Residential insurance in New York, otherwise known as home insurance, is an insurance policy that pays for damages and losses to homeowners’ properties and personal belongings in the event of unforeseen circumstances like fire or vandalism. A residential insurance policy covers personal liability for damage to another person’s property or injuries sustained on your property. Home insurance usually covers your dwelling, personal belongings, other structures on your property, and additional living expenses if you have to find temporary housing in the event of unforeseen circumstances. The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) regulates home insurance in New York.
Residential insurance offers coverage for damage caused by burglary, vandalism, blizzard, lightning strike, wildfire, hail, smoke, and wind storms. While events such as these are covered, not all natural disasters are covered by home insurance. Natural disasters such as floods, landslides, sinkholes, and earthquakes, are exempted from a standard home insurance policy in New York. Also, a typical residential insurance policy excludes nuclear hazards and power failure. You may need to purchase separate policies to safeguard your property against these types of catastrophes. The type of residential insurance you need will depend highly on if you own the property, are a renter, or the type of property. If you reside in a condo or townhouse, you need condo insurance. Similarly, tenants need renter insurance, and as a landlord, you should get insurance if renting out your house to others.
You should speak to a New York-licensed property and casualty (P&C) insurance agent when obtaining insurance for your residential property. An agent can help you get the best rates by comparing quotes from multiple home insurance companies. They will also answer your questions and educate you on what coverages your policy includes or excludes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, as of July 2021, New York had an estimated population of 19,835,913 with about 8.5 million housing units. As of 2022, 45.9% of New York housing units were rented, while 54.1% were owner-occupied. The percentage of owner-occupied housing units in New York range from 54.1% to 85%, with Hamilton County, reaching 85%. Bronx County, in addition, had the highest number of renters at 80%. With over 60% of residential property in the U.S. underinsured, it is critical for New York homeowners and renters to obtain the relevant residential insurance to protect their personal belongings and structures. It is generally recommended that New York residents apportion part of their income to insure their homes.
Unexpected losses, damages, and other disasters to residential property can happen anytime. This is why you need a form of residential property insurance in New York; to protect your investment in case of a covered loss. A residential property is an investment with great potential for profitable returns on investment. Having a residential insurance policy is a step in the right direction to preserve it. Without residential insurance, you may have to pay out of your pocket for damage to your properties, damage to other people’s properties for which you are responsible, or injuries sustained by third-parties on your property.
Other reasons you need residential insurance in New York include the following:
Natural disaster coverage: It provides coverage against damage to homes caused by certain natural disasters such as lightning, smoke, fire, hail, and windstorm
Personal property coverage: It protects the contents of your home (personal property) and provides liability coverage for damage to other people’s property and bodily injury suffered by others on your property
Vandalism and malicious mischief: It provides coverage for your property against events such as riots, theft, vandalism, civil commotion, and explosion that may lead to damage of property
Additional living expenses: It provides additional living expenses for hotel accomodation, meals, and laundry if you need to live in a hotel or elsewhere temporarily due to an on-going repair in your residence
Home purchase through a mortgage: Its needed by lenders if purchasing any residential property through a mortgage
Vehicle or aircraft damage: It offers coverage against rare occurrences such as aircraft or vehicular damage to property
If you have insurance questions about similar insurance products and how they may work in your situation, the best person to ask those questions is a state-licensed New York property insurance agent with access to multiple insurers for comparison.
New York residential property insurance provides coverage for homeowners and renters against damage to property and personal belongings. It also protects them against personal liabilities claims that may result from unforeseen events on the insured's property. You can get residential property insurance through licensed P&C insurance agents or from insurance companies licensed by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), New York had 168 domestic Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance companies in 2020. The total amount of P&C premiums written in the state was about $50.1 billion, which is almost twice the amount written in the neighboring state, Pennsylvania. New York also had the fourth highest premiums written in the United States in 2020. Over 11% of all P&C insurance in New York, equivalent to $5.7 billion of the direct premiums was from homeowners coverage.
