Demand for apartments and condos in Astoria, Flushing and Jackson Heights are on the rise as more and more people — especially young professionals — search out neighborhoods that have Manhattan amenities without Manhattan price tags. They’ll also often find that Queens condo insurance and Queens renters insurance are less expensive, too.
Queens may not yet have the cache that addresses in the East Village, TriBeCa and Chelsea carry, but Queens residents certainly will have more available cash. It’s not too hard to see why people would flock to Queens for apartments and condos; the quality of life in many neighborhoods matches their Manhattan counterparts, and lower real estate prices offset added commute times for people who work in the heart of New York City. A quick look at monthly rent for two-bedroom apartments in different Manhattan and Queens neighborhoods tells the story: $8,000 in SoHo and $5,650 in Greenwich Village, compared with $1,950 in Astoria, $1,600 in Corona Park, $1,650 in Flushing. Your monthly insurance premiums would depend on a number of factors, but people living in the outer boroughs tend to pay less.
Interest in the outer boroughs has been building for at least 20 years but it really took off in the last three years, as the recession reached full force and Manhattan real estate — tamped down for a while after 9/11 — jumped in price again. Regardless of whether you live in a Queens apartment, Brooklyn condo or Manhattan loft, an insurance policy is important and the issues are similar.
Someone renting an Queens apartment should take out a renters insurance policy to cover clothes, jewelry and furniture; don’t make the mistake of thinking the building master policy will cover any of your losses in the event of fire or flood. The same applies to anyone who needs condo insurance in Queens – check with the condo association to see what the master policy covers and acquire a homeowners insurance policy to protect valuables.
Worried about their own finances and the overall economy, some people are cutting costs by moving from, say, a Manhattan apartment to a Queens apartment. Renters insurance can be transferred to a new location, and coverage is usually automatic for 30 days at both the old and new spots. Anyone who plans to move more than 30 days after the effective date of a new lease might need to buy a new policy — but in that case the old policy can be cancelled on a no-penalty basis. About cancellations: Homeowners and renters should not assume insurers will cancel their policies automatically if you stop sending premium payments. Any cancellations should be requested in writing, with explicit instructions on date of cancellation and a request for confirmation from the insurer.
As always, people who have questions or need some advice can always call or e-mail Gotham Brokerage, Inc., a company that’s written and brokered insurance policies in the five boroughs and the Tri-State area for more than 50 years. We can help with any insurance questions you may have if you’re getting ready to move.