New York Earthquake Insurance

New York isn’t often thought of as being particularly earthquake-prone, and it’s true the state is less seismically active than Western regions with more plate boundaries, but, nontheless, large and occasionally damaging earthquakes do occur in the Empire State. In fact, according to Earthquake Track, as of this writing there have been two earthquakes in the past month and four in the past year.

Earthquakes are the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust, creating seismic wave. They can occur anywhere there is sufficient elastic strain stored to drive fracture propagation along a fault line. Typically, the sides of these faults move past each other smoothly, but if there are any irregularities or asperities along a fault surface that increases frictional resistance, the stress can rise enough to break through the asperity, suddenly allowing sliding over the locked part of the fault and subsequently releasing stored energy in the form of tremors and seismic waves.

The strength of the quake is recorded on the Richter scale, with magnitude 3 and lower Richter scale readings being almost imperceptible while magnitude 7 or higher can potentially cause great damage, especially in densely populated areas. Luckily, Kenneth Bieber offers earthquake insurance in addition to our trusted condo insurance. If you live in an earthquake prone area, don’t leave the value of your home up to chance; consider earthquake insurance before it’s too late.

Flood Insurance

business insurance new yorkOne of Brooklyn’s oldest and most beloved bars, Sunny’s was opened in 1890 and has remained a staple of the Brooklyn waterfront in the nearly century and a quarter since. But Sunny’s has been shuttered for the last few months thanks to a one Hurricane Sandy and is even now struggling to secure the funds necessary to reopen.

It’s a story common to Red Hook, which was hit particularly hard in Sandy and saw extensive flooding even several blocks inland. The acclaimed restaurants Fort Defiance and The Good Fork on Van Brunt Street were similarly closed while essential kitchen equipment needed to be replaced. The neighborhood Fairway Market, which is located right on the water, only recently reopened after months of cleaning and replacing flood-damaged equipment and stock.

Unfortunately, it seems likely Hurricane Sandy won’t be remembered as a freak once-in-a-lifetime storm. Many are predicting it could become a recurring risk to Red Hook and other water-bound neighborhoods of New York and New Jersey. If there’s one upside, it’s that Kenneth Bieber offers flood insurance as part of their business insurance in New York options. In addition to our other forms of New York renters insurance, flood insurance will protect you in the event of another Sandy, so you can get back to work or get back to your home as soon and as painlessly as possible.

Insurance Terms 101

new york renters insurance

New York City life is crazy enough as it is, without confusion when it comes to New York renters insurance. The insurance lexicon is vast and can prove overwhelming for those unfamiliar with its various terms, clauses and definitions. That’s why we’ve gathered together all the essential information you need to know in order to make informed decisions when considering policies, premiums and everything in between.

If you’re looking for an introduction to the topic of insurance, make sure you pore over our Insurance FAQ, which provides extensive information on everything from condo insurance to auto insurance. On the other hand, if you’re generally au fait with insurance but searching for an explanation of a particular term, our Insurance and Homebuyers Glossaries are the only resources you’ll need.

Here are some of the top insurance terms you may have heard, but may not quite fully understand:

Indemnity: Benefits of a predetermined amount paid for a loss.

Consideration Clause: Stipulation that states the basis on which an insurer issues an insurance contract.

Utmost Good Faith: The Insured and the Insurer are bound by a good faith of honesty and fairness; all material facts must be disclosed.

Mitigation: In the case of any loss or casualty, the asset owner must attempt to keep loss to a minimum, as if the asset was not insured.

Co-Op Insurance: What You Need to Know

When buying a co-op apartment there is a lot of information to consider before committing to a decision. As a co-op owner, you share the walls, hallways, basement, roof, elevator and walkways. You may also share common services such as lawn mowing, garbage collection, and snowplowing. What gets tricky, however, is the insurance.