If you encounter challenges while shopping for residential insurance policies in New York, you can consider other special programs providing insurance, for example, for people living in flood zones. These programs include:
New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (NYPIUA)
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Coastal Market Assistance Program (C-MAP)
If you suffer a residential property loss due to a covered peril, make sure to notify your insurance company or agent immediately. Ensure that copies of all communications are maintained. If you are liable for bodily injury to a neighbor on your property, it is recommended that you notify your insurance company ahead before a third-party does so. Failure to inform the insurance company about such an incident may result in the denial of coverage. You must make efforts to protect your property from further damage while waiting on the insurance company for inspections with temporary fixes such as boarding up broken windows to prevent burglary. Permanent fixes should only be done after the inspection. Typically, your insurance company will reimburse the costs for such temporary fixes, but ensure to keep the receipts for any repairs made.
You can engage a New York-licensed P&C insurance agent for a better understanding of how residential insurance works in the state. A knowledgeable agent will most likely have the answers to all your concerns about residential insurance
Several types of residential insurance are available in New York, ranging from the basic policies to more comprehensive policies with additional coverage for the hazards to your home and your personal possession. Insurance policies are sold as monoline or as packages. Monoline policies offer only one type of coverage, such as liability insurance, while policy packages include multiple coverages. Packaged policies offer less expensive insurance coverage than buying coverages separately. Generally, the types of policy you need will depend on if you own the property or if it is rented. Common types of residential insurance in New York include:
Mobile home insurance
Residential property insurance types in New York are classified into:
Property: This provides coverage for damages to property caused by perils such as fire, vandalism, and theft
Liability: This provides coverage for bodily injury to a third party or property damage to a third party
The types of coverages offered by the residential insurance types in New York include:
Dwelling Coverage: This essentially protects the structure of a home such as the walls and the roof
Other Structures Coverage: This protects other physical structures on your property other than your building, such as a separate garage
Personal Property Coverage: This provides coverage for items inside your home, such as furniture and electronics against damage by insurable perils
Liability Protection Coverage: This provides coverage if someone who sustained an injury while on your property sues you or if you are held liable for damage to another person’s property
Additional Living Expenses Coverage: This covers expenses, such as hotel bills and feeding expenses incurred if your property becomes uninhabitable after the occurrence of a covered event
Loss of Use Coverage: This helps to prevent your loss of income if your rental property becomes damaged and uninhabitable by your tenants while repairs are ongoing
Guest Medical Protection Coverage: This covers the medical expenses of someone who suffers injury on your property
Water Backup Endorsement: Some insurance companies offering homeowners coverage offer endorsements (addition or modification to the coverage, also called a rider) that provide cover for sump pump failure and sewer backups
Home Computer Coverage: While home computers are covered, they are not covered if used for business. This covers your computer from theft, vandalization, and natural disasters. You may also need additional coverage to increase the Insurer’s limit if the computer is very valuable. This coverage does not cover accidental damage caused by spilling coffee on your laptop
Home Daycare Coverage: This covers children in your care if you care for a maximum of two children without a fee. If you provide daycare services and receive compensation, you will need this coverage. Some insurance companies provide home daycare coverage for up to six children and charge premiums on each child.
Self-Storage Facility Coverage: This covers the items in a self-storage facility in a residential home
Ordinance or Law Coverage: Typically, a residential insurance policy covers the repairs or replacement of a building in the event of a covered peril. Sometimes, If the building codes have been updated, repairs must conform to the new standard required by law and may cost more. This coverage will make up the difference in the cost
Residential property insurance in New York provides coverage for property against damages due to perils listed in the policy. These perils include natural disasters such as wildfires, volcanic eruptions, windstorms, and other hazards like fire, vandalism, and theft. Statewide, there are over 7 million housing units, which means a lot of value to protect. Residential insurance also provides coverage for personal belongings inside a home and those kept off your property. Personal property coverage is an essential feature of residential property insurance. Your personal property can include electronics, household appliances, decorations, luxury items, clothing, and furniture. A property insurance policy may either be a replacement cost value policy or actual cash value policy:
Replacement cost value policy: This pays to purchase a new item after damage by a covered peril
Actual cash value policy: This covers the current cash value of your property, which may be less than the cost to replace it
RESIDENTIAL INSURANCE IN NEW YORK EXPLAINED
The most common residential insurance policies bought by New Yorkers include commercial property insurance, homeowners, condo, renters, and landlord insurance, depending on ownership status:
Homeowners insurance pays for losses caused by damage to your residential property and liabilities from injuries to another while on your property. New Yorkers pay nearly $6 billion annually for homeowners coverage - which adds up to around 12% of all Property & Casualty premiums collected in the state. The average annual cost of a homeowners insurance policy in New York State is between $1,100 - $2,200, or between $90 and $185 monthly (depending on the insured value and options).
