Perform a Proper Business Insurance Review for 2020

Business insurance is essential to protect your business from losses that occur during the normal course of running your company or brand. There are several different types of insurance for businesses, so how do you know what you need for the upcoming year? You should be evaluating your insurance needs based on potential risks, which can vary depending on your specific environment and practices. Here’s what should be considered in a proper business insurance review for 2020.


Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance covers your business against negligence claims that can be filed against you for mistakes or failure to perform your services. This type of coverage varies and can be customized depending on your industry and the unique concerns of your business.

Property Insurance

Property Insurance covers all your business’ equipment, signs, inventory, furniture, and large items in the event of fires, storms, or theft. It’s important to note that property insurance DOES NOT cover events like floods or earthquakes. If you live in an area where these natural disasters occur, you’ll need a separate policy.

Home Business Coverage

If you have a home-based business, be aware that your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover your business. Ask your agent about specific plans that will meet your needs.

Product Liability Insurance

If your business sells products, product liability coverage is vital. This type of plan will cover lawsuits filed due to damages caused by your products.


As you can see, making sure your business has adequate insurance coverage for the upcoming year can be complicated. Here at Leigh Agency, we can simplify the process for you and make sure you have all the coverage you need for 2020. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.

Holiday Decoration Safety

Who doesn’t love Holiday decorations? All the twinkling lights, candy canes, and snowmen can make even Scrooge smile and reach for a cup of hot cocoa. We encourage everyone to go nuts with their holiday decor, but it is essential to keep safety in mind. All those extension cords, light bulbs, and glass can get a little tricky, so before you deck the halls, read on for some holiday decorating safety tips.

Keep Your Christmas Tree Away From Heat Sources

One of the best parts of the holidays is having a live tree in your living room for a few weeks. However, if you decide to go for a real tree instead of an artificial one, keep it away from heat sources. This means you should place your tree far away from fireplaces and heaters. Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out and always keep a fire extinguisher in your home on the same floor as your tree.

Make Sure Your Twinkle Lights are in Good Shape

Strings of holiday lights should be replaced every couple of years. Never use lights, indoors or outdoors, that are frayed or have loose connections. Thoroughly check your lights before hanging them and always make sure you’re using the proper extension cords for either indoor or outdoor use.

Power Off Before Bed

Whether you’re planning on using a timer for your lights or manually unplugging them, make sure they’re all completely off before turning in for the night. Leaving them on can leave you at risk for a power shortage or outage while you’re not awake to address it.

Keep Breakable Ornaments High and Safe

We all have fragile holiday decorations; some may be older than we are. It’s perfectly ok to display these proudly every year, but it’s best to keep these breakable items out of reach of pets and small children.

So, get crazy with your holiday decor this year, but remember safety first. Happy Holidays!

What to Look For in the Right Homeowners Insurance

Choosing the right homeowners insurance is an essential part of owning a home. Things happen, so it’s vital to protect your most valuable asset from the unexpected. So what should you look for in a homeowners insurance policy? Read on to find out.


Make Sure You Know What’s Required from Your Mortgage Company

Depending on what type of mortgage you have, or the specific rules of your mortgage company, there may be certain policies you’re required to purchase. Make sure you know exactly what policies your bank requires you to have.=

Look for Value

When it comes to insurance, cheap isn’t necessarily better. Instead of looking for the lowest price, look for policies that give you the most for your money. Paying less per month or upfront may seem like the best option, but when an emergency hits, you’ll be paying more of the costs of damages out of pocket.

Consider Your Belongings as Well

Homeowners insurance policies can also cover what’s inside your home. Make sure you have an adequate policy for your valuables. Your insurance agent should be able to find you a policy specific to your individual needs.

Make Sure Liability is Included

Liability insurance is coverage in the event someone injures themselves on your property and sues you for damages. Most homeowners policies cover this but always ensure that it is included.

Be Aware of What’s NOT Covered

Most insurance policies do not cover events like floods and earthquakes, so if you live in an area where these events are likely, you’ll have to purchase them separately. Read through your entire policy and be aware of what’s covered and what isn’t covered so there are no surprises when the unexpected happens.


Homeowners insurance is meant to protect you financially, and give you peace of mind, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your insurance agent will help you find the best policy for you and your home.

Keeping Our Pets Safe in Summer Weather


Pets Hate the Heat Too!

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our other family pets, but being out and about in the hot Summer weather can be dangerous for man and his best friend!

