When it comes to apartment insurance, second in importance to your home possessions is a record of your home possessions.
You can do this easily with a home survey. Here’s how:
1. A comprehensive home inventory should include a spreadsheet with the item description (make, model, serial number, value, and purchase date).
Even more important for showing proof of ownership is having a visual record of your possessions. Thirty or so digital photos are easy to forward to an adjuster.
2. It’s important to thoroughly document your belongings to help the claims process go smoothly. Move from room to room, listing items as you go — and list their receipts, credit card statements, and appraisals (include the appraiser’s name and address).
3. Use cloud storage, like Google Docs or Dropbox, which can also store images.
Remember: Written inventories are useful for reminding you what was in your possession when making a claim, but they are not accepted as proof of ownership — digital photos and credit card receipts are.
You ever hear someone brag about how easy it was for them to read through all the fine print in their apartment insurance policy?
Yeah, neither have we. That’s why an insurance broker can help — especially if you own a condo or co-op. Here are three things about these policies that might surprise you.
1. If your child is away for college, did you know that their belongings may be covered under your policy?
Gotham says: It’s true. Usually on-campus housing is covered by your co-op insurance — although off-campus is often not.
2. You’ll need a special policy to insure items such as jewelry, fur, and silverware. Extensive artwork collections might warrant a special policy, too.
Gotham says: An agent will typically ask about jewelry or fur, but often things like baseball card, comic book, and stamp collections may not come up in conversation — nor do guns, $15,000 bicycles, and first editions.
A recent survey from a national insurance provider found that 59 percent of adults ages 23 to 29 do not have renter’s insurance. And last time we checked, 100 percent of renters are susceptible to damages from summer storms. How so? Glad you asked.
1. Don’t get caught in the dark. Did you know that during the summer months most power surges don’t originate from lightning? More often it’s from the power being restored by the electric company after repairs have been made from storm damage.
Gotham says: Protect your electronics by using a surge protector. Of course, another way to protect yourself is to get apartment insurance.
2. Room with a view. Fierce summer storm winds can harm the exterior of a building or break a window, and then hurl debris through that damaged wall or window. In fact, water damage to the interior of a co-op or condo is the most common claim of all.
Gotham says: In less than 15 minutes you can prepare yourself against a potential summer nightmare by calling Gotham today.
When it comes to apartment insurance, a steady and experienced hand knows the right questions to ask. Here are a couple situations when it can make all the difference — especially when you need apartment insurance in a New York minute.
1) It’s renovation time. You’ve hired a contractor to work on your co-op, and you’ve gotten the green light from the board. Now you need proof of co-op insurance — but you let it lapse.
Gotham says: With 50 years of experience in New York City, Gotham can quickly determine what kind of policy will cover you, based on the type of renovation you’re doing.
2) At the closing table. You’re closing on the purchase of a co-op or condo, but you forgot about apartment insurance — or thought the building’s insurance was all the coverage you’d need.
Gotham says: Condos and co-ops require apartment insurance. The policy that comes with the co-op usually only covers the building and common areas. You’ll need your own apartment insurance to cover losses such as theft, smoke damage, etc.
So you’re upgrading and moving out of your rental. The next step? Buying a condo or co-op.
Here are some things you need to know now that you’ve taken the next step in apartment living: 1. Insurance policies for co-ops and condos include three basic types of coverage.
Gotham says: “Contents” covers the bulk of your personal property-clothing, furniture, electronics-from fire, theft, smoke, explosion, and water damage from bursting pipes and overflows.
“Walls and floors” insures those surfaces, and also the built-in fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, and the value of any renovation work you’ve done or purchased from the prior owner.
“Personal liability” covers you for bodily injury and property damage resulting from your (alleged) negligence—damage caused to neighbors or their property, and overflows from your toilet, tub, or sink into the apartment below. Or, if you overload a socket and a fire destroys several apartments that sends dozens of people to live in hotels for months–apartment insurance has got you covered.
2. Now that you’re serious about apartment living, you’ve invested in better furniture and have accumulated some assets.
Gotham says: If you’ve invested in a more expensive way of living, it’s smart to protect it. And you’re always one broken washing machine hose away from ruining your downstairs neighbor’s photography collection. Most apartment insurance policies come with $100,000 worth of liability coverage, but the difference between $100,000 and $1 million worth of coverage is only about $70 a year.
1. Your favorite red dress goes up in smoke at a late-night beach party bonfire. Gotham Brokerage says: Clothing going up in flames, especially in cooler weather, can be particularly, err, chilling. The good news is that apartment insurance has you covered — with replacement cost coverage. It helps to have some documentation if the value of your wardrobe is high — and a credit card receipt, invoice, or digital photo. Continue reading →
How can you improve your sleep and manage stress levels better? Take a weekend getaway, according to Nuffield Health, a U.K.-based healthcare charity. And we all know the best weekend getaway is one that doesn’t end with a dollop of bad news.
Before you leave, don’t forget these three things and you’re on your way to weekend bliss: Continue reading →
It’s finally happened. It’s time to leave the nest.
You are ready to be a grownup, with a genuine grownup apartment. You are striking out on your own and taking over the world! You’re not going to need help from anyone!
(Wait, I didn’t invite all of these people to this party. How do I put out a grease fire without waking up my roommate? I don’t think that graduation present from grandma is a strong enough table to support a keg!) Continue reading →
You’re responsible. You set up your homeowners or renters insurance years ago, so you’re all set, right? Not so fast. Every once in a while, it’s good to revisit your policy to see if it needs updating.
Some questions to ask yourself:
— Have you made any recent big purchases? A new television, computer, or jewelry? A musical instrument? Have you exceeded the overall limit of what’s covered in your policy?
— If you recently acquired jewelry, does your policy cover that category?
— Do you do a lot of online shopping? If so, does your policy cover theft or damage to incoming packages?
— Do you have a bike? Does your policy cover theft outside the apartment?
— Is your name on the policy? If not, are you still covered?
These questions aren’t meant to give you something new to worry about. The answers are only a phone call away. Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc. is a New York-based, family-owned company, and they know NYC apartment owner and renter needs better than anybody else. This means they can quickly make sure that you have the right plan and coverage for your needs.
One of the best things you can do to make sure you’re covered is to go from room to room making a digital inventory of your stuff by taking pictures with your phone. Store the pictures on the cloud, so if something happens, it will be easier to make a claim.