New York City is a complex place when shopping for renter’s insurance.
It pays to have a good insurance broker who understands the city’s unique insurance issues. The type of apartment you rent and what zip code it is in can have an impact on what type of policy you need and what your policy costs.
Here are some tips for shopping for renter’s insurance and selecting an insurance agent in NYC:
- Know the difference between Insurance Agent and Insurance Broker. An insurance agent is someone who represents a single company. An insurance broker is someone who represents multiple insurance companies. Using a broker in New York City has significant advantages; a broker will often have a better line of products more specialized to the needs of NYC renters and the pricing is often lower.
- It helps to pick someone local. This is especially important in a dense urban environment like New York City, where circumstances can vary drastically from neighborhood to neighborhood and borough to borough. The kind of policy that works for a condo on the Upper West Side might not be best for a fifth-floor walk-up in the East Village. Having a knowledgeable local expert can make a huge difference in coverage and price.
- Think beyond renter’s insurance. If you work with a knowledgeable and experienced insurance broker, you’ll stay with them. Often, when you combine renter’s, auto, homeowners or life insurance, you can earn substantial multi-policy discounts. Pick a company you can rely on and that offers a wide range of products so you can get covered on all fronts as your needs change.
- Purchase replacement cost coverage. Replacement cost coverage pays to replace what you’ve lost with new rather than used items. A good local insurance broker will make sure you purchase this even if it costs more. It’s always worth it. Online sources and other insurance agents may sell you a “cash” value policy which replaces your lost or stolen belongings at their current cash value. Avoid cash value policies – the small savings is never worth it.
- Don’t assume the standard renter’s policy will cover every contingency. Live in a flood area? You’ll need a separate policy for that. If you own expensive jewelry or collectibles, you should consider a “floater” policy or rider that covers valuable belongings beyond the amount of a standard policy, generally $1,000 or $2,000.Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what is covered and don’t do business with a broker who won’t give you transparent answers.
- The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. Don’t just jump at the low deductible. You’ll pay for it every month with your bill. But make sure you can absorb the deductible amount. A good broker will show you the range of deductible amounts, and a deductible of $500 or more can dramatically lower your monthly premium.
- Take stock. Inventory your belongings, including value and serial numbers. Photograph or videotape every room and store receipts for major items in a safe place. This will help immeasurably in the event of fire or flood.
- Check User Reviews. Most insurance agents come via word-of-mouth. Ask your friend, family member or the neighbor across the hall who to use. Today, checking for Google reviews from actual customers says a lot.
Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc. is a family owned business serving the five boroughs for over 50 years. We know New York City inside and out and work hard to make sure all of our customers have the best possible coverage at the lowest possible cost. We want your business for the next 50 years and the only way to earn it is to make sure you sleep well at night knowing you are covered. We only sell replacement value policies, we represent a wide range of A-rated companies, are BBB A+ rated ourselves. We’ve earned decades of 5-star customer reviews and we often keep customers for life.
Fill out our quote request form or give us a call at the number above to learn more about how we can help you with your renter’s insurance.
Jeff Schneider, President
Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.