BOND NEW YORK: To start, what exactly does renter’s insurance cover?
It covers your personal possessions if it’s destroyed or damaged by any named peril. An example of named perils: Fire, Lightning, Windstorm or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft, Smoke, Vandalism and Malicious Mischief, Falling Objects, Freezing of plumbing, water damage from plumbing, steam or water heating systems, Liability and guest medical. Just to name a few.
The best visual I can give on this is: Turn your apartment upside down. Everything that falls out is your personal belongings, your possessions, your stuff…. That is what you need to cover in the event of a loss.
BNY: Who is renter’s insurance recommended for ?
Anybody renting an apartment!. Before you get your key and turn your electric on call an insurance professional for a policy.
BNY: How much does renter’s insurance cost? What are the factors that affect cost?
It varies from person to person. It all depends on the amount of coverage they request, If they need to schedule special items ( jewelry, furs, fine arts etc) The policies are built on their personal needs. They should take some time to estimate how much their clothes, furniture and electronic equipment…etc. are worth. They would need to be covered for at least that amount or the amount you think it will take to replace all your items and make you whole again.
BNY: A lot of our customers assume they don’t need renter’s insurance because the building will have some sort of insurance policy. What would you say to them?
Your personal property is owned by you, not the building . It is not the responsibility of the building for your personal belongings in the event of a loss. That is why it’s necessary for you to make sure your protected with a policy.
BNY: Hurricane season is upon us. Have you seen an increase in renter’s insurance since Hurricane Sandy?
Not particularly an increase of policies being purchased, however, after Hurricane Sandy many people have called to educate themselves on coverage’s & cost.
BNY: Has the cost of renter’s insurance gone up because of Hurricane Sandy? Have adjustments been made to policies and what they cover as a result?
Prices need to reflect the costs of providing home and renters insurance in New York. It takes many months or years to evaluate the impact of a major catastrophic event on the rating plans. The goal is to match price to risk as accurately as they can to help preserve availability of property insurance, which includes renters insurance.
Coverage’s as a whole usually aren’t altered. It’s usually the price to risk which makes the policy increase.
BNY: Let’s say your property is damaged. What are the procedures for dealing with insurance?
If your property is damaged by a named peril you immediately take the steps to secure any further damage. You call your insurance agent and/or broker to report the incident. They will walk you through the process of filing the claim and verify what is and isn’t covered.
BNY: We’ve heard about some unusual things that are covered by insurance when a natural disaster strikes—food spoilage being one of them. Is this true? Is there anything unusual that you might not typically think would be covered that is? How about the opposite: is there anything you think would be covered that surprisingly isn’t?
When a catastrophe as horrific as Hurricane Sandy occurs there are coverage’s on insurance policies that can be applied. If it is deemed a covered loss, most insurance policies have a provisions for the spoilage caused by the power interruption. The amount of coverage differs from insurance company to insurance company. Additional living expenses might also be used in the event that it was necessary to maintain your normal standard of living when the direct physical loss is uninhabitable.
BNY: What are the top questions I should ask an agent when obtaining renter’s insurance to ensure that I have the best coverage for my particular situation?
Who is covered in the apartment?
Where does my liability cover me?
How am I covered in the event of loss? Are there certain limitations?
What scheduled items are included in the policy?
Do you offer Replacement on my personal property?
Do you cover off premises theft and how much?
What is the most unusual rental insurance claim you’ve heard of? Any interesting NYC stories relating to renter’s insurance?
There are many stories about claims but one specific sticks in my mind and always will.
I had a client which had her fur scheduled. (It was listed as a separate rider on the policy.) Unfortunately, she fell off the building and her fur got stuck on something on the side of the building. In fact it saved her life! When she was rescued , she made a claim – and it was covered!