To prevent your pet from overheating, we pet lovers here at the Leigh Agency, Freehold NJ offer these simple precautions provided by ASPCA experts:

Visit the vet for a spring or early-summer checkup.

Make sure your pets get tested for heart worm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication.Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

Know the symptoms of overheating in pets.

Which can include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.  Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.

Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!

Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool

Not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.

Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed

Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Always remember to make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.

Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog.

The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.

When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt.

Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.

Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbeques can be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol. Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.


Insurance Inventory

Take a Home Inventory to start the New Year.
The holidays are a time for celebration and family. Most people have a few extra days of vacation to relax and some use this time to play catch-up or finish projects that have been looming for the past year.
You can utilize this time to complete (what should be) an annual home inventory. But in case you have not done it, now would be a good time for it. This home inventory is geared toward helping you maintain an accurate record of your valuables for insurance purposes. A home inventory is a list and visual record of all your personal belongings, which will help you find replacement items if you ever need to do so.

Use this as a quick guide.
 Start from the purchase. Keep all receipts from large purchases like electronics, expensive artwork and jewelry. If you don’t have the receipts, use old credit card statements for proof of purchase.
 Take photos. You should take photographs and or videos of all of your possessions for your records, and keep them with your inventory list.
 Make note of serial numbers. Record serial numbers of items where applicable—you can provide these for police if your belongings are ever stolen.
 Keep copies of records. Maintain your records in a safe place, preferably a fire-proof safe alongside other important information. In addition, keep electronic records by either emailing the information to your personal email or uploading it to a secure place.
Not sure what goes on the list? Think about this, buying a new teapot does not warrant a spot on the inventory. But if you just gave your kitchen a facelift that includes everything from new cabinets to appliances, definitely add those items and the labor to your home inventory.

Once you’re finished with the “official” inventory, take some time to do the following:
 Stock up for the winter by preparing all your essentials in case the weather gets bad: shovels, sidewalk salt, candles, firewood, canned goods and frozen meats.
 Check all appliances—including your stove, water heater and thermostat—to make sure they are in good working condition before the weather gets too cold.
 Get organized. Sort through the photos on your computer, upload CDs to your iTunes account and get rid of the Tupperware with no matching lids. You will thank yourself once the New Year is here!
 Go through your clothes. Good rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it in the last two years, get rid of it. Donate clothing to a shelter or go online to sell the items. You can use the extra space to make room for new Christmas gifts
If your home inventory reflects items that are not covered under your current policy, talk to The Leigh Agency, your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent for additional information about coverage you may need. Happy New Year!

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Renters & college students need to protect their property

New National Survey Finds Nearly Two-Thirds of U.S. Renters Living Without Renters Insurance.  College Students Among Those at Possible Financial Risk in Event of Theft, Fire or Other Loss.

A recent independent consumer survey conducted for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) has found that nearly two-thirds of those living in U.S. rental properties are currently risking severe financial loss by going without renters insurance.

The national consumer telephone survey of 1,000 people was conducted by International Communications Research (ICR)—an independent survey firm based in Media, Pa. When survey participants living in rental properties were asked whether they had renters insurance, 64.4 percent said no and 2.2 percent answered “Don’t Know.”

Consider the value of your furniture, television, stereo, computer, jewelry, clothes, and other items. They likely add up to more in value than your automobile and without renters insurance, what liability coverage do you have in the event someone is injured in your rental unit and sues you for damages?

More than 81 million Americans rent homes in the United States. A frequent reason many renters give for not purchasing renters insurance is the expense. However, renters insurance policies cost as little as $10 per month. The average cost of renters insurance is $12 per month for about $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage.

The risks for our personal possessions are many: theft, vandalism, fire or lightning, hurricane or tornado, explosions, damage from smoke, damage by broken glass, water-related damage from home utilities … and the list goes on.

The most common misconception among renters is that they are covered under their landlord’s insurance in the event of fire or theft. Not so. The landlord’s insurance covers the building and the infrastructure of that building. “That coverage does not extend into the homes of the individual residents and the possessions they maintain in their units.

That’s where renters insurance comes in.

Renters insurance covers the items you have in your apartment, condo, or other rental home should those items be stolen, destroyed or damaged. Renters insurance also includes some liability coverage should someone be injured in your home and you are held liable, or even in the event you accidentally burn down your apartment and the landlord’s insurance company sues you for damages.

