Vibrant, industrious, multi-cultural, hard-working – these are just some of the words that describe the many generations of people who lived and worked in Hoboken, New Jersey. And in the past 105 years, Muller Insurance has served the people of Hoboken from its offices at 930 Washington Street where three generations of the Muller family have contributed to Hoboken’s quality-of-life as leaders in the insurance industry and as neighborhood friends.
Muller Insurance is a full-service insurance agency that for three generations has served and protected the people of Hoboken with homeowners insurance, business insurance, automobile insurance, fire insurance and many other services. In this time of economic uncertainty – as well as in times gone by -- Muller Insurance continues to uphold the high standards put forth in 1906 when a young John Muller first opened the doors to the insurance agency at 930 Washington Street that bore his hand-painted name on the storefront’s windows.
In the 46 years John Muller owned and operated Muller Insurance, he proved to be more than an insurance agent to the people of Hoboken. Time and again, John Muller demonstrated a deep commitment to Hoboken through hard work and community involvement in the city’s public affairs.
John Muller was a young man of 17 when he immigrated to the U.S. from Altona, Germany in 1903 to make his home in Hoboken. His spent his first three years observing, learning and building his business acumen and in 1906 John Muller opened an employment agency at 62 Second Street in Hoboken. He expanded services to include real estate and insurance and business was so successful, he moved to more spacious offices on Third Street and then again to First Street in 1915. During World War I, John Muller served in the US Army as a Corporal in the Military Police and spent 17 months of his tour of duty at Camp Dix. Discharged in 1919, John Muller returned home to Hoboken to resume his business and opened a new office at 63 Eighth Street.
During his long career, John Muller was a staunch Democrat and belonged to the First Ward Democratic Club. He was elected Justice of the Peace for Hudson County in 1916 and also served as President of the Hoboken School Board. He was a member of the Hoboken Aerie, No. 603, of the Fraternal Order of Eagles; the Columbia Lodge, No. 63, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Euclid Lodge, No. 136, of the Masonic order. He was a member of the Hoboken Elks Lodge No. 74, the Hoboken Masons Euclid Lodge and the Lions Club. John Muller also ran his own Democratic Club at Fifth and Bloomfield Streets. John Muller not only handled insurance policies he brokered real estate, acted as a Theatrical Agent for Broadway shows and served as a New Jersey State Detective. When John Muller died from prostate cancer in 1952, his son R. John Muller took over the company, put the letter “R” in front of his father’s name on the storefront window and rolled up his sleeves to bring Muller Insurance to even greater success.
R. John Muller was 24 and caring for his wife Hetty and two young children when he took over the family business after his father’s death. R. John Muller shouldered the responsibility of running the family business and immediately secured a real estate license, an insurance broker’s license and kept his vision forward. A graduate of Upsala College, R. John Muller attended St. John’s Law School and served as President of the Hoboken Board of Realtors in 1959. He rented apartments, sold homes and businesses and helped new immigrants to Hoboken secure insurance policies at a time when insurance companies showed some reluctance to people of other cultures. But that did not deter him. No matter what a person’s nationality, race or creed, R. John Muller, Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) did his best to serve his clients and he did so with compassion and fairness.
“That’s what made Hoboken,” R. John Muller says. “I didn’t speak Spanish, I didn’t speak German, but we loved them and they loved us because we were honest and treated people fairly. Ethnicity doesn’t mean anything, it’s who you are.”
It was that philosophy, to treat all people equal and fair that kept Muller Insurance a growing and vital business throughout its 105-year history. That “golden rule” also guided R. John Muller and his wife Hetty as they raised their four children, Leonore, Laura, Roger Jr., and Erika. In 2000, R. John Muller retired as a New Jersey State Detective after serving 46 years including 21 years as Chief. Presently semi-retired, R. John Muller still overseas the accounting and major business decisions.
With their dad R. John Muller semi-retired, Roger J. Muller, Jr. and Erika Muller have followed in their father and grandfather’s footsteps, bringing Muller Insurance into the 21st Century with new technologies, like the company’s website www.mullerinsurance.com, and working with a staff of hand-picked insurance professionals who provide the very best in customer service, which was the foundation of their father and grandfather’s business philosophy and work ethic. Erika, who attended Ramapo College of New Jersey, recalls the time when she was six going to her dad’s office and observing the way he served his customers.
“Giving people the knowledge to choose the right type of protection for their homes and their cars and their family, that’s what my father did and that’s what Roger and I try to do,” Erika says. “I like to make everyone feel like we’re their best friend. With online insurance companies, customers get a different person every time. Not here. At Muller Insurance, we have a personal relationship with our customers.”
Overseeing Muller Insurance’s day-to-day operations and always improving how the company can better serve its clients, Roger J. Muller, Jr. is a Certified Professional Insurance Agent with 26 years of experience in the insurance industry and a life-long commitment to the people of Hoboken. He is a member of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce, Hoboken Elks Club, Euclid Lodge Masons (like his dad) and in 1984 he was named President of the Hoboken Lions Club, which he honored through 1986.
“That was a really special night for me,” Roger J. Muller, Jr. says. “Judge Charles DeFazio, who was a neighbor of ours on Washington Street and a good friend of my dad, sponsored me.”
Vice President of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce in 2010 and a life-long resident of Hoboken, Roger J. Muller, Jr. is commited to improving the quality-of-life for Hoboken’s residents. In May 2010 Roger J. Muller, who holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Ramapo College of New Jersey, earned his certification as a member of the Hoboken Communitry Emergency Response Team (CERT.) Under the leadership of Lou Casciano, Roger and the team are at the ready to respond to any type of emergency like building collapses, flooding, cooling centers and crowd control during major public events.
“I’m proud to serve my community as a volunteer for CERT,” Roger J. Muller, Jr., says. “It’s not only my personal commitment to Hoboken, but as manager and agent for Muller Insurance, it helps me to better understand the needs of our community and how we , as insurance agents, can help the people of Hoboken live secure and happy lives.”
As an independent insurance agency, Muller Insurance offers a full range of property and casualty insurance, both personal and commercial, and represents a number of quality insurance companies including Chubb, Franklin, Farmers, Fitchburg, Norfolk and Dedham, Great Northern, Merrimack, Baystate, Cumberland Insurance Group, Federal, Andover Companies, Magna Carta, Fidelity National, Selective and Wright Flood, Preserver, Tower, Foremost, Progressive, Mercury, Germantown, Travelers Insurance Company and Philadelphia Contributionship.
Muller Insurance offers special rates for homeowner, condominium, and business policies and provides services to people in Hoboken and New Jersey and is licensed in New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.
“As I continue the Muller family tradition of providing the best services to our clients, I take with me the lessons I learned passed down from my father and grandfather,” Roger J Muller, Jr., says. “And although I never my grandfather, I do my best every day to carry on the work he started 108 years ago.”