A co-op association will have a master policy for the co-op complex, covering the common areas mentioned earlier. In an earlier post, we provided questions to help determine which master policy your co-op association possesses, and what kind of co-op insurance coverage you will need. Your co-op association will have one of three types of master policies:

  • Bare walls: This policy covers the structure, fixtures, and furnishings shared or common areas within the condominium complex.
  • Single entity: This policy covers everything within the bare walls policy, along with certain fixtures inside condo units (e.g., carpeting, cabinets, appliances).
  • All inclusive: This policy is the most extensive as it covers everything in the condo except for personal property the owner brings into the unit (e.g., clothes, bicycles, artwork).

Knowing the master policy of your co-op association is only the first step in making a fully informed decision about the co-op insurance policy you choose. Luckily we can help you determine what kind of coverage, and how much insurance you will need to feel secure at your co-op. Contact us for more information on all your insurance questions, from co-op insurance to New York renter’s insurance. We got you covered.

How to Make a Claim on your Condo Insurance

condo insuranceMaking a claim on your condo insurance may at first seem a little daunting. What are the specifics of the procedure? What documents are required? Who exactly must be approached? We’ve gathered together some pointers that will hopefully put your mind at ease.

If an accident or some other mishap has occurred in your condo, you should contact your condo insurance provider immediately. Bear in mind that you should know the following before making the call:

  • When the incident occurred
  • What exactly happened
  • The location of the property damage and what was damaged
  • If your home is still livable
  • What repairs, if any, are required
  • If you contacted the police or fire department in response to the situation (and the police report number, if so)
  • Your contact information and the best time to reach you
Where repairs are needed, the insured can either use their preferred contractor or have their insurance provider recommend a contractor capable of making the repairs. The deductible will usually then be paid to the contractor/company who repairs the damage.
Once you have made your claim, the insurance payment will follow. If you have a mortgage on your condo, your insurance company may pay you and your mortgage lender up to the limit of your policy. In such a case as where an advance payment was made, this advance payment will be applied to the total payout. Also, your deductible and any applicable depreciation will be deducted from the final payout.

Three Tips to Save on Homeowners Insurance

new york renters insuranceYour home is undoubtedly the most important of all your possessions, and it should be your priority when contemplating what things to get covered. However, homeowners insurance rarely comes cheap, so we’ve come together to offer you some tips on how to save on your homeowners insurance premium if you are feeling the pinch:

Building Materials: If you’re renovating or building a new home and want to take measures to reduce your premium, consider the building materials available. Depending on the materials you opt for, and the environment in which your home is situated, you could save quite a bit. For example, using brick construction rather than a wooden frame structure could save you money if your property is located in an area where earthquakes and hurricanes often occur.

Location, Location, Location: You could save money depending on the exact location of your property. For example, if the house is situated in a safe, quiet area near to your local fire station, then your premium may be lower.

Reevaluate Your Valuables: If you bought additional insurance coverage for your valuables, be sure to keep track of their value and adjust the coverage amount as appropriate. If you neglect to do this, you may end up over-insuring your items.

Get in touch with us today for more tips on optimizing your policy, from homeowners to condo insurance, New York renters insurance, and car insurance.

Shield Yourself from the Cold with New York Renters and Home Insurance

There is nothing like the harsh winds and plummeting temperatures of winter to make you appreciate the warmth and comfort of your own home. But what would you do if you were left out in the cold, literally? Kenneth Bieber has you covered, offering not only home insurance for homeowners but also New York renters insurance.

If Hurricane Sandy taught us New Yorkers anything, it is not to take the safety of your residence and security of your valuables for granted. Dangers which seem unlikely and distant can all too suddenly become a harsh reality. Ensure you shield yourself from the consequences of future unfortunate weather occurrences with New York renters insurance that covers not only temporary housing and liability protection, but also expenses in the event of damages in need of repair.

Eager to get a quote? Then look no further than our secure online quote calculation service, which offers you the opportunity to get a quote without leaving the comfort of your own home, and sparing you the hassle of phone calls. And did we mention we are based in Manhattan? That means we are always on the lookout for you, your family, and your prized possessions–in contrast to giant firms with a sprawling national scope.

