Earthquake insurance is very common in California, for obvious reasons—but what about New York City? Tremors may be vanishingly rare here, but nonetheless, Arthur A. Schwartz's Manhattan condominium building has earthquake insurance, and he's glad it does.
Schwartz lives along the portion of the new Second Avenue subway line that is scheduled to open at the end of 2016. “There are many co-ops and condo buildings in the area, with substantial excavation going on underneath them,” he says.
Thanks to the underground activity, Schwartz’s building has a big crack in its lobby. Responsible parties include the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the city itself, the contractor, and a subcontractor—or several.
“All have insurance and will eventually pay for the damage,” says Schwartz, “but how long will that take? The building has to fix the crack in the meantime.”
Schwartz knows whereof he speaks—he's senior vice president of Masters Coverage Corp. in its New York City office. Like most insurance agencies writing insurance for common-ownership communities, Masters, a division of Valley National Bank, often is called upon to tailor coverage to the specific needs of a given co-op, condo, or homeowners’ association.