Snow Day Tips: Your NYC Renters Insurance Has You Covered, But You Still Need a Good Pair of Earplugs

What you need to know about NYC snowstorms and renters insurance

With the season’s first major snowstorm bearing down on NYC, you’ll snuggle in a little easier knowing your renters insurance can cover all manner of emergencies. Still, it’s not a bad idea to pick up a good set of earplugs today so you can sleep through the snowplows banging their way down your street tonight.

And if Superstorm Sandy didn’t prompt you to sign up for emergency alerts from the city, click on over to Notify NYC and subscribe for text, email or phone alerts just in case things get out of hand.

Here’s the rest of the drill as far as the practicalities — and niceties — of a NYC snow day.

NYC snow

Flickr photo by ralph and jenny

NYC Snowstorm tips

If you live in a NYC apartment building, you’re probably off the hook as far as manual labor, since shoveling is included in your maintenance charges/common charges/rent. (Exception: a self-managed co-op/condo where residents are expected to pitch in.)

Even if you don’t have to hoist a shovel yourself, it’s always nice to offer a warm thank-you and perhaps a steaming cup o’ joe to the staff battling the elements on your behalf.

“On snow days where the staff spends most of the day outside cleaning, I’ll usually buy the guys lunch, and believe me that goes a long way,” resident manager Joseph Shkreli told BrickUnderground one recent winter. “It’s not the point that they don’t have to buy lunch that day. It is the appreciation that they feel that they have received for their hard work.”

In possession of your very own brownstone?  If it’s a fabulous townhouse with a radiant-heated sidewalk with auto snow sensor, you have no problems whatsoever.

But if you own a regular run-of-the-mill brownstone, remember to shovel and salt appropriately as defined by these city guidelines.  You might also take a moment today to make sure your insurance is up to date.

“Home insurance will cover you if you are sued by a pedestrian who falls on a sidewalk — even if you didn’t fully shovel and salt it,” says Gotham Brokerage President Jeff Schneider.

Should you tip people in a snowstorm?

Tip extra-generously for any deliveries.

When you take your dog for an expeditious piece of business, remember that blizzards are no excuse for “forgetting” to clean up after your pooch. It’s also good form to yellow the snow at a respectful distance from your building’s awning. Your doorman and neighbors will thank you.

On your way back in, brush the snow off your dog and stamp your boots outside before heading through the lobby.  If you leave your slushy boots outside your front door to dry, bring them in the next day — not next week.

Wondering whether you still have to pay your nanny if she takes a snow day? The answer is “maybe.” (More on that here.)

What to do after the snowstorm

Alternate-side-of-the-street parking is suspended through Sunday, but so is your car if it’s buried in snow. If you’re lucky enough to find someone else to dig it out, expect to pay around $20-$25 if the snow is still fresh  (the easiest kind to remove) in a medium-sized storm. Double that if you wait until the snow has hardened into an icy vise around your vehicle.

No hired help at hand? Try posting on TaskRabbit. When we last checked, there were already a couple of snow-related jobs posted.

About Gotham Brokerage

For more than 50 years, Gotham Brokerage has been connecting New Yorkers with the right apartment insurance, co-op insurance and condo insurance to meet their needs. It is a family-owned business based in Manhattan with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. To get a quote, call us at [telnumlink]212-406-7300[/telnumlink] or fill out the form at right.

Get a Free Quote

"*" indicates required fields

Step 1 of 2