Buying from Kenneth Bieber: Travelers! customer might come to the Kenneth Bieber website and be a little bewildered by the range of our products–we offer co-op insurance, renters insurance, and New York car insurance, just to name a few. Kenneth Bieber will not only be the go-between for our customers and the insurance provider, we offer many useful online tools and convenient information that can help a customer make the best choice of insurance. The reason why we are able to offer these products at a suitable rate and arrangement for our customers is simple: we work with some of the best insurance providers in the country, like The Travelers Companies.

Travelers was founded in 1864 in Hartford Connecticut. Like the name says, the company was initially formed to provide travel insurance. Over its long history, Travelers created many industry firsts, such as the first automobile insurance, the first airline policy, and the first space travel insurance. Today, Travelers is an international company with headquarters right here in New York City, covering personal, business and financial sectors handily under its umbrella logo.

In addition to providing peace of mind through many insurance products, Travelers also maintains a philanthropic arm, the Travelers Foundation, mainly in support of developing public education reform, promoting academic success, and representing underrepresented youths in its hometown of Hartford, Connecticut.

Who Pays Insurance During Forclosure?

Foreclosure is not something most home owners want to think about. It means the worst: your home is being taken away from you and your entire life is about to be uprooted. Thankfully, now that the housing crisis is being pushed to the past, fewer Americans are facing the prospect of foreclosure. But what happens to insurance on a foreclosed home?

Perhaps the most obscure aspect of home insurance, insuring an uninhabited, foreclosed upon home, is something that both the lender and the borrower should be versed in. Depending on the situation, the home could sit vacant for years and during that time all types of damage could happen. Generally in these situations, the lender will take out a minimal insurance policy on the lapsed property, though the borrower will have the option of continuing the upkeep on a current policy. The lender will usually bill the borrower for the cost of that policy.

The borrower, even though faced with debt and the costs of relocating to another home, should at this point take out another small insurance policy on the home. While the structure is being taken care of by the bank, any possessions or other goods can be covered by a small third party home insurance policy on the home.

High Value Insurance

Many people with wealth and money have built or purchased homes that reflect their stature.  Even people with lesser or normal incomes try to buy or build the best and most expensive home they can afford. In this process though, many people in North America are chronically under-insured. By shopping around for the best home insurance deals, owners of high value homes may be selling themselevs short. A normal home ownership plan is fine for the quaint 3- bedroom, but won’t be enough for an expensive, mansion. High value plans work much like normal plans, but offer more complete coverage.

  • Higher and fewer limits on personal possessions. High value insurance doesn’t just cover expensive homes but also takes care of the goods and equipment that these homes are likely to contain. Unlike most home insurance policies that set a limit for personal possessions, high value policies usually set a minimum and work up from there.
  • Many policies will also include higher and more complete dwelling rebuild costs. Meaning they aim to completely replace and rebuild a client’s dwelling. Rather than just pay out a set amount of money for the rebuild.
  • Cash payout options. Some high value plans will have an option for a cash payout included in the policy. The insured party will be able to choose between a lump sum, or equity against a rebuild.


Buy Home Insurance From Fireman’s Fund

Kenneth Bieber is an insurance broker, and our job is to get you the best deal possible from insurance companies. We deal with a multitude of insurance providers and have been for years. Our industry connections and working relationships ensure that our customers will get exceptional prices when it comes to buying home or renter’s insurance.

If you prefer, customers will also have a choice of whom to buy their insurance from. Different companies offer different packages and opportunities and it’s important to be educated about who can offer what. For instance, the Fireman’s Fund is a long-standing heritage company with a serious philanthropic cause behind their work.

The Fireman’s Fund offers renter and home insurance at competitive rates, and with comprehensive policies. A substantial portion of the proceeds from the Fireman’s Fund are designated to grants for fire stations and burn organizations around the country. The fund was started in the 1860s when the country’s fire fighting apparatus was in sore shape and needed centralization and funding.

Fire departments are allowed to apply for equipment grants to cover gear that they otherwise would not be able to afford. Think of buying home insurance through the Fireman’s Fund as an investment in public safety.

