So you’re upgrading and moving out of your rental with three roommates. The next step is renting a place with just one roommate, going solo, or buying a condo or co-op.
Here are some things you need to know now that you’ve made that adult decision:
1. Don’t assume that a co-op or condo’s master policy is sufficient coverage — or, if renting, that your roommate’s policy has got you covered.
Gotham says: The co-op or condo’s master policy covers the building, public areas, and just the outer shell of your apartment. If renting, your roommate’s insurance does not cover you. In both cases, to cover personal items and protect you from liability if someone is hurt in your home, you’ll need your own policy.
2. Now that you’re serious about apartment living, you’ve invested in better furniture and have accumulated some assets.
Gotham says: If you’ve invested in a more expensive way of living, it’s smart to protect it. And you’re always one broken washing machine hose away from ruining your downstair neighbor’s photography collection. Most apartment insurance policies come with $100,000 worth of liability coverage, but the difference between $100,000 and $1 million worth of coverage is only about $70 a year.
3. Insurance policies for co-ops and condos include three basic types of coverage.
Gotham says: “Contents” covers the bulk of your personal property — clothing, furniture, electronics — from fire, theft, smoke, explosion, and water damage from bursting pipes and overflows.
“Walls and floors” insures those surfaces, and also the built-in fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, and the value of any renovation work you’ve done or purchased from the prior owner. (In a rental, you are generally not responsible for the walls, floors and built-ins.)
“Personal liability” covers you for bodily injury and property damage resulting from your (alleged) negligence — damage caused to neighbors or their property, and overflows from your toilet, tub or sink into the apartment below. Or, if you overload a socket and a fire destroys several apartments that sends dozens of people to live in hotels for months — apartment insurance has got you covered.
Contact Gotham for a free quote today.
A version of this post originally appeared on Brownstoner.