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The New York home insurers' market is a very competitive one, and has been so for many years. According to the New York State Insurance Department, nearly 200 insurers currently write home insurance policies in New York, generating over $2 billion in annual premium.
Our homes represent the largest investment most of us will ever make. Home and property loss can be devastating and unexpected, so it is vitally important to hold sufficient coverage to help ease any economic and emotional hardship this could bring you and your family.
Choosing Your Home Insurance Policy
New York home insurance policies are sold on either a monoline basis or as a package policy. A monoline policy contains coverage of only one type, while a package policy includes several different types. Package policies are generally less expensive than those purchased separately; New York homeowner's and tenant's policies are sold in packages that protect against liability, property, theft, and medical payments.
Available homeowner's policies in New York include:
How Much to Buy
Determining the type and amount of New York home insurance coverage you need takes a thorough analysis of several factors. These factors include your home's construction materials, its age, and the personal property contained within, as well as your monthly finances and budget.
You should buy just enough New York home insurance to provide adequate coverage in case of a loss, but not so much that you cannot afford to pay your premium. Talk to a New York home insurer to determine the amount of coverage you need.
Selecting an Insurance Agent/Company
Becoming informed on how to select a knowledgeable New York home insurance agent is one of the best ways to ensure your family's future security and safety.
When selecting a New York home insurance agent or company, choose one that is state licensed. This should ensure its expertise.
Comparison shop to make sure you get the most coverage for your money. Check a company's rating on the Internet or at your local library through firms such as A.M. Best, Standard & Poor's, Weiss Ratings Inc., or Duff & Phelps. These ratings services provide you with the company's history, financial stability and customer service scores.
There are two methods New York home insurance companies use to settle your homeowner's insurance claim. The method used determines the amount you pay in premiums and the amount you receive in the event of a claim.
One technique is insuring for your home's actual cash value. This pays you for the replacement cost of your home minus its depreciation. This means you are reimbursed what your property was worth immediately before your loss.
Another technique is insuring against your home's replacement cost. In this case, you are paid what it would cost to rebuild or replace your home using similar materials, up to the limits of your policy. This method pays you more because there is no deduction for depreciation. However, it requires insuring your home for at least 80 percent of its replacement value.
New York law states that a homeowner's insurance company may cancel your New York home insurance policy during the first 60 days it is in effect. However, your insurance company must provide the specific reason or reasons for the cancellation in order to do so.
After your policy has been in effect for 60 days, it may be cancelled or nonrenewed for the following reasons only during the remainder of the first three years:
Your New York home insurance company may again refuse to renew your policy after the first three years; they must, however, provide you with at least 45-60 days written notice of nonrenewal.
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