5 Things you Should Know About Condo Insurance

Condo insurance can be tricky to navigate. the nature of insuring a box within a box can be difficult and legally fraught.  Here are some things to check and keep in mind as you navigate the NY condo insurance world.

  • Check your master policy: Obviously you don’t own the entire complex, but its important to know what you do own. You may own your unit, is it an “all four walls” type of policy? Also, how is the rest of the condo insured. The condo association ought to have some type of commercial coverage on the shared space. If your unit is covered merely “all four walls” then you may need more coverage. If you’re covered “all in” by your condo’s master plans, then you’re in less need of coverage.
  • The association deductible: This is the deductible you will have to pay on your condo if there are damages. It is built into the condo’s master policy.
  • Cash value or replacement coverage: There are two types of coverage for compensation. One being replacement in full and the other providing a cash value sum for your condo. Cash value leaves you with less overall coverage but lower premiums.
  • What are you insuring: You want to insure both the contents of the home and the internal structure, such as the flooring and cabinets.  Try to do both.
  • Flood and Storm: These are two incidents not often covered by insurance. See if you need this type of coverage in your area.

The Basic Components Of Condo Insurance Policies

Your condominium insurance policy has several different sections that will cover you for various reasons so it is actually best that you familiarize yourself with them so that you can have a better understanding of exactly what it is that you have protected and what you will be expected to pay out of pocket. As with the case of any apartment or unit-style housing, there are certain things that will be covered by the building, and many which will not be– such as personal property and liabilities.

You have the lucky position of having the buffer of the building association’s master insurance policy, but that only means you should have a better understanding of what you absolutely need to take care of yourself. The policy should explicitly explain what belongings will be covered and up to what value. Liability and medical obligations are obviously another big one. Injured guests and any negligence of dangerous property under your control need insurance.

The building property section explains what is insured in terms of the physical unit. This will vary based on to what extent your building is willing to be responsible for, as well as for what they must absolutely cover for you. You should be ready to fill in whatever gaps there are.

And, as for loss assessment, this section is unique to condo insurance policies. It protects you from assessments imposed by the condo association for communal areas that exceed the insurance payout. If the association has insufficient coverage for property or liability, it may ask owners for the difference and loss assessment coverage protects you from paying it out of pocket.

This is why you must really review your condo insurance policy today and determine its value.

Co-Op Insurance: Checking Policy Coverage

With co-ops, the key word is sharing. You are responsible for your own living space, but your building is responsible for some of it as well. The reason it gets complicated at all is knowing to what extent your building covers potential problems, and to what amount of your space do you need to have covered with your own co-op insurance policy.

In a condo or co-op you share the walls of your property, the hallways, stairs, elevators, and general building recreational and functional amenities. These will get covered by monthly maintenance fees and association dues. This master policy is only going to cover the common ground between you and your neighbors, not your belongings or the inside of your living space. You, and only you, are expected to maintain the quality and safety of things within your capability. That’s where your personal co-op insurance comes into play.

You should always ask your building association certain things: 1. whether or not they offer “bare walls” coverage for structural and fixture damages; 2. if they have “single entity” coverage for things like carpeting, appliances, and ventilation inside units; and 3. if they offer “all-inclusive” coverage for all things in the condo or co-op minus your furnishings and personal belongings. Whatever they don’t provide you must find in a policy of your own.

You should also be sure to ask if there’s anything you need to be aware of insuring that was not mentioned previously. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


Condo Insurance Tips

So you want to be a proud owner of a condo. You want all the luxuries that come along with the wonderful housing. But life is never that simple, is it? When you own something nice, you want to care for it and protect it. You are going to need some form of condo insurance to guarantee your home is covered.

You will need condo insurance that covers your possessions and structural conditions such as things that need repair or could pose a hazard because they’re outdated. It should also cover additional living expenses in cases of fire, theft, or disaster. And, should someone get hurt on your property you need to have liability coverage in the policy too.

But, along with your coverage the building you live in should have a master policy. Their policy should cover common areas with other tenants, structural concerns within the building itself and potential liabilities outside of your individual living space. Even still, you