If you live in a condo or co-op in New York City, your building is obviously protected with insurance—but do you really know about the various layers of protection standing between your community and a broad array of risk factors? Does your building get by on a bare-bones policy, or do you have every conceivable base covered?
Many buildings maintain only the bare minimum of coverage, which in the case of an extreme happenstance could cost the unit owners money in the long run or result in higher premiums charged against their own insurance policy.
Then there are those properties—a large percent of them new luxury condos—that go all out when it comes to buying insurance protection, and cover just about every imaginable circumstance. While this may make residents feel better about their homes, it will cost more, and some people don’t think it’s all that necessary.
Even if your policies aren’t necessarily up for renewal, it’s not a bad idea to assess your community’s needs and exposures, and determine if your level of insurance coverage is the best possible fit. “The building takes out a master policy, the mortgage requires that,” says Barry Frost, vice president of Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc. in Manhattan. “They assess what they need and they can buy more coverage. A lot of the extras come in on an individual unit.”
When a co-op or condo looks into buying a new policy or changing carriers, the first thing that needs to be done is to look at the bylaws to make sure that all the basic insurance requirements are being covered.