• Muller Insurance: The Oldest Business in Hoboken

    John Muller was 17 when he immigrated to Hoboken from Altona, Germany in 1903, wanting to live a better life. Three years later, he started Muller Insurance at 930 Washington Street in Hoboken, where the business’ headquarters still live today. Today we’re sharing about this special insurance agency, which also holds the unique title of “Oldest Business in Hoboken” — having been founded in 1906. Muller Insurance houses all of your insurance needs in one place, and with it, you’ll get an inspiring story of a trusted family legacy in Hoboken, embodying the American Dream.

    We got to sit down with Roger J. Muller Jr., one of the current owners of the business {grandson of founder John Muller} who shared how the mom-and-pop insurance shop {aka present-day insurance agency} came to be, and got a peek at some of the amazing old-school Hoboken photos. Here’s more about Hoboken’s oldest business, Muller Insurance and its founders:

    john-muller-insurance-hoboken

    ^John Muller, Founder of Muller Insurance

    After starting the family business in Hoboken, John Muller served as a US Army Corporal in the Military Police during the World War I. He was discharged in 1919, and immediately returned home to Hoboken to resume the business, which including being a theatrical agent for actors and actresses. During the time Muller Insurance was flourishing, he served as President of the Hoboken School Board and was elected a Justice of the Peace for Hudson County — as well as several other social service organizations including The American Legion 107 {read more on that here!}, the Hoboken Masons, Hoboken Elks Lodge 74, and the Lions Club — a true renaissance man. He definitely made Hoboken his home, through and through.

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    ^Muller Insurance located at 930 Washington — a photo from the early 1900s

    Sadly, in 1952, more than 45 years after starting Muller Insurance, John Muller passed away from cancer and his son, R. John Muller, took over the family’s business at age 24. R. John Muller secured real estate and insurance broker’s licenses to complement the family business, having graduated from Upsala College — and continued his education at St. John’s University’s School of Law. Simultaneously, he became a New Jersey State Detective {which he did for 46 years} while working as a realtor and insurance agent and working as a public accountant. His wife Hetty handled income taxes and accounting. Busy busy bees, that’s for sure! Muller Insurance’s vibrant business has since grown with Hoboken, the surrounding communities, and the insurance industry, all while creating a business model committed to public service and community involvement.

    In 1984, Roger Jr. started managing the office for his father and curated a staff of hand-picked insurance professionals to carry on the Muller legacy. His sister Erika became a partner of the business in 2012.

    ^John Muller’s grandson, Roger, who heads the insurance agency at present day

    In 2011, Hoboken dedicated 10th and Washington Street to John Muller, calling it John Muller Way {also known as 10th and Washington Street}. “My family and I are so proud that our grandfather is being honored with a street named for him,” Roger J. Muller Jr. shared. “He loved Hoboken and the business he built here. This is a great honor for the Muller family.”

    We got a chance to visit the office last week, and while there, Roger Jr. showed us some amazing old photos of Hoboken and his family’s history here.

    ^Old photos of Hoboken galore adorn the office

    One such photo is of Roger’s grandfather’s car, outside of Muller Insurance’s additional office on 1st Street in the early 1900s. Roger Jr. proudly shared that is the first-ever recorded car driven in the Mile Square.

    ^A digital print of the photo — 1st car in Hoboken!

    ^Close up, John Muller’s car in front of his shop.

    Perhaps driving on what was going to be known as John Muller Way?

    OK so we digressed a bit, since it’s pretty easy look at photos of old Hoboken alllll day long. But let’s get back to business:

    As far as insurance needs, the Muller Insurance agency covers the full gamut. Here are a few of the things they cover:

    Renter’s Insurance
    Homeowner’s Insurance
    Brownstone Insurance
    1-4 Family Dwellings {owner-occupied or tenant occupied}
    Auto Insurance
    Flood Insurance
    Condo Unit Owners
    Building Insurance
    Retail Business
    Restaurants/Cafes
    One-Family to 100-Family Units
    Condo Associations
    Homeowners
    Brownstones
    Jewelry/Valuables

    They also offer packages to bundle home insurance {condo or renters} with car insurance and offer a 30% discount on your package. Click here for more info.

    Muller Insurance is an independent, trusted choice agency working with 20 insurance companies to find the best rates for clients — including AIG, Farmer’s, FMI {one of their biggest agents in the state}, Travelers, and Progressive. Think of it this way: When you call an insurance company after watching one of those catchy commercials, you’re only calling ONE company, and their rate is their rate. Working with Muller, you get the wide variety/choice to choose from 19 other companies, should you not like the rate you’re quoted the first time.

    ^Inside Muller Insurance — including a customer {seated} who had nothing but great things to say about Roger Jr. and his team.

    She owns a brownstone and uses the agency to insure it, and has for many years.

    Presently, the agency has 10 employees {20 if you count the fish — Roger Jr. has a larger-than-life-sized tank in his office along with plants galore as he’s an avid deep-sea diver!}, and they serve 25 states in the United States. So if you have property or businesses in more than one state, have no fear: the agency can bundle your properties under one policy, which not many agencies can do. Roger Jr. noted that this often happens with Hoboken residents who move from the city; they have a condo or co-op they bought in Manhattan in their 20s, but want to keep it when they move to Hoboken. Luckily Muller offers packaged bundles where it’s possible to handle both under the same roof {so to speak}. Life = infinitely easier that way.

    ^Some of the Muller team in Roger’s beautiful botanical garden-like office

    Beyond the insurance offerings, it’s worthwhile to note that longevity of this business does, in fact, equal its accolades. Muller Insurance is a Chubb Cornerstone agency – the highest-rated Chubb agent in the area {for those not in the insurance game, Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded P&C insurance company and largest commercial insurer in the U.S. — this select group of agencies represents only 3% of agencies in the entire country that are awarded this honor}. The agency has also been awarded a variety of other prestigious titles including 2013’s Uniquely Hoboken Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Award.

    If you’re in the market for a better insurance rate, are moving and need to check out a new policy, own a business {or perhaps a shore house and a Hoboken condo = aka you’re L-I-V-I-N}, definitely check out Muller Insurance. Shopping local is possible — even for insurance.

    Even though John Muller didn’t know the legacy that he was to create when he started his little shop in 1906, it’s safe to say he’s looking down and is incredibly proud of where his family has taken the business in our little Mile Square.

    To get in touch or request a quote, call (201) 659-2403 or email help@mullerinsurance.com. Tell them HobokenGirl.com sent you!

     

    This post is sponsored by Muller Insurance, but the amazing history of this local Mile Square business is so special, we just had to share.


    Written by:

    Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. She started the site to discover the wealth of fun things happening in Hoboken and Jersey City and surrounding Hudson County areas. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog Pierre + rescue pup Finn, or watching some really bad {but oh-so-good} reality TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


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