To ensure you get the most affordable price on homeowners coverage, make sure to engage a knowledgeable state-licensed health insurance agent and compare quotes from different insurance companies. Most homeowners insurance policies available in New York contain:
Basic Homeowners Policy (HO-1): This policy covers your home and the contents against:
Fire, hail, and windstorm
Burglary, explosions, vehicle or aircraft damage
Riots, vandalism, civil judgments, and damage to another person’s property
Bodily injury, lightning damage, and smoke damage
Theft, glass breakage, and civil commotion
Broad Form Policy (HO-2): This policy includes the perils covered by HO-1 policy and provides additional coverage against falling objects, snow, sleet and weight of ice, freezing of plumbing systems, electrical damage to appliances, and damage to heating systems
Special Form Policy (HO-3): This is the most common residential insurance policy. It covers your property from almost any kind of peril, including named perils in H-O1 and H-O2 policies except specifically excluded in the policy
Comprehensive Form Policy (HO-5): This policy includes the features of the Special Form Policy and provides additional protection to your personal belongings from all risks of physical loss except specifically excluded in the policy. It is specifically designed for properties located in high-risk areas
Market Value Policy: This policy modifies the offering of the basic homeowners insurance policy by providing replacement cost coverage. It is usually the option when the cost of replacing a property or the cost of repairing it exceeds its current market value.
The condominium or condo insurance is also known as the HO-6 policy (or ho6 insurance). This policy provides condo owners in New York with coverage for contents and appliances, fixtures, interior walls, and improvements made to their condo units. The common areas of the condos like walkways, lobbies, and hallways and the building structures are generally insured through the condominium association master policy. Condo insurance does not cover flooding and earthquakes. Annual premiums for a standard condo insurance in New York state average $540-600.
Condo insurance provides coverage for:
Loss of use
Share of losses from the association.
A homeowner who rents out their primary or secondary rental home or commercial (apartment complex) property in New York needs landlord insurance. With nearly 4 million residential dwellings in New York state for rent this insurance protects landlords from financial losses as a result of damage to their rental property due to covered perils. This insurance includes property and liability coverages. The property coverage covers the physical property and the onsite equipment used to maintain it. The liability coverage of the policy helps to pay for your legal expenses or a third party's medical fees if they sustain an injury on your rental property and you are found liable.
Commercial property insurance protects against the damage or loss of buildings within a complex or apartment building. It also protects other structures on the property like fences, swimming pools, storage buildings, garages, common areas, and office spaces. Commercial property insurance in New York also covers completed improvements and personal belongings on the property premises. Your commercial property insurance coverage will depend on:
Type of construction
Presence of other structures such as fitness center, swimming pool, or clubhouse
Residents of New Yorker City mostly live in large buildings with almost 50% of all homes having 20 units or more. In fact, 13% of apartment buildings, with 20 or more units in the United States, are in New York City.
Insuring multi-unit residential property typically requires commercial insurance. Discuss your apartment complex insurance needs with a knowledgeable commercial property insurance professional.
About 45.9 % of New York’s housing units (≈4 million dwellings) are classified as rental property. Renters insurance is the tenants and cooperative policy or (HO-4). It is specifically designed for renters and provides coverage for the contents of a rented property, additional living expenses, and personal liability. Renters insurance covers damage or loss to property through vandalism, fire, plumbing, electrical malfunctions, and theft. Liability coverage in renters insurance covers injury occurring in rental property as a result of non-structural problems. Injuries arising from structural problems are the responsibility of the property’s landlord.
Renters insurance reimburses insureds through actual cash value or replacement cost value. Even if you are staying in a rental property for a short period, for a few months or a year, getting rental insurance is still a good step. Renters insurance, however, does not cover earthquakes, floods, sewage backup in your rental apartment, and very expensive items such as jewelry. A renters insurance rider or a separate policy is required if you need coverage for expensive jewelry, floods, or earthquakes.
