Category Archives: Renters Policy

Protect Your First Apartment with Renters Insurance

Protect Your First Apartment with Renters InsuranceSo you have finally decided to make that big move to your very own apartment. For the first time in your life, you will be living by yourself – no roommates, no parents, no siblings. You have complete say over the space, décor and furnishings. Although you may think that you are in total control, there are events that can occur that you may have absolutely no control over.

Some of these events can include a neighbor’s candle starts a building fire, someone breaks into your apartment, or a kitchen pipe bursts causing severe water damage. These are all instances that unfortunately occur. Many people are under the impression that their landlord’s policy will cover them. However this is not the case – a landlord’s policy will only cover their building, not their tenant’s belongings. This is why you should consider a policy of your own.

The most common occurrences that a Renters Insurance policy would cover are:

Below are some additional benefits of having a Renters Insurance Policy:

  1. Personal Liability: protects you if you are found legally responsible for injuring someone else or damaging someone’s property
    • It will cover your legal fees
    • If you are found negligent, it will also cover any legal settlements up to your coverage limit
    • Medical payments to others – provides payment of medical expenses for guests who are accidently injured in your home regardless of fault
  2. Personal Property: It will cover most of your belongings, including:
    • Furniture
    • Appliances
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
  3. Loss of use: If your apartment is uninhabitable due to a covered loss, the policy will pay for any additional costs incurred such as Temporary housing
    • Additional grocery/ restaurant bills
    • Cost of moving your personal property to a storage space

With all these benefits included in Renters Insurance you may think that the cost of a policy is astronomical. However, Renters insurance is one of the most affordable coverages that you can purchase, averaging under $20 a month. So why wait for something unfortunate to happen before you consider it? Get it now, and save yourself from any regrets!

Phone: 516-419-5050
Fax: 516-871-0691

Ask Sherri: Renters Insurance and Liability

Moving into an apartment is a big first step for many of today’s young working class and students, and is an unfamiliar experience for anyone who has never lived on their own. It will bring on new responsibilities which can be overwhelming for some, and may lead them to forget about resources that are available to protect renters.
 
In this episode of Ask Sherri, we show you how Renters Insurance can protect policyholders if an accident were to happen outside of their apartment. This kind of coverage is better known as Liability, and is one of the many benefits of a renters policy.

Give us a call or contact us by e-mail if you have any questions!

Phone: 516-419-5050
Fax: 516-871-0691

Ask Sherri: Insuring Your Valentine’s Day Gifts

With the spirit of love in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches, it is only appropriate for us to bring back our classic Valentines’ Day episode of Ask Sherri. If you plan on proposing this Valentine’s Day or just getting your loved one an expensive gift, we highly recommend that you check out this episode. Sherri will show you why you may want to consider a Floater Policy or adding extra coverage to your Homeowners or Renters Policy for these special gifts.  And…. why you may want to stay away from putting your ring in the cake…

My Landlord Wants A Certificate of Insurance

On a regular basis, our agency receives calls from our clients who are opening a business and are in the middle of lease negotiations with a landlord. Whether your business is an office, a store, or a showroom, a lease agreement typically obligates a tenant to carry specific limits of insurance. Often the landlord wants to be named on your policy and requests proof of this prior to the tenant taking possession of the space. This proof is called a Certificate of Insurance and it typically requires updating on an annual basis.

Sometimes, we find that the landlord’s insurance requirements are so outrageous it is as if they want to transfer the entire insurance obligation to the tenant and cancel their own policies! What most would-be tenants do not realize is that the terms of a lease and the limits of insurance required by management are usually negotiable and a knowledgeable insurance professional can be of great assistance during this time. In addition, the landlord’s interests are never fully protected by a tenant’s policy and a savvy landlord will always maintain their own policy to protect their own interests.

Most leases minimally request that the tenant carry General Liability limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in the aggregate. Often there may be an additional request for a $1 million (Excess) Umbrella policy. They might also require Workers’ Compensation, Automobile Liability and, depending upon the nature of the business, Professional Liability. These requirements, we feel, are not unreasonable demands. Some leases might require coverage for Improvements and Betterments made to the space by the tenant as well as the continuation of Rent Payments even if the space becomes uninhabitable in the event of a claim. We strongly suggest that you have someone who is really well-versed in contract language, such as your attorney, review the lease clauses prior to signing such a document.

Once your policies are bound, your agent or broker issues you, the insured, a certificate naming your landlord as the Certificate Holder. It is very important to understand that the certificate of insurance is only a snapshot of the coverage you just put in place.

A Certificate cannot add to the coverage, change the coverage or modify it in any way. The issuer (your agent) cannot provide any wording other than that which is contained in the policy document. In addition your agent cannot provide any assurance of payment for a loss because liability is based upon negligence (fault) which is something to be investigated by the insurance carrier.

In fact, the subject of “Certificates of Insurance” is such a hot topic that many agents and brokers take innumerable courses to become more knowledgeable as to the proper procedure to follow when issuing a certificate, so they can answer a variety of questions such as those we hear on a daily basis:
• Why all this emphasis on who, what, where, how and when to get a certificate?
• Who should you provide with a certificate? What should it say?
• How do you know what really should be included?
• When can you push back on a landlord asking for unreasonable inclusions?
• Why do landlords request the name of every officer, director, member, agent, representative, successor, and assign appear on a certificate of insurance these days?

