Mind the Gap Understanding Your Insurance Responsibilities

 Insurance is designed to be there for us when we need it most. Without knowing  the full extent of our coverage, though, we may find ourselves facing an  emergency with less protection than we thought. For shareholders or unit  owners, it is imperative to understand exactly what liabilities and risks are  covered by individual resident homeowner policies and what is covered by the  building’s policy. Unfortunately, many co-op and condo residents misinterpret who is  responsible for what. Knowing exactly what is protected and by whose policies  is imperative in ensuring that properties and possessions are in good hands  should an emergency arise.  

 “Most unit owners do not have enough coverage for their unit as they are not  properly advised,” says Lynn Delaney, branch manager at GFI Insurance Services in Monticello. “Co-op purchasers are often told by lenders that they do not need coverage as it  is not required for the loan. Obviously whether it is required for a loan or  not, they do need coverage for personal belongings and liability as well as  building property coverage.”  

 Patti Berman, an insurance specialist at Masters Coverage Corp in Manhattan,  adds, “A lot of residents feel that their units are covered by the building and do not  feel that they have to get homeowner's insurance.”  

 Know Your Insurance

 In order to avoid problems later, it is important for unit owners to learn as  much as they can about their own policy, their building’s policies and where any gaps may exist.  

 “In a co-op or condo, you must first look at the proprietary lease or original  offering plan which outlines where the building property stops and the personal  property begins,” says Arthur Schwartz, senior vice president of Masters Coverage Corp.  

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