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Common Insurance Claims for Renters, Condo/Co-Op Owners and Those With Chubb Insurance

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Having insurance makes it easier to sleep at night when you know your possessions and financial future are protected. But the idea of having to actually make a claim might give you nightmares.

 

The best way to protect yourself when making a claim is to understand not just the process but the protection you have before you have to use it. Stick around to learn more about common insurance claims, including those that are common with certain policies.

 

What is an insurance claim?

If you’ve never had to make an insurance claim, consider yourself lucky. Whenever you have loss or sustain damage caused by a peril, you can make a claim to your insurance company, and be financially compensated for your loss. This is why it’s important to not just have insurance, but fully understand what it covers and if there are any limitations or exclusions to your coverage.

 

Making a claim isn’t difficult but there are several steps involved. If you’re working with an experienced broker, the process should be painless as they walk you through it. We’ve seen our share of claims and wanted to go over some of the most common, by policy type, so that you can be better prepared if you find yourself making a similar claim one day.

 

Common Renters Insurance Claims

Renters insurance is a must for renters, as a landlord’s policy will only cover the structure of the building and not the items in your apartment. Consider the following common claims when trying to decide if it’s worth it (hint: it is!)

 

Fire

We know that you’re responsible and rocking out this thing called life, but we can’t say the same for your neighbor. If they leave a candle burning that causes a fire in their unit, which then spreads into yours while you’re out having dinner, the loss of your items can be financially devastating. With renters insurance, your items are replaced based on the type of policy you’ve chosen, helping you get back on your feet.

 

Theft

Renters insurance can cover you from theft in two ways. The first way applies to theft that takes place in your home. If your apartment is broken into and the thief helps themselves to a few of your things, they’ll be replaced. But it can also cover you while you travel. If you’re out of town on a long weekend and someone snatches your suitcase while you’re checking into your hotel, the items inside would be covered. However, your policy may not include protection during travel automatically. You may need to add on an endorsement to ensure you’re covered.

 

Water damage

We see this claim quite a bit so it’s important to note that there are limitations when it comes to water damage. You will be covered if water damage is caused by a burst pipe. But if you want to be protected from a sewer backup or sump pump failure, you’ll need to speak to your insurance agent about adding an endorsement to your policy. Finally, flooding is a separate policy all together. If you live in a flood zone, speak to your agent about your coverage options.  

 

Common Co-op Insurance Claims

We find that common co-op claims are similar to renters insurance claims but here are some you may come across if you’re a co-op unit owner.

 

Personal liability

This is a big one that many don’t realize is part of their co-op insurance. If someone is injured in your co-op from a simple accident like tripping on a rug or falling over a chair, their medical bills become your responsibility. Co-op insurance has a cap with this type of coverage, depending on the amount you’ve chosen. Speak with your insurance agent if you’re not clear on your personal liability coverage caps.

 

Also, should that best friend of yours decide to sue you for lost wages or emotional distress due to their injury, co-op insurance covers litigation costs until your cap is reached.

 

Another person’s property

You’re normally not clumsy but you have your days. Imagine your friend is over and they brought their new laptop. You’re enjoying its features and impressive resolution when you suddenly knock over your glass of wine onto the keyboard. You try and mop it up, but you know it’s too late. The damage is done. Co-op insurance will save your friendship by covering the laptop.

 

Additional living expenses

Here’s another claim that many are unaware of. If your co-op becomes uninhabitable, either due to a fire or other covered incident, and you need to relocate to a hotel or family member’s house out of state, your coverage will reimburse you for your traveling, food, and other expenses.

 

What most don’t think about is that even though their co-op will be rebuilt with their landlord’s insurance policy and their items will be replaced by their co-op insurance policy, they could be left with extra bills due to dislocation. Having this added peace of mind will ensure a disaster doesn’t throw you off track.

 

Common Chubb Insurance Claims

common insurance claims chubb jewlery

Chubb Insurance is for high-end valuables. It provides added protection a standard policy can’t due to coverage caps and limitations. Here are some common Chubb Insurance claims you may find yourself making.

 

Jewelry

Most standard renters insurance policies cover jewelry but only up to a certain dollar amount. Therefore, a Chubb insurance policy is ideal for anyone with a healthy jewelry collection. Provide them with all the information about your pieces, such as cut, carat weight, materials, and cost, and they will be 100% covered.