If you are renting your home, speak with a New York-licensed property insurance agent who can assess your needs and give you a professional recommendation on the best coverage that fits your needs.
Personal liability insurance gives you financial protection against claims of injuries sustained by other people or damage to their properties while on your property. Personal liability claims in New York may include legal fees, medical bills, and payments for property repair. While personal liability coverage is an important part of your residential insurance policy, it does not cover bodily injury or property damage sustained by other people or your family members due to your negligence. Property owners and renters require liability insurance. Renters owners need to consider:
Renters liability insurance: This is a part of a renters insurance policy that covers renters for harm caused to others through negligence or accident in their rented apartments. It is not required by law, but some landlords may need it as part of the requirements to sign the property lease
Condo liability insurance: This policy covers personal liability from lawsuits for property damage or bodily injury for condo owners. It also includes damage done by a pet, such as a dog biting another person
Homeowners liability insurance: It covers homeowners for injuries sustained by others on the insured’s property and also pays for damages to another person's property when the insured is held liable for the damages
Landlord liability insurance: This insurance settles a landlord’s expenses for the liability of injury to another on the landlord's property and pays for damage to another’s property.
While homeowners insurance policies and condo insurance policies offer similar coverages in New York, there is a difference in the coverages both policies provide. Homeowners insurance covers the interior and exterior parts of a property, including other structures on it, such as a garage or a shed. On the other hand, condo insurance covers the personal belongings and the interior parts of a condo unit. The condo association insurance policy, also called the master policy, covers the condominium structure, roof, siding, hallways, pools, and other common areas in a condominium. Usually, condo owners are only required to purchase insurance for their own condo units, while their condo association dues are used to purchase the condo association master policy.
Homeowners insurance dwelling coverage covers the rebuilding or the repair of the physical structure of a house and the connected structures in the event of a covered peril. With condo insurance, you only need an adequate amount of coverage to cover the interior of your condo unit. Repairs to the external walls, hallways, elevators, and connected buildings are covered by the condo association master policy. Condo owners do not need liability coverage for the common areas they share with others. Homeowners insurance liability coverage protects you if found liable for property damage or bodily injuries sustained by others while on your property.
Your home insurance coverage in New York should cover the cost of rebuilding your property, replacing your personal possessions, liability claims, and additional living expenses. Hence, to determine how much coverage you need for home insurance, find out how much it will cost to replace or repair your property, the contents, and decide the amount of liability coverage to get. Coming up with a list of your personal belongings and their estimated current values will help you determine what it would cost to repair or replace them in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
As of 2020, owner-occupied housing units in New York had a median value of $325,000, up from $301,000 in 2011, with an annual average increase of 0.88%. The decline in new housing construction in New York in 2020, for the first time since 2011 as a result of a state-enforced pause on non-essential construction, is starting to rebound. The first four months of 2021 also showed a 20.4% increase in new construction permits compared to the previous year. Even though additional construction is ongoing, the current real estate prices in NYC are set to only increase. If you do not want to pay for your covered loss out of pocket, insurance coverage must keep up with the property values.
You should discuss your home insurance coverage needs with a New York-licensed P&C insurance agent on an annual basis - to adjust for the market fluctuations. Based on the discussion, a knowledgeable agent will analyze your needs and can help you determine the right amount of home insurance coverage for your property.
Over-insure your residential property means paying more premiums for coverage that you do not need for your property. This happens when you purchase coverage exceeding your home or personal property replacement costs. An example of over insurance is getting $250,000 worth of insurance coverage for a residential property with replacement value of $200,000. It is not ideal to over-insure your residential property in New York as the insurance company will only pay the exact amount to replace a property and all extras paid in premiums will be a waste. Always talk to a New York-licensed P&C insurance professional for help with purchasing the required coverage for your property. An agent will ensure you do not pay for coverage you do not need in the long run, saving you some costs.
You can under-insure your residential property in New York, but doing so is a big risk. An underinsured property does not have enough coverage to pay up its replacement cost. Reports show that this is quite common and about 64% of all residential properties in America are under-insured by an average of 27%. If you under-insure your property and a covered loss occurs, you will need to pay (out of pocket) the remaining cost of repairing or reconstructing your property. To avoid facing the risk of a financial disaster, make sure to get residential property coverage enough to cover repair, replacement, or liability costs.
