Hey, New Yorkers: Pay Attention to These 3 Kinds of Insurance

by Daniel Griffin, President of Wesfair Agency, CIC, CPA

There are a lot of aspects of insurance that New Yorkers, and those in the entire Tri-State area, commonly overlook when it comes to protecting their homes and businesses. It’s worth taking a deeper look into your policy to confirm you’re covered for specific risks if you fall into any of these categories:

1. You’re a condo or apartment owner.
Review your insurance policy for mold coverage: More and more New Yorkers are opting to rent or buy condos or apartments in today’s competitive real estate market, which come with their own set of unique buyer risks, including mold. This unwanted growth wreaks havoc on homes from water leaks and bad ventilation--sometimes unbeknownst from neighbors one floor up. Water and mold damage cost insurance companies around $2.5 billion in the US.

Mold coverage is offered by endorsement on insurance policies. If you don’t purchase enough coverage, it’s likely you’ll have very limited assistance and end up paying a lot more out of pocket.

2. You’re a dog owner.
Review your homeowners’ policy for dog bite coverage: It’s reported that 4.5 million dog bites occur in the US every year. Even worse, over 900,000 of those bites become infected, in some cases causing serious implications for the person who has suffered the bite. It’s up to the dog’s owner to make sure their insurance policy covers dog bite liability. Although often included in homeowners or renters policies, there are certain situations where an insurance company won’t cover you, such as if the dog has previously attacked someone, or if the breed is deemed “dangerous.” (You can check out that list here.)

The Insurance Information Institute outlines three laws that might impose liability on you in the case your dog goes awol:

  1. “Dog-bite statute.” In this case, the owner is automatically liable for any injury or damage cause by the dog, unprovoked.

  2. “One-bite rule.” In this case, the owner is liable for any injury caused by their dog if they were aware their dog could cause injury or be vicious.

  3. “Negligence laws.” In this case, the owner is liable if the injury occurred because they were unreasonably careless in trying to control their dog from acting out.

3. You’re a small business owner.
Review your business insurance policy for hurricane coverage (and other natural disasters): Hurricane Sandy was an eye opener for most living in the Tri-State area, but especially for businesses in areas that were hit hard unexpectedly. Many business owners weren’t prepared for the risks involved with this type of natural disaster, and didn’t have the necessary coverage to account for wind and water damage, not to mention mass flooding. In fact, 74% of small business owners had to shut down due to the storm, and 52% suffered a revenue loss.

Risk Management Monitor says there are two critical policies to consider when protecting your business from natural disasters:

  • Commercial Property Insurance: Policy that helps cover repair costs due to damage from natural disasters, and helps restore harmed business property.

  • Business Interruption Insurance: Policy that helps companies when faced with and extensive closure or general lack of business due to hurricane damage.

The Insurance Information Institute also offers a great resource to help you develop a small business disaster relief plan for your business, which we’ve linked here.

If you fall into any of these categories, and want to learn more about risks you may not know you need to be covered for, let one of our agents help by clicking here.