 

For example, if your 2-carat engagement ring falls down the drain or slips off while window shopping on Fifth Avenue, a Chubb policy will cover it.

 

Art

If you own a truly one of a kind piece of art, having extra protection is a must. If a fire damages your Andy Warhol original, knowing that it will be compensated will allow you to display it with pride and confidence.

 

Antiques

Most antiques are simply irreplaceable, and their monetary value can be through the roof. So, if your antique dining table is lost in a covered incident or your great-great grandfather’s pocket watch is stolen, knowing that they will be compensated for is reassuring.

 

Collectibles

Whether you collect vintage coins, expensive bottles of wine, or classic automobiles, insuring your collection is a must. Chubb offers two ways to do this. You can either go with a blanket policy that protects the full collection or insure each individual piece. You can also use a combination of the two types for superior protection.

 

As you can see, there are a variety of policies out there and plenty of claims that you could find yourself making. Whether you rent an apartment or co-op or own unique and valuable items, insurance is simply a must. Taking the time to secure coverage today will provide you with a calmer tomorrow.

Common Holiday Renters Insurance Claims (and How to Avoid Them)

Burgers and firecrackers. Pumpkins and candy. A jolly man in a red suit. The holidays are a time for celebrating family, faith, or fun. But in all the commotion, it’s easy for minute details to be overlooked that can lead to serious incidents. 

 

Being aware of potential danger is the first step to preventing it. As you read through these holiday insurance claims, keep them in the back of your mind during your next celebration.

 

Which holidays should I be concerned about?

Truthfully, disasters can strike any day of the year. But we do notice an increase of claims around certain holidays. If you celebrate any of the following, be aware of these common holiday renters insurance claims, and make sure to take necessary precautions (but still have fun!).

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Should You Get Flood Insurance for Your Apartment?

Many renters don’t consider getting flood insurance because they think their renters insurance will cover them. This mistake means that flood damage from burst water mains or storms often leaves renters unprotected and paying out of pocket for repairs. Before you dismiss flood insurance, learn a little more about how it can give you necessary peace of mind.

Understanding Flood Damage

Not all water damage is the same, and for insurance purposes, flood damage has a very specific definition. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a flood affects at least two properties, and is caused by an overflow of naturally-occurring water, like high tides or rain.

 

It doesn’t cover smaller mishaps. For instance, if your water washing machine leaks and floods your apartment, this is not considered flood damage. It may be covered by your renters insurance if you have water backup coverage, which protects you in the event of water damage from a drain or sewer.

 

By the same token, if your leaking washing machine floods into the apartment down below, your renters insurance liability protection will also offer protection, up to the limits of the policy, for the damage your leaking washing machine caused to the building structure and the possessions of the renters below you.

devastation-in-queens-ny-after-hurricane-sandy

Queens, NY in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy.

Even during storms, like hurricanes, renters insurance can cover water damage to your apartment if a tree smashes into the window, but it won’t cover damage caused by the rivers overflowing. According to Newsday, 100,000 homes in Long Island had flood damage after Hurricane Sandy. It’s situations like that where flood insurance is crucial.

What Causes Flooding?

While it’s true that storms, like Hurricane Sandy, are major contenders for causing flood damage, they aren’t the only reasons you might need flood insurance. In addition to tropical systems that dump a large amount of rain onto the city in a short amount of time, winter storms and blizzards can blow waters from the rivers into street-level apartments and basements. Then in spring, snowmelt overflow lakes and rivers — flowing right into your apartment.

Besides these natural causes, some flood damage is manmade. New York is an old city, where water mains break, sewers get clogged and back up, and new construction reroutes flowing water, all of which can cause extensive damage to your apartment.

Should You Get Flood Insurance?

People who have street- or basement-level apartments should definitely consider flood insurance. These are the apartments that are most vulnerable to the damage flooding can cause.

If you live close to the water, you should also look into flood insurance, as any high tides caused by storms can spell serious damage. Those who live in high-risk areas may also need supplemental flood insurance, since the National Flood Insurance Program can restrict coverage.

Even if you don’t think your apartment is at a high risk for flooding, a flood insurance policy can offer you peace of mind if the worst happens. We’re happy to talk to your unique situation. 

 

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