The main answer to all these questions is that we live in a very litigious society in very challenging economic times and everyone is looking to have their interests protected. Moreover, everyone is looking to have their interests protected by someone else so that they don’t have to pay any additional monies on their own insurance policies. Most important, when a loss occurs depending upon who is named on a certificate and to what degree they are included, they are often entitled to a defense should a suit be brought against them. Therefore, it is up to an insured to become educated and be sure that their limits of liability aren’t in any way being diluted by the inclusion of numerous others. After all, your insurance is there primarily to protect you and should be available to make payment in case a judgment is ultimately rendered against you.

So, before you agree to give away your “store,” we suggest that you make a call to your agent. Ask them to look over your lease, the requested limits of insurance, as well as any request for additional insured status to see if everything being requested is both reasonable and in order. After all, insurance agents pride themselves on being able to offer their clients a “decent night’s sleep”.

– Karen Skoler, CPCU

Does my Insurance Policy on my House cover my Daughter?

Q: My Daughter lives in a 1 family house that I own. Does my insurance policy on this house cover my daughter in any way?

A: NO. Your Policy for this house only covers you as the owner. Your daughter will not have any coverage for her belongings. She will needs to purchase a Renters Policy which will cover her personal property as well liability coverage. Check out our blogs on Renters Insurance for more info.

Do I Need Renter’s Insurance or Am I Covered By My Moms Homeowner’s Policy?

Two Family HouseDear Sherri, My mom owns a two-family house. She lives on the first floor and I live on the second floor. If there were a fire or if there were a theft in my apartment, would my belongings be covered under my mom’s homeowner’s insurance policy?

Thanks, Donna

Hi Donna,

This is such a great question because due to the economy, so many young people are going back to live either with their parents or in property that their parents own. If you are living in the same unit with your parents, the answer would be yes, your belongings are covered by your parents’ policy since the definition of an insured is as follows: “You (the person named on the policy), Your Spouse (must be a resident at the same household) Resident Relatives and any other person under the age of 21 who is under the custody of the person named on the policy.” But don’t get too excited. In your case, the answer is no, you will NOT be covered under your mom’s policy as you are not living in the same unit or household. Living in the same building does not qualify you for free insurance. Therefore, you need to purchase a Renter’s Policy whether you are paying rent or not (if you are not paying rent, I am going to be so jealous that I might have to slap you!). A Renter’s Policy will protect your personal contents in your apartment and your personal liability. Always check with your agent to be sure your policy is providing you with the coverage you need.

Does My Landlords Policy Cover Fire Damages to my Personal Possessions?

Since I rent an apartment, would my landlord’s policy cover any fire damage to my personal possessions?

No. Your landlord’s policy covers the actual building itself; the walls, roof, wiring, plumbing, etc. It does not cover your personal possessions such as your clothing, furniture, or electronic equipment. To obtain coverage for your own items, you need to purchase a Renter’s Policy. Also, your landlord’s policy doesn’t cover you for loss of use while your apartment undergoes renovations after a fire. However, a Renter’s Policy would reimburse you for any extra expenses you incur should you require temporary lodging.

Does a Renter’s Policy Cover An Engagement Ring?

Would My Renter’s Policy Cover My Engagement Ring?

No. While some Homeowner’s policies cover jewelry; up to a specific limit, engagement rings should be scheduled on a separate Inland Marine Policy or added as a Floater to your existing Homeowner’s Policy. Otherwise it is unlikely that there will be coverage for such a “big ticket” item. For more information on this, see our blog “Floater Policy: Insuring Your Valuables”.

Is My Girlfriend/Boyfriend covered under MY Homeowners Policy?

PetschauerInsuranceAgencySo you have decided to take the next big step in your relationship and asked your girlfriend to move in your home. The two of you are now trying to figure out how to fit all of her “stuff” in your home. Where are you going to put all those clothes, handbags and shoes! But did you ever stop to think “are her belongings covered under your homeowners policy?” The answer is NO! Your Homeowners policy only covers an “Insured”. The policy defines an Insured as:

You (the person named on the policy)

Your Spouse (must be a resident of the same household)

Resident Relatives

Any other person under the age of 21 who is under the custody of the person named on the policy

Clearly, your girlfriend does not fall under this definition therefore her contents would not be covered under your policy. The definition of an Insured is the same for condos, co-ops and renters policies.

Now your girlfriend is all settled in the home. She decides to have a “Girls Night” at the house and one of her friends falls in the home and is injured. She sues both of you for her injuries because you’re the owner of the house and she’s the one that hosted the party. Did you know that you are covered under your policy but your girlfriend is not? Again, she does not meet the definition of an Insured. That’s grounds for a huge argument definitely not the best way to start this new chapter of your lives.

There are several ways to ensure that everyone in your household has contents and liability coverage:
• Name the person as a Named Insured on the policy.
• Add the person on by endorsement such as “Other Persons in the Household” endorsement
• That person can get their own Renters policy.

As always, please contact your broker as every company has different guidelines for these situations.

With today’s changing family dynamic, we strongly encourage you to review your policy with your insurance agent and make sure that everyone in your home is covered under your policy.

Now that you have the insurance covered, the rest of the relationship is on you!

– Sharon Davidson