NOTE: If your residential property is financed through a mortgage lender, the purchased coverage typically cannot be lower than the amount owed.
To avoid under-insuring your residential property in New York, make sure to discuss your insurance needs with a licensed P&C insurance professional who can help you determine the right coverage amount to purchase. In most cases, an agent will advise you to get a coverage that is enough to build your residential property from scratch should the unexpected happen.
In 2021, New York’s solar panels generated three gigawatts of electricity. If you own solar panels on your roof-top, residential property insurance in New York covers them, because they are considered a part of your building. Your residential property insurance can cover the solar panels against perils such as fire, hail, vandalism, and burglary. You do not require a separate policy to cover the solar panels on your roof-top. If the solar panels are leased from a power company, the company will be responsible for providing adequate coverage for them. Some basic residential property insurance policies exclude coverage of solar panels damaged by wind.
If your solar panels are installed on a separate structure such as covered parking, a well house, or any other structure that is not a part of your dwelling unit, you may need additional coverage for such solar panels. If you have solar panels installed on other structures detached from your dwelling unit, speak to a New-York licensed P&C insurance agent to determine the additional residential property coverage needed in such a case.
Yes. Solar panels affect house insurance in New York because they are a significant investment and improvement to your house. A typical solar system can cost between $12,000 to $25,000. Installing such a system increases the value of your residential property, which in turn increases your insurance costs. It is advisable to inform your insurance agent before embarking on home improvements such as solar panel installations. An agent will explain its cost implication on insurance costs and can advise on some decisions in your best interest.
Adding solar panels to your home most will increase your home insurance. The more solar panels you install, the more the impact on your coverage limits. Your increasing coverage limit will in turn increase your insurance premiums. A New York-licensed P&C insurance agent can help you determine how much your residential property insurance will go up with solar panel installation and the impact on your coverage limits. Make sure to engage one before installing solar panels in your home to avoid paying out of your pocket for damages to your property or solar system in the event of an insurable peril.
Yes, home insurance in New York (including homeowners, condo, renters, and landlord insurance policies) covers hail damage to solar panels, provided they are installed on the insured dwelling unit. The dwelling coverage in your residential property insurance policy will cover the cost of hail damage to your solar panels. If your solar panels are installed on detached structures like the garage or a shed, it is best to get additional coverage to cover hail damage as your dwelling coverage will not cover such a risk. If you need additional residential coverage in this case, your best bet is to discuss with a knowledgeable New York-licensed P&C insurance agent.
Almost all residential insurance in New York provides an option to purchase identity theft protection as a rider to the main policy. Identity theft insurance endorsement helps cover the costs of recovering and restoring your everyday life after the theft occurs. As an extra add-on, identity theft coverage adds to the cost of the insurance policy. Speak with a licensed agent about how you can add this protection to your residential insurance policy in New York.
Residential property insurance in New-York covers accidental and sudden leaks in a home. Such leaks include those from broken hose in a washing machine or dishwasher and a burst water pipe. Residential property insurance also covers the accidental release of steam or water from heating or air conditioning systems. However, it does not cover damage resulting from poor maintenance, such as neglecting to repair a leaking faucet or toilet. It is important to emphasize that a residential property policy does not cover the source of the water leak; it only covers the damage resulting from the leak. For example, your residential insurance policy will cover the cost of fixing a damaged floor caused by a leak but will not cover the cost of fixing the washing machine.
Home insurance covers water damage depending on the type of damage. In New York, home insurance policies cover sudden and accidental water damage, such as a frozen pipe, accidental discharge of water from fire sprinklers, or rupture of water heater. Typical home insurance coverage does not cover water damage from a flood and sewer or sump pump failure that leads to water backup. You will need to purchase separate coverage for these or add to your basic home insurance coverage. In the case of a flood, you can purchase separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Home insurance in New York covers accidental plumbing leaks, such as a burst pipe, but does not cover damage from plumbing leaks due to poor maintenance, negligence, or wear and tear. Unattended plumbing issues causing a leak and leading to property damage such as a continuous leaking faucet, a sink leaking for several months, and a constantly running toilet are also not covered.
