Explanation of Renters Insurance Post Hurricane Sandy

Anyone who has watched the recent news about Hurricane Sandy can probably guess at how New York City residents who have renters insurance are appreciative. This valuable insurance covers the contents of a home or apartment that is being rented. Many New York City residents have just learned a valuable lesson about New York City renters insurance and Hurricane Sandy.

The recent natural disaster in New York City made many residents appreciate the renters insurance for New York that they had previously purchased. While relatively cheap, renter’s insurance covers all of the contents of a home or apartment. Furniture, jewelry, electronics, clothes, and even the food in the refrigerator can all be replaced by making a claim on a renter’s insurance policy, subject to policy limits and deductibles

Renter’s insurance covers the loss of these items in the case of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy, but it also covers them if they are stolen, lost, or damaged in certain instances. For example, during the hurricane many New York renters had the windows in their apartment blown in and some or all of their items damaged by the high winds and water that came into their residence. After the storm, many more New Yorkers lost items to the extended power outage or from crime events that took place.

Fortunately, all of these events are covered under most renter’s insurance in NYC. For those with New York renter’s insurance, a single phone call made to the insurance company started the claims process. An adjuster estimated the value of the items that were lost or damaged, and a check to cover the value of these items was issued within a few weeks. This allowed the people with renter’s insurance to purchase replacement items and/or have their property fixed. For just a few dollars a month, they were able to get back to their normal lives with very little interruption, despite the harshness of the storm.

Things That Make You Hard To Insure: Home Insurance

New York Home Insurance DangersI came across this article on Yahoo! (link to the article at the end) on certain things that might make you and your home hard to insure; or you may be declined coverage from companies. Here are the different factors that could contribute to an insurer rejecting your coverage.

  • Potential Hazards: Anything that can be labeled as potentially dangerous such as an unfenced swimming pool, especially ones with diving boards or a water slide. Even things like a trampoline could be considered potentially dangerous by an insurance company
  • Unsafe Conditions: If your neighborhood has a higher crime rate or your home is old (at risk of fires) your policy might cost a lot more or even be denied coverage. It would be wise to make sure your insurer knows that your home is well maintained and you have used fire-resistant materials to build your home
  • Mean Pets: Some pets (such as an unfriendly dog or a pack of dogs) could be deemed dangerous or liability by the insurer, which could increase the price you have to pay for your coverage or deny coverage outright

There are a few more points made in the article, click here to view the article on Yahoo! Finance.

If you are interested in learning more about your home insurance policy or want to see if you can save on it, click here for a free New York Home Insurance quote.

10 Tips to Help You Save on Renters Insurance

If you decide to purchase New York Renters Insurance and you are on a tight budget, you may be concerned with the monthly or yearly costs. The cost of renter’s insurance, although usually inexpensive, may even cause you to forego this important coverage altogether. Research has shown that the average renter owns about $30,000 in personal property. Without renter’s insurance coverage, you would need to have that much money in your savings account in order to replace your belongings in case of a disaster such as a fire, earthquake, or flood. The insurance that your landlord carries will only cover the building itself, not the contents. Don’t let the price of rental coverage dissuade you from buying a policy — there are several ways to save on renter’s insurance.Save on Renters Insurance

Shop around — Check with several different insurance companies to compare rate quotes. Some insurance agents can provide quotes from multiple companies to save you time. Companies are very competitive so it pays to shop around. The Internet is a great resource.

Raise your deductible — The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance kicks in. Typically, renter’s insurance deductibles start at $250. This means if your $2,000 leather couch needs to be replaced, you pay for $250 of the replacement cost and the insurance company will pay the other $750.

You can increase your deductible to:

  • $500 and save up to 12 percent on your premiums.
  • $1,000 and save up to 24 percent.
  • $2,500 and save up to 30 percent.
  • $5,000 and save up to 37 percent.

Just make sure that you can afford to pay the higher deductible out of your own pocket if something should happen and you need to file a claim.

Maintain a good credit rating — Having a good credit rating is one of the best ways to lower the cost of any insurance policy. Pay your bills on time and try to reduce your installment debt (such as credit cards).

