NYC Apartment Insurance Covers Some Hurricane Sandy Problems

Overflowing faucets, burned out appliances and wind-related damages all covered

Hurricane Sandy faucet

Many New York residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy are returning to their apartments to discover that sinks and tubs overflowed when water was turned back on, causing significant damage. (Photo courtesy of Tomwsulcer, via Wikimedia Commons)

As New Yorkers work to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, they are learning a hard truth about flooding: it’s not covered by most insurance policies, and evacuations that are caused by flooding are also not covered. Apartment, condo and co-op insurance policies are covering some of the damages caused by the hurricane, though.

Here are 4 ways common claims that insurers are covering:

Water damage from overflowing faucets: Hurricane Sandy caused many New York City apartment dwellers to leave their homes in a rush. For many, power outages came first, then mandatory water shutoffs. Some tenants had just enough time to hurriedly pack clothes and toiletries.

With power and water shut off, many people accidentally left their faucets in the ‘on’ position before leaving. When water was restored, those faucets dumped gallons of water onto kitchen and bathroom floors, causing a lot of damage not only in their apartments, but to other apartments in floors below.

Insurers are covering damage from overflows — whether it was caused by your snink or bathtub or a neighbors’.

Electronics and appliances fried by power surges: Millions lost power during Hurricane Sandy. Many are still waiting for power to be restored. But when the electricity first flickers back on it often comes in the form of a power surge strong enough to zap electronics and appliances. So your TV or computer might have survived the storm only to be destroyed by the recovery process.

Insurance should cover some or all of the cost of replacing items damaged by power surges.

A check for your spoiled groceries: Spoiled food is the most common claim filed by Gotham Brokerage customers so far, and most insurers will cover up to $500 worth of food, with a $100 deductible. Pricier insurance policies will sometimes cover more. Chubb, for instance, will cover up to $5,000 with a $250 deductible.

Damage from wind: Most of Hurricane Sandy’s damage was caused by flooding, but if wind knocked out a window and caused some of the damage to your unit, that should be covered by your insurance policy.

Gotham’s temporary phone number: Gotham Brokerage has been helping New York residents find apartment renter’s insurance, co-op insurance, condo insurance and homeowners insurance for 50 years, and we’re doing everything we can to help people recover from Sandy’s wreckage. We took a hit, too, losing power, heat and phone lines. Our main phone has been on the fritz, but customers can reach us for now at 347-234-2935.

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