Home insurance in New York covers roof leaks if they are sudden and are caused by a peril covered by a policy, such as hail or windstorms. However, roof leaks caused by lack of proper maintenance, pest damage, negligence, infestation from termites, and wear and tear are not covered by a home insurance policy. Your home insurance policy document will contain a detailed list of the perils covered for roof leaks. If you desire to have coverage from perils excluded from your policy, you can purchase supplemental coverage.
Depending on the severity of a roof leak, your home insurance company may pay for roof replacement or repair. If your roof is old, you may only get the cash value of the roof and not the replacement cost. If you need additional coverage to cover roof leaks, speak with a New York-licensed property insurance agent who can help you identify what is best based on your location.
Residential property insurance in New York covers theft. This includes stolen personal belongings and the associated costs to replace or repair items damaged due to forced entry. For instance, if a burglary results in damages to your door locks, doors, and windows, your home insurance will cover the cost of replacing or repairing them. Your dwelling coverage will pay for the damage to your property, while the personal property coverage will pay for the repair and replacement of your personal belongings. Most residential insurance policies also cover the theft of your property on you while away from home. If you have detached property such as a shed or a carport, your other structures' coverage will pay for their damages.
Personal property coverage has limits for stolen luxury or special items, such as jewelry, silverware, goldware, and pewterware. For example, if your coverage limits for stolen jewelry is $1,500, you will not receive more than this even if your jewelry is worth $7,000 If you require additional coverage for musical instruments, collectible items, artwork, and jewelry, you can schedule the coverage upfront so you will receive an amount that covers their value if stolen. You should also consider replacement cost value over actual cash value for your personal property coverage. Replacement cost value is more expensive, but it ensures you get new items instead of the depreciated cash value of your stolen property. It is vital to state that residential property insurance does not cover car theft, even if the car was stolen on your residential property. Only an auto insurance policy can cover such a situation.
Residential property insurance in New York does not cover damage from mold in most instances. Mold is caused by high humidity and moisture neglected over a certain period. Such damages are usually not sudden and can be prevented through proper maintenance. However, if a mold is a result of a covered accident such as a burst pipe, residential insurance may cover it. Therefore your homeowners, condo, landlord, or renters insurance will not cover it. To cover mold infestation due to neglect or poor maintenance on your property, you can add a mold insurance endorsement or rider to your residential property insurance policy. To do this, speak to a New York-licensed insurance agent for their professional advice and assistance.
Yes, a home insurance policy in New York covers the structural components of a building, such as the foundation repair. However, it will only cover foundation damage caused by perils listed in the policy document. These may include explosions, windstorms, lightning, fire, volcanic eruptions, vandalism, damage from vehicles or aircraft, falling objects, crumbling under the weight of ice or snow, riots, and water damage from plumbing issues.
Residential insurance does not cover damage to a building’s foundation if such damage is due to faulty construction, earthquakes, floods, natural shrinking, bulging, expansion, cracking, or settling of the foundation. However, a case of internal flooding on your property caused by a burst pipe leading to a foundation shift is covered since standard home insurance covers accidental water damage.
The liability portion of the residential property insurance policy can cover lost wages of someone who got hurt on your property and could not work because of this event. Lost wages is a common claim in personal injury cases, so the insured homeowner or renter should be ready for it. In addition to the home insurance coverage, if the insured obtains an umbrella liability policy - it will also cover lost wages, past the policy limits of the underlying residential policy.
Home insurance in New York covers natural disasters such as wildfire, severe storms, tropical storms, hail, hurricanes, windstorms explosions, volcanic eruptions, lightning, tornadoes, extreme cold, and windstorms. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes, tsunamis, nuclear disasters, and floods are, however, not covered by the conventional home insurance policies.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), New York had eight major disaster declarations from 2017 through 2021. These disasters included tropical storms, remnants of a hurricane, floods, a winter storm, and a snow storm. For example, the severe storms, straight-line winds, and floods of October 31 to November 1, 2019, impacted 399 residential properties, with 18 destroyed, 135 with significant damage, 136 with minor damage, and 110 affected. Of the 399 properties involved, only 6.75% of the residences were insured.
You can protect your residential property from severe natural disasters by purchasing separate policies outside your standard residential insurance policy. These may be any disaster insurance policy like an earthquake or a separate flood insurance policy. Having such policies can give you financial protection in the event of an earthquake or a flood. It is essential to know what is covered by your home insurance policy before a natural disaster comes knocking.