Buy your auto and renter’s insurance from the same company — Many companies will give a multi-policy discount if you buy both renters insurance and auto coverage from them. Other policies can be bundled as well such as motorcycle, life, or other types of insurance.

Install safety and security devices in your apartment — Some companies will give you a discount if you install smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher or dead bolt door and window locks in your apartment. A simple written statement that you’ve installed these items is usually all that is required to get the discount.

Stop smoking — Smoking accidents account for more than 23,000 residential fires every year. Some insurers will reduce premiums for non-smokers.

Ask about senior discounts — Retired people stay at home more and spot fires sooner than working people. If you’re a senior you may qualify for as much as a 10 percent discount.

Look for group coverage — Some employers, alumni groups, unions, guilds, credit unions or business associations offer discounts for employees and members on insurance.

Stay with an insurer — Some insurers will reduce their premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them from three to five years, and some companies will discount you as much as 10 percent after six years. It pays to be loyal.

Adjust your policy annually — If you review your policy every year, you can make adjustments to reflect changes in your inventory of insured items. If you bought or sold expensive electronics, a computer or jewelry during the year, for example, you may be able to decrease the amount of coverage for your possessions.

What Exactly Does NYC Condo Insurance Cover

Condo and Home InsuranceOwning a home is a wonderful experience, albeit a little scary. In addition to the wonderful feeling of pride, ownership, and excitement, there can also be a little bit of worry and confusion. Part of that worry comes from questions about what will happen in the unfortunate situation that some disaster might befall your home. Fortunately, mortgage lenders require you to purchase insurance when you finance a condo, townhouse, or other type of dwelling.

Click here to get a free New York condo insurance quote or a free New York home insurance quote that is right for you!

Homeowners insurance provides protection for your home, personal property such as furniture, clothing, and appliances as well as providing personal liability protection (in case someone becomes injured on your property and sues you). If you are a new homeowner, don’t stress out. Your insurance policy protects you from a variety of mishaps including fire, lightning, burglary, vandalism, storms, explosions, and more.

Many homeowners’ policies also provide other coverage, including off-premises theft protection and unauthorized use of your credit cards. Your agent can clue you in as to what additional coverage you can add. Also ask our agent what your policy doesn’t cover. For instance, a standard policy will not cover flood damage.

Your home insurance coverage should be equal to the value of your home. You should be aware that only your home and other structures are covered, not your land, so when decided the value of your coverage; you shouldn’t use the included value of the land to make that determination. Therefore, our insurance amount will could be lower than your purchase amount. Making the proper determination of how much coverage you need is crucial. If you insure your house for $200,000 but it costs $250,000 to rebuild it if it is completely destroyed, you would have to come up with the extra 50 grand yourself.

Condo Home InsuranceYou will also have to determine the value of your home’s contents and decide between replacement coverage and actual cash value reimbursement. Replacement coverage means that in the event of a loss, the insurance company will pay what it costs to replace the property at today’s prices. Replacement cost policies give you more protection than actual cash value coverage, which will pay you for what your stuff is actually worth. If your antique piano cost you $5,000 two years ago but is only worth $2,500 today, that’s all you’ll get from the insurance company.

Home or condo insurance will not pay for some things. These items include loss due to settling, cracking, bulging, shrinkage or expansion of foundations, walls, floors, ceilings, walks, drives, curbs, fences, retaining walls.” If your home sinks into the ground like the one in the movie “Poltergeist,” you’ll be out of luck. Home insurance doesn’t pay for your mortgage if you lose your home, either. You still have to make payments on the mortgage, pay for living expenses in addition to any stipend provided to you by your insurance company, and buy all the stuff inside the home that you lost due to a fire, flood, earthquake, etc.

Termite or pest damage is another area not covered. If you have your home sprayed for pests, you will need to purchase a warranty from the pest control company in case of future outbreaks. Some warranties will even cover repair of structural damage caused by future infestations. You should also be aware that your coverage will repair or replace any damaged property with material of like kind and quality. That means you won’t get a whole new roof if only a few tiles are damaged by a hail storm, and if you do need a whole new roof, you can’t upgrade to a higher grade tile unless you want to chip in to pay the difference yourself.