The survey results suggest that many families with college students could unknowingly put themselves at risk when they send their kids off to school. While homeowners coverage extends to students who live in campus dormitories, there is a gray area for students living in off-campus housing.  Students renting off-campus units need to check with their insurance agent to make sure their parents’ homeowners coverage extends to their possessions. If not, they would need to purchase a separate renters insurance policy.

Renters can obtain renters insurance by calling or visiting The Leigh Agency, an Independent Trusted Choice agency in Freehold, NJ. or 732-780-8338.

Copyright © 2013 Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc.

So you think you don’t need flood insurance!

Last month, the state of Colorado was the victim of devastating floods, estimated to have caused $1 billion in damages. And according to a FEMA spokesman, only about 1 percent of the state’s residences have flood coverage.  

The Colorado flooding resulted from a stalled cold front that dumped up to 17 inches of rain in some areas. Many would not expect flooding in this location, but the tragedy leaves an important lesson in its wake: flooding can happen anywhere, at any time. 

Remember, your homeowners policy does NOT cover floods.  Fortunately, it is possible to be prepared. Flood insurance is a necessary first step.  Contact The Leigh Agency today to get a flood insurance quote for your home or business.  Contact us at or call us at 732-780-8338.


Safe driving tips

The Leigh Agency, your Trusted Choice independent insurance agency wishes you all a safe and happy holiday weekend. The following road safety tips are brought to you courtesy of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

For Your Safety:
• Keep your doors locked, safety belts buckled and children safe and secure in properly installed safety seats.
• Don’t let your gas tank fall below 1/3 tank.
• Stay on main roads and highways, and don’t forget your AAA maps!
• Pack a flashlight, blanket and a first-aid kit. In cold climates, pack extra warm clothing.
• If you are going on a long trip, pack an emergency ration kit of water and nonperishable food items such as fruit or granola bars.
• When stopping for breaks, never let kids go to the restroom alone. Always lock vehicle doors, even if you’ll only be gone for a few minutes.
• Carry a cellular phone in case of emergencies.
• Do not stop to help a disabled vehicle. Instead, call for help from a pay phone or your cellular phone.
• If stopping during night-time travel, choose a well-lighted, populated facility. Park where your vehicle can be seen.
• If approached by someone while your vehicle is stopped, keep your doors locked and only roll your window down enough to hear what the person is saying.

If You Break Down:
• Move your vehicle off the road safely away from traffic.
• Stay inside your vehicle, and make all passengers stay inside, too. Keep doors locked.
• If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, ask all passengers to exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and stand away from traffic.
• If you must walk to a phone, keep your group together.
• Raise the vehicle’s hood, tie a white cloth to a door handle or use reflective triangles or flares. Warning devices should be placed far enough away from the vehicle to    give oncoming traffic time to react. A good rule of thumb: 3 devices at 100, 50 and 25 yards from the vehicle – or 300, 200 or 100 feet.
• Only roll down the window enough to ask any passersby to call police.

Protection for Homeowners from unscrupulous contractors

THE LEIGH AGENCY, your Trusted Choice insurance agency, is happy to pass along this important information. Please contact us for all your insurance needs.

Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) that would revise the “Contractors’ Registration Act” to require state-issued identification badges for home improvement contractors was signed into law on August 19, 2013.

“As we continue to recover from the aftermath of Sandy, New Jerseyans must be on the look out for those who would look to take advantage of the situation for their own personal benefit,” said Sweeney. “By requiring a picture ID, we are adding another layer of protection for storm victims against fraud.”

The law, S2363, requires a home improvement contractor to wear a state-issued identification badge whenever the contractor is performing, engaging, or attempting to engage, in selling home improvements. They are required to have the badge in their possession while performing home improvements. The badge will issued by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs within the Department of Law and Public Safety. It will include a color photograph of the contractor’s face, the contractor’s name, the contractor’s registration number, and the name of the contractor’s business. If a contractor’s license is suspended he / she will have to surrender the badge and it will be a fourth degree crime to use a badge not properly authorized by the state.

The law is intended to help consumers avoid fraud, particularly in light of Hurricane Sandy. The storm devastated over 300,000 homes in New Jersey, and 1,200 new applications for contractor registration have been submitted to the Division of Consumer Affairs, with many applicants coming from other states. In the aftermath of Sandy, New Jersey residents are even more vulnerable to unscrupulous, fly-by-night contractors who take advantage of residents in need of immediate home repairs.

This act shall take effect on the 365th day following the date of enactment which was August 19, 2013.