Is Renter’s Insurance Required in New York City?

Is Renters Insurance Required in NYC?

One of the most asked questions by New York City residents moving into a new home: is renter’s insurance required in NYC? The quick and simple answer is, no – there is no local, state or federal law that requires tenants to have renter’s insurance. The more detailed answer, however, is a little more nuanced.

The question most people who rent in New York City should be asking is – if you were to lose all your belongings in a disaster or similar loss event, would you be able to financially replace your belongings and emotionally withstand the loss of your most beloved items? While having renter’s insurance is not required by law, it sure is an important policy to have if you want the security of knowing your possessions are covered if damaged, destroyed, or even stolen. And, the more savvy landlords are also now requiring that tenants purchase apartment insurance, as it is smart for tenants and it helps protect landlords from potential lawsuits.

No matter what part of New York City you live in, renter’s insurance is essential if you want to protect your property. Many people mistakenly believe their landlord’s policy covers their possessions – not so. Landlord’s insurance does not protect you as a renter, so if a fire or water damage ruins your furniture, or if someone gets injured in your apartment, you are on the hook. That is, of course, unless you make the wise decision to purchase renter’s insurance, one of the most affordable insurance policies out there.

is renters insurance requried in nyc

What is Renter’s Insurance?

Simply put, renter’s insurance is an insurance policy that provides content cover and liability protection in case someone gets injured at your residence. Generally, renter’s insurance covers loss or damage by fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, windstorm/hail, lightning, explosions, falling objects, snow/ice/sleet, water damage, and even electrical surges. It may also cover injuries people suffer at your apartment, including medical expenses, and potential lawsuits. It may cover damage you cause to other people’s property. And, it can even cover living expenses if your rental unit is unlivable after a damage event.

“If you’re renting an apartment or home, you’ll need an insurance policy to cover your belongings,” according to a report in Investopedia. “Your landlord‘s property insurance policy covers losses to the building itself; whether it’s an apartment, a house, or a duplex. Your personal property and certain liabilities, however, are covered only through a renter’s insurance policy that you, as a tenant, have to find and pay for. While 95% of homeowners have a homeowner’s insurance policy, only 41% of renters have renter’s insurance, the most up-to-date figures.”

What is Covered by Renter’s Insurance?

The type of items covered also ranges from policy to policy. But, it can include electronics, clothes, furniture, appliances, jewelry, collectibles, and much more.

“Before purchasing a renters policy, conduct a complete inventory of all your personal belongings, taking photos or a video of things like furniture, jewelry, and expensive electronics items,” according to a report by New York State’s Department of Financial Services. “Calculate the replacement costs for these items, and double check with your insurance agent to make certain you are fully protected against any type of loss. Choose the coverage according to your property. If you have a lot of electronics, choosing a policy that provides replacement cost coverage instead of actual cash value coverage might be the best option for you.

What is Not Covered by Renter’s Insurance?

While it’s important to know what renter’s insurance covers, it’s just as important to know what it does not cover. Typically, policies cover fire and smoke, explosions, wind and hail, theft, vandalism, lightning, and burst pipes. What’s not typically covered, however, are earthquakes, floods from outside sources (like heavy rainfall), intentional injuries to others, damage from pests, regular wear and tear, and damage from sewer back ups.

Renter’s insurance usually doesn’t cover exterior building damage, i.e. a storm destroyed roofing or siding. Damage to common areas (as well as injuries that occur in common areas), like the lobby and elevator, are also excluded. And, it’s also important to note that some insurers won’t cover certain dog breeds.

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cost?

One of the biggest surprises most people find when researching renter’s insurance is just how affordable it is. In fact, some insurance policies can be under $10 a month! When factoring in just how much all your items add up to in value, paying $10 a month for the security as well as peace of mind is a no brainer!

“A renter’s insurance policy protects against losses to your personal property, including clothes, jewelry, luggage, computers, furniture, and electronics,” according to the report in Investopedia. “Even if you don’t own much, it can quickly add up to a lot more than you realize; and a lot more than you’d want to pay to replace everything.”

Gotham Brokerage Knows Renter’s Insurance

Within New York City, there’s simply no one better or more knowledgeable than Gotham Brokerage, which has been navigating the complexities of the city for more than 60 years. Gotham Brokerage takes pride in being a family-run business with deep roots in New York City, which has seen just about every situation over the past six decades. Gotham Brokerage’s experienced team will help you find the policy that makes sense for you, and also offer the best price in the industry.

You can count on Gotham Brokerage to deliver the best service with the best insurance policies on the market. What’s more, being a local company, our long-tenured employees are just a call away, and boast the local know-how you just can’t find at bigger, national companies.

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