In general, what your insurance will or won’t cover relates to the type of policy you buy and the amount of coverage, especially if you purchase either an “all risks” policy or a “named perils” policy. A named perils policy covers losses that are due to only those perils specifically listed in the policy, which typically include fire, windstorm, hail, and other physical losses. An all risks policy covers losses due to any peril except those which are specifically excluded in the policy, so an all risks policy provides broader protection than a named perils policy.

Top 10 Stolen Cars in the US

It has recently been estimated that approximately 2,650 cars are stolen every day in the United States, which ends up equaling about one car every 33 seconds.  According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the list of most stolen vehicles in 2008 is as follows:

  1. 1994 Honda Accord Not Stolen Car
  2. 1995 Honda Civic
  3. 1989 Toyota Camry
  4. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup
  5. 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
  6. 2000 Dodge Caravan
  7. 1996 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
  8. 1994 Acura Integra
  9. 1999 Ford Taurus
  10. 2002 Ford Explorer

Older vehicles such as these are targeted for two primary reasons. The first and most obvious being that these cars typically do not have an alarm system or any type of anti theft systems installed,  making them easy to steal. Secondly, the parts acquired from these cars still have a very high market value. According to the FBI, $7–8 billion are lost each year due to auto theft, and only 58% of these stolen vehicles are recovered. Thankfully however, due to new technology such as fuel cut-offs, smart keys, and audible devices auto theft rates are on the decline

There are several very simple steps that you can take in order to better ensure that your car does not become stolen. Namely, use your common sense: lock your car (regardless of the location), avoid leaving valuables in your car, especially in plain sight, and also avoid parking in unsafe areas. Secondly, there are a lot of products on today’s market that are specifically designed in order to prevent auto theft, such as an anti-theft device. Not only would an anti-theft device help to protect your car, it may also qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance. Tracking devices are also available and are a great way to prevent a thief from getting far away from you. Finally, make sure that your vehicle is properly insured, so that way you will have the coverage in the event of a loss/theft. To find out more about car insurance rates, please call our office or fill out a free New York Car Insurance Quote online.

New York Car Insurance Requirements

Auto Insurance CoverOwning an automobile in New York City can be a very expensive proposition, due to expenses such as registration costs and the fees involved in monthly parking. These costs are so high that many residents choose to go without an automobile altogether and instead rely on the famous New York public transit system. If you do decide to purchase an automobile in New York, however, and have managed to find a place to park your car, you’ll still need to purchase insurance. New York, like many large metropolitan cities, has their own unique car insurance requirements, as does the state of New York.

Minimum Coverage

There is a minimum amount of insurance coverage required in New York in order to register your car and obtain license plates. This coverage includes No-Fault (Personal Injury Protection) to pay medical expenses and lost earnings for a driver, pedestrian or passenger injured by your car. This coverage must cover up to $50,000 per person (“basic No-Fault coverage”), for the driver and all passengers injured in your car as well as any pedestrians. Liability insurance is also required to protect against the harm your car or any car you drive might do to people and their property. Another required type of insurance is for uninsured motorists. This type of insurance protects against the injuries you, your family or your passengers might suffer in a hit-and-run accident or in an accident with an uninsured or under-insured vehicle.

No-Fault Laws

New York is a “no-fault” state. The purpose of No-Fault insurance is to restore individuals hurt in auto accidents to health and productivity as quickly as possible without their having to endure large out of pocket costs. Therefore, lawsuits due to auto accidents can be brought only for economic losses that exceed No-Fault benefits and for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering only if a “serious injury” is sustained. The definition of “serious injury” is defined by New York law.

No-Fault does not pay for auto body repair of your car or damage to any other party’s motor vehicle or property. It isn’t required, but you should also purchase collision insurance which covers accidents and pays for vehicle repairs. Comprehensive coverage is another item you should purchase, as it covers causes other than a collision such as theft, fire, flood, windstorm, glass breakage, vandalism, hitting or being hit by an animal, or by falling or flying objects.

