Monopoly House - Homeowners Insurance

Three Reasons You Need Renter’s Insurance

Whether it’s an apartment, house, or office, renting is a convenient way to make sure that you have a space to call your own without all of the responsibilities of owning. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t downsides. When you rent, there are a number of potential situations that can lead you to lose money. Here are three reasons renters need to protect themselves with renter’s insurance from ABCO Insurance Agency.

Neighbor’s Mistakes

The first thing that can lead to problems in your rental are your neighbors. Especially in an apartments or condos, your neighbors can wind up ruining your belongings. For example, an upstairs neighbor accidentally leaves the bat running and water pours through your ceiling, ruining your computer or TV. Another example would be a neighbor leaving a candle lit close to a shared wall. If the wall catches fire, it can hopefully be contained, but you still might wind up with damaged or destroyed belongings. Renter’s insurance makes sure you don’t need to pay out of pocket to replace what was lost in an instance of neighborly destruction.

Displacement

Say the above examples ruin your apartment or condo. Where are you going to go? You’ll have to get a hotel room until the apartment is restore or you find a new place to live. You’ll have to replace everyday items like toothpaste and pay for someplace to rest your head. With renter’s insurance, you can get coverage that ensures you’re not going broke and paying through the nose if you’re displaced from your rented space.

Burglary

Another potential problem in a rented space is burglary. If someone forgot to lock the main door to the building, or someone managed to get a hold of the building owner’s copy of your key, or someone just broke into your space while you were away, you’ll have to recover the items stolen. Renter’s insurance makes sure that your stolen items are not being replaced by you, out of pocket.

Contact Us

If you rent, you need renter’s insurance to protect you from the unexpected. So, contact our team today to discuss a plan that will work for you!

Distracted Driving | Car Insurance

Can You Guess Our Biggest Driving Distraction?

Distracted driving is in the news these days.  Governmental authorities everywhere are working to stem the tide of people driving without due attention, initiating heavy fines for those whose minds wander while behind the wheel.

The focus these days is on getting people to put down their mobile devices, mascara, or whatever else is causing them to take their eyes off the road.  The human cost of distracted driving has compelled numerous pieces of legislation.

But the number one cause of distracted driving isn’t what you think it is.

It’s day dreaming.

With 172,000 traffic fatalities in the past 5 years – 1 of 10 being caused by distractions – it’s certainly time to address distracted driving, but how does one legislate against day dreaming?

When people are driving, they often think of the time it takes to get from point A to point B as a moment away from life’s pressures.  That’s a problem. Driving a motor vehicle is a huge responsibility to one’s self and others on the road.

But people’s minds will wander.  They lose themselves to a song on the radio or wondering what to fix for dinner.  And in the moments their attention wanders from the road, anything can happen.

When over 60% of people admit to a lack of attention due to day dreaming at the time of a fatal crash, it’s time for more pointed education to reduce the instance of traffic fatalities.

Limited data

The source of public data about distracted driving is usually the police officers attending the scene of an accident.  It’s on them to determine what caused the accident and let’s face it – who wants to admit they were day dreaming or otherwise distracted following a collision?

Data about distracted driving and its prevalence is therefore not only limited, but not entirely reliable.  There’s little in the way of empirical support, in the absence of any admission on the part of drivers that they weren’t paying attention.

Strategies to combat distraction

Our most compelling strategy against distraction is to create a stop gap for the mind’s tendency to wander away from the task at hand.  A familiar play list of your favorite songs won’t do it. Because you’re well-acquainted with the music, it can be an invitation to distraction.

Instead of that beloved playlist, turn to something which demands your attention.  Attention which is focused is easier to pull away and re-focus, as you drive. You also maintain alertness by listening to something like a podcast or a radio talk show.

This is called “passive engagement”.  You may or may not be genuinely interested in the subject matter, but your mind’s engagement with it prevents you from drifting off.

Another excellent strategy to combat distraction is by playing a game with yourself as you drive.  Like “punch buggy” for drivers, counting red cars, or playing a game of “I spy” can keep you focused on the road and prevent the kind of listless mental meandering that costs lives.

For auto insurance that holds you covered, contact us.

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!

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.

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!

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!

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella Insurance for a Rainy Day

In this uncertain life, anything can happen.  As we get older, we find that out in ways that can be less than pleasant.

That’s why insurance is so important.  But umbrella insurance for a rainy day is more about extreme weather conditions than a light drizzle.

Accidents and the liability that can accompany them can see you facing enormous costs.  These can amount to millions of dollars, under certain conditions.  And no.  That’s not an exaggeration.

Umbrella insurance can protect you from this eventuality, ensuring you remain solvent.

Limitations of auto insurance

A perfect example of umbrella insurance’s role is considering the typical auto insurance policy.  If you’re involved in a collision, payouts are usually in the ballpark of $100K per person involved, $300K per accident and $50K for property damage.

But what if you’re at fault?  What if there’s been grave injury that an unwitting error on your part has caused and you’re on the hook for an astronomical sum of money?  You may find that your assets – your home, your investments, your savings – are vulnerable.

Shelter from the storm

With an umbrella insurance policy, you’re not just prepared for life’s intermittent squalls.  You’re protected from catastrophic events that can change your financial status overnight from “healthy” to “under water”.

Umbrella insurance is inexpensive, due to the nature of what it covers.  A $1 million policy adds ballast to existing coverage, like auto and home insurance.  It’s shelter from the storm when life hits you with its worst and most unanticipated surprises.

A $1 million policy will cost you between $130 to $250 per year.  But for those who want to feel even more secure about their coverage, each additional $1 million can be purchased for between $100 to $150 per year.

That’s great value for money, when you consider the alternative.  The lurking potential for being slammed with a liability suit is there every time you get behind the wheel of your car or take your boat out on the water.

Bad things happen to good people and that’s what umbrella insurance is there to defend you from – the unpredictable vagaries of this uncertain life.

 

Abco Insurance

Abco is a trusted insurance agency which will provide you with quotes from 25 companies, while we’re putting together the most comprehensive umbrella insurance policy for you we possibly can.

We believe in our clients and their need to feel secure and protected from the eventuality of incidents which can leave their financial resources depleted.  That’s why we want you to know that an umbrella insurance policy really can save your life – and your resources.

Since 1979, we’ve been ensuring thousands of individuals and businesses, holding them covered against life’s bumps, bruises, rainy days and extreme weather.  We know that life insurance can make the difference between solvency and bankruptcy in a volatile world that throws continual curveballs.

With Abco, you can hit those curve balls every time and hang on to what you’ve worked hard for.

Contact us.  Let Abco shelter you from the storm.