You should purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or through private flood insurers, since conventional residential insurance policies like homeowners, renters, landlord, or condo insurance, cannot cover floods. The NFIP policy provides a maximum of $100,000 coverage for your personal property and $250,000 in dwelling coverage, while private flood companies are able to offer a more customized approach. Flood insurance is highly recommended for New York residents with properties in areas considered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as floodplains and for residents with federally backed mortgages on their properties. The Federal Emergency Management Agency manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The FEMA provides flood insurance to the public directly through the NFIP and a network of 52 other insurance companies. The 3.6% of New Yorker homeowners currently paying for flood insurance pay about $1,200 per year. For further inquiries on flood insurance, contact a knowledgeable New York insurance agent who specializes in flood insurance coverage or reach out to the NFIP at (877) 336-2627.
A tornado is a funnel-shaped cloud rotating violently with winds of up to 300 miles per hour. While tornadoes are more common in the central United States, tornadoes occasionally occur even in the New York metro area, as was seen with the Brooklyn tornado of August 8, 2007, which damaged 16 residential properties. Conventional residential property insurance covers damage from a tornado up to the policy limit.
Damage to your property by a tornado such as broken windows and damaged roofs is covered by the dwelling coverage in your residential insurance. Dwelling coverage will pay for repairs, or replace outright if your property is destroyed by a tornado. Your personal property coverage will also pay for the damage to your personal property due to a storm. If a tornado displaces you from your home, your additional living expenses coverage will pay for your hotel bills, and meals while your property undergoes replacement and repairs. You can speak to a knowledgeable New York-licensed P&C insurance professional for information on the coverage options included in your residential insurance policy. An agent can help determine if your policy provides coverage for tornadoes.
New York, like most of the east coast of the United States, is prone to tropical storms such as a hurricane annually, especially between August and September. A hurricane is a mix of heavy wind (windstorm) and torrential rain and can lead to flooding. A typical residential insurance policy does not cover the flooding caused by a hurricane; only flood insurance does. Windstorm is one of the perils covered by residential property insurance and such should be covered in your insurance policy. However, some homeowners, condo, landlord, or rental policies omit windstorm coverage totally or partially, so you should check with your agent to be sure it is included in your policy.
In preparing for a hurricane, you can also add:
Water backup coverage: To protect your personal property and home from water damage if sewage water backs up into your home
Debris removal coverage: To increase the limit provided in your home insurance coverage
You can discuss your hurricane coverage options with a knowledgeable New York-licensed property insurance agent if you wish to protect your property from damage by a hurricane.
Even though seismic activity is not common in New York, earthquakes can still occur, like the 2.1 magnitude quake of January 2001 that was felt in Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island City. The presence of the Ramapo fault, which passes through New York earns the state a Federal Environment Management Agency (FEMA) ranking as the fourth most at-risk state for property losses due to earthquakes. Most residential insurance policies do not cover damage by an earthquake, so you need to purchase earthquake insurance or add an earthquake endorsement to your existing residential insurance policy. Earthquake insurance policies in New York provide coverage for your home, living expenses, and personal belongings. The quote for earthquake insurance will depend on the age of a building and the materials used to construct it. Older buildings cost more to insure, while wood-based structures enjoy lower rates than brick-based constructions.
If you would like to cover your residential property against earthquake damage in New York, consult with a knowledgeable state-licensed insurance P&C agent. Depending on your needs and risks, an agent will either assist you to purchase an earthquake insurance policy or add earthquake endorsements to your current residential insurance policy.
Sinkholes are openings in the ground caused by water erosion which can be extremely destructive to a property. Sinkholes are not covered by your standard residential property insurance in New York as the policy only covers the physical structure of your home and not earth movement. You will need to have sinkhole insurance to cover your home from damage or collapse from sinkholes. Sinkholes insurance in New York include:
Sinkhole loss coverage: This covers human-made sinkholes
Catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage: This covers your home falling into a sinkhole and the foundation damaged beyond repair
Sinkhole insurance policies range from $2,000 to $4,000 annually and can cover damage to your home, personal belongings, and other structures on your property.
In order to get professional advice, discuss your residential insurance questions with a property insurance agent licensed in the State of New York.