Other Coverage

Other optional coverage which isn’t required by the state includes bodily injury liability, which is a good idea for people seeking to protect themselves from lawsuits resulting from an auto accident. The amount of coverage you require is based on the value of your personal assets. Several different levels of coverage are available. Property damage liability is another optional coverage. If you car costs more than $10,000, you may need to purchase additional coverage equal to the replacement cost of your car. You can also purchase additional PIP (No-Fault) benefits above the required level of $50,000 if you would like. Additional supplemental insurance can also be purchased to better protect you from underinsured or uninsured motorists. Ask your agent which policies and levels of coverage make the most sense for you. There are several other optional items available.

One other insurance related item that you should be aware of if you live in the city or state of New York is the Insurance Information and Enforcement System (IIES). This system will detect uninsured vehicles and report the information to the New York State DMV. That’s why it’s important to maintain insurance coverage on any automobile that you own. Penalties for non-insurance include the suspension of your vehicle registration and driver’s license, as well as substantial monetary penalties.

To find out more about car insurance rates, please call our office or fill out a free New York Car Insurance Quote online.

Why New Yorkers Need Renter’s Insurance

New York Renters InsuranceAfter spending an exorbitant amount of money for a tiny apartment in New York City, the last thing you want to think about is shelling out even more money on something like renter’s insurance. If you rent an apartment in New York City, you should know that the owner of your building doesn’t have insurance to cover your personal items in case of fire, water, or other damages. Their insurance covers the building itself, not the contents of your apartment. That’s why you should purchase some type of renter’s insurance to assure that you are completely covered. Some New York landlords even require that their tenants purchase renter’s insurance as a stipulation of their lease. This requirement isn’t always enforced, however, leaving many tenants in a position to forget about this important coverage completely.

If you own expensive electronics, jewelry, clothing, furs or collectibles, you probably need renter’s insurance. Research has shown that the average renter owns about $30,000 in personal property. This represents a substantial replacement cost should you experience a traumatic event such as a fire or water damage caused by something like an upstairs neighbor with leaky plumbing. Renter’s insurance will assure that you can replace your belongings if they are damaged or stolen, giving you the peace of mind that you are completely protected. Renter’s insurance also includes liability protection, which means you will have legal representation and compensation for injury or accident lawsuits. Renter’s insurance may also include reimbursed living expenses for temporary housing should you need it.

Coverage is inexpensive. In many cases as little as $15-$20 per month will give you all of the coverage you need, especially if you are young and renting a small apartment with few furnishings or items of value. Most policies in New York cost about $250 per year and can be paid in monthly installments. You can get two types of coverage: Actual cash value and replacement cost. These types of policies are exactly what they sound like. For the first you get the value of what your stuff is worth now with depreciation subtracted and for the second you get the actual replacement cost of each item. In most cases people want replacement cost coverage, but it’s more expensive and many people will instead opt for cash value to save money on their monthly premiums.

To save money, make sure you only pay for the coverage you need. Determine the value of the contents of your apartment and how much money it would cost to replace only the items that are worth replacing. Another way to cut down on costs is through multi-policy discounts. If you are already paying for auto, life, or other insurance, your agent may be able to get you a deal on renter’s insurance by bundling all of your policies under one company. Another way to cut down your monthly premium is to pay for your entire year of coverage all at once to eliminate any monthly installment fees or choose a policy with a higher deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premium, and vice-versa. Just keep in mind that you are on the hook for the cost of the higher deductible before the insurance company reimbursement kicks in.

For the cost of a modest lunch in the city of New York, you can get a month’s worth of renter’s insurance that will cover your personal belongings plus give you injury lawsuit protection. It could be the least expensive item in your monthly budget with the highest potential benefit.

To find out more about New York Renters Insurance rates, please call our office or visit Premier Insurance Services of New York City for further information.

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters Insurance protects your personal property against any damage or loss, while also insuring you in the event that someone is injured on your property. Renters insurance will usually cover items such as:

–          CamerasStudent's Renter's Insurance

–          Laptops

–          Mp3 players

–          Musical instruments

–          Furniture

–          Cell phones

–          Many other items

From events such as:

–          Fire

–          Vandalism

–          Weather damage

–          Water damage

–          Electrical damage

–          Explosion

–          Riots and civil commotion

–          Falling objects

–          Personal property off premises ( i.e. items stolen from your car)

Why Should I Purchase Renters Insurance?

