity, but it has its origins in the early days of humanity. Here is a quick history of insurance and the way people have used it throughout history.

In the Beginning

Insurance can technically trace its roots to early human history and the introduction of grain stores. People would collectively store their grain for use in times of famine. There was also often a form of insurance in communities. If a family’s home burnt down, the community would help them rebuild it. Later, some Greeks and Romans organized funds to help the families of people who died and to pay for funeral expenses – essentially, the first life insurance.

The Official Start

Insurance as we know it became popular the seventeenth century onward. The oldest fire insurance organization, Hamburger Feurekasse, began in 1676, but property insurance as we know it began with the Great Fire of London, which destroyed massive portions of London, devastating the city. Business insurance and life insurance would also find their beginnings in some way in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

In America

In America, property insurance was popularized by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Franklin standardized the use of insurance, particularly in regard to property damage from fire. Franklin helped modernize Philadelphia’s fire-fighting abilities. He started one of America’s first volunteer fire companies. Franklin often wrote about fire prevention to help modernize the fire-fighting abilities of his adopted Pennsylvania home, which was far behind his original home, Boston. This passion for fire-fighting led to Franklin’s formation of an insurance company which contributed to fire prevention, even refusing to insure buildings that were at exceptionally high risk of fire.

Now

Today, insurance is a massive industry, but the principles are the same as they were at the beginning. Insurance helps us prepare for the worst but hope for the best. If you haven’t invested in a great insurance plan, ABCO Insurance Agency, Inc. is here to help. We can help you find the right plan for the right price. Contact us today!