Your NYC condo insurance policy may have some surprises in store
At about $230 to $275 annually, NYC condo insurance or coop insurance is one of the best investments you can make for your financial security and peace of mind. But there’s more to insurance than finding an agent and paying your premiums on time. Before you mentally check off “adequate insurance” on your to-do list, consider these five things you might not know about condo and coop insurance in New York City.
1. Know your building’s master insurance policy. That policy covers the real property, meaning the exterior and common areas of the building. It will not cover anything inside your condo or coop, such as the $200-per-roll art deco wallpaper in your bedroom or any of your personal items. Depending on the policy, it may not cover much beyond replacing the studs, and you would be responsible for installing walls and everything else associated with a rebuild.
2. If you’re renovating your outdated unit, make sure the contractor you hire has general contractor’s insurance. You want to make sure you are covered if your contractor causes damage or if one of his employees is injured while working on your place. That means your contractor needs both workers comp and general liability coverage. The last thing you want to worry about while updating your kitchen is paying for the emergency care of a worker who shoots a nail through his hand while installing your new cabinets.
3. Report claims immediately. Insurance companies want to inspect damage so that they can properly determine your losses. So before you start to cart off any smoke-damaged furniture or clothing, make sure your insurance company representative has already been to your condo to assess the damage. And since there are always exceptions, keep in mind that emergency repairs are sometimes necessary. If your insured loss was caused by something such as a broken pipe or a toilet overflow, it’s OK to make emergency repairs such as shutting off the water supply to avoid more damages.
4. Let your insurance company know right away if you sublet your apartment. Sublets can void your insurance policy unless you change the policy to reflect the sublet. This change usually means that your policy cost will increase. Your insurance will only cover long-term leases, such as six-month or one-year leases. Renting to someone through Airbnb couldn’t be covered, for instance, even if it was not illegal in New York, because that arrangement would be considered a short-term lease.
5. Put your roommate on your policy. If you have a roommate and that person is not your spouse or domestic partner — someone you’ve lived with for at least a year and a half — he or she must be named on the policy to be covered in the event of an insured loss.
If you’re not sure about an insurance issue, call one of the professionals at Gotham Brokerage to make sure your most valuable assets are protected. Gotham can look over your building’s master policy to help you determine the type of coverage you need and answer any other questions you might have. Gotham Brokerage, a family-run business in New York City for more than 50 years, can match you up with the right agent. Give us a call at [telnumlink]212-406-7300[/telnumlink] or fill out the form at right.