“Children take a significant amount of personal property with them to college, and the likelihood of theft or fire loss is increased while they are away at college,” says David Thompson, a staff instructor for the Florida Association of Insurance Agents in Tallahassee, Fl. If you live in any type of rented building, a house, an apartment, or a condominium, personal property is not covered by your landlord’s insurance in the event that it is stolen or damaged. Neither are the losses covered by the school and, in many cases, even if a student is a dependent under his/her parent’s insurance policy, the personal property lost is not covered either.

Among the many reasons why renters insurance is so important in ensuring the safety of your child away at school, some simple facts remain. Annually, there are over 50,000 property crimes reported on college campuses in the US, which is accompanied by over 1,800 fires, leaving one out of every 10 college students a victim of theft. This does not include the vast amount of students that suffer damages from accidents from ordinary spills to major floods which destroy their computers, clothes, phones, and other important personal property.

If you took an estimate of the price of your personal possessions, this number would be the amount of insurance that you would need to replace your personal property if it were all destroyed. Although this number may be high, the price that you pay is actually quite low, ranging from about $15 to $30 a month. The only thing that could be expensive and even dangerous would be to ignore insuring your child’s property while he/she is away at school. Not only do students directly benefit from having the peace of mind that their possessions are completely safe, but when purchasing renters insurance, they also develop a history of maintaining property insurance before purchasing their first home, thus potentially qualifying for reduced rates on their own homeowner’s policy in the future.Student Campus

About Renters Insurance

Typically, renters insurance policies provide two basic types of coverage, liability and personal property. However there are two other types of less common coverage, additional living expenses and flood/hurricane coverage.

–          Liability: Provides coverage against a claim or lawsuit resulting from an injury or property damage caused by an accident on your property.

–          Personal Property: Covers personal belongings if they are lost, damaged, or stolen.

–          Additional Living Expenses: This pays for you to live at another location if you are forced to move because of a covered loss.

–          Flood and Hurricane Coverage: Usually insurance companies do not cover damage due to flooding and hurricanes, however if you live in an area that is prone to such weather problems, you should discuss this coverage with the insurance company.

Another important factor to consider when shopping for insurance is “actual cash value” vs. “replacement cost” coverage.

–          Actual Cash Value Coverage: This type of coverage will reimburse you for the cost of the property at the time of the claim, minus the deductible. While considering this coverage option, be sure to consider depreciation. For example, if a television was stolen from your home six years after it was purchased, you would be reimbursed for the current value of the television (which would be significantly less then what you had originally paid).

–          Replacement Cost Coverage: This type of coverage will reimburse you the full value of the personal property, after the purchase and the submittal of the appropriate receipts. Although the upfront cost of this type of coverage is usually higher, you are much more likely to receive a better compensation for the personal property.

The best way to determine how much renters insurance you or your son/daughter should purchase would be to estimate the value of all of your personal possessions. This would be the amount of insurance you will need to replace all of your possessions if they were all destroyed. If a student is living with one or several other roommates, they may be able to combine their renters insurance policies together into one policy for the home, however you would need to discuss this with your insurance agent.

Some Extra Tips When Purchasing Renters Insurance

–          It is a great idea to take photos or video of any personal possessions that you wish to be insured. This way when a claim is reported and the insurance company asks you for proof of purchase for the items reported on the claim, you will easily be able to provide them with documentation of the listed items in addition to a comprehensive list of possessions, including prices, serial numbers, and model numbers.

–          Install, or better yet have the landlord install, an anti-theft device inside or on the rented property.

–          Be sure of what is included and excluded from the policy before you purchase it.

Click here for a free New York Renters Insurance Quote.

Will owning a Dog affect your Home Insurance Policy?

Owning a dog could affect your ability to obtain home, condo or renter’s insurance, regardless of how sweet or calm that your dog may be. You may end up paying more for your policy or the insurance company may cancel or not renew your policy due to the fact that some insurance companies are not very enthusiastic about insuring certain breeds of dogs.

Dog's and Home InsuranceBefore making a final decision about getting a dog it may be a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see if it will have any effect upon your policy. Additionally, if you already have a dog and are looking for home, condo or renter’s insurance, you should be sure to disclose this information to your agent or broker in order to make sure that you will have the proper coverage in the event of a dog bite.

Some states have existing and/or pending legislation to prohibit insurance companies from refusing to insure or discriminating against people that own certain breeds of dogs. As of December, 2008, the State of New York has 5 bills pending to restrict insurance companies from not renewing or cancelling policies as result of dog ownership. The American Kennel Club has a page on their site that lists states with pending legislation along with a brief description of the bills.

If you have a dog and are looking to find home, condo or renter’s insurance here are a few tips:

Be sure to contact the insurance department of your state. They will provide you with a listing of all insurance companies licensed to provide insurance in your state. After acquiring this list, you will be able to contact some of the insurance companies to find out their guidelines on dog ownership. In the event that the insurance company’s guidelines appear too restrictive for you on the topic of dogs, you may contact the insurance department to confirm and/or report the insurance company.

If it is not against the law and you find it unfair, do not hesitate to contact your state representative.

Insurers are re-evaluating coverage’s for homeowners who share their living spaces with certain breeds. Currently in the State of New York, there are a number of companies that will provide home insurance and renters insurance regardless of the type of dog you own. A great starting point to acquire more information on this subject is www.newyorkcitynyinsurance.com which does not restrict or surcharge based on dog ownership. The most important point is that you are aware of this issue if you are contemplating purchasing insurance and that you make sure to fully disclose this to your insurance agent so that he/she are able to make sure that you are properly insured and protected in the event of a dog bite.

To find out more about home insurance rates, please call our office or fill out a free New York  Home Insurance Quote online.

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Is Your Apartment Properly Insured Against Winter Storm Damage?

New York City Apartment InsuranceWill my landlord’s insurance provide coverage for damage to my personal property?
No. Your landlord’s insurance will only provide coverage for damages that occur to the building itself, not your personal property. As a result renter’s insurance should be purchased in order to protect your property from winter storm damage.

What type of winter storm damage does renter’s insurance cover?
Typically, standard renter’s insurance will provide coverage for damage to your personal possessions that result from any of the covered perils, which are listed on your policy (i.e., hail, wind, fire). Your personal property should be covered, as long as the winter storm damage results from one of these named perils, however you will need to check with your personal insurance agent with regards to specific coverage questions.

What if the damage is caused by a flood?
Basic renter’s insurance does not provide coverage for any damage that is the result of a flood or rising surface water. If you live in a flood-prone area, it would be extremely wise to purchase a separate policy in order to cover any damages that may occur to your personal property as the result of a flood. Ask your insurance agent about whether you are in a flood prone area.

What is the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value coverage?
Before purchasing renter’s insurance it is very important to know whether the policy provides replacement cost or actual cash value coverage for damaged property. Replacement cost coverage pays the actual amount of what it costs to replace the items that are damaged. Actual cash value coverage pays the amount equal to the value of the item at the time that is damaged, taking into account any depreciation in value that has occurred. The premium for replacement cost coverage is slightly higher than that of actual cash value coverage, however, it is worth the added cost.

Are there any coverage limits for damage to my property?
Usually renter’s policies have coverage limits for certain items, such as jewelry. As a result, you should consider adding a rider to your policy or purchasing a separate policy, sometimes referred to a personal articles policy, which is specifically designed in order to protect your valuables, such as jewelry.

How much will it cost?
The cost of renter’s insurance varies, and depends on numerous different factors, such as where you live, as well as the coverage amount, but surprisingly premiums are typically quite low.

Preparing for winter storm damage claims
There are a number of steps that you could take to prepare yourself in case you ever need to file a claim for winter storm damage:

  • Prepare a household inventory by photographing or videotaping items
  • Keep receipts for valuable items
  • Have insurance information handy (e.g., insurance company phone numbers, insurance policy numbers)
  • Keep copies of the documents and information you’ve compiled in a safe place outside the house

Want to make sure you’re covered?  Get a Renters Insurance Quote Today!  Renters Insurance in NYC is usually very affordable and a great investment for any renter that is looking for protection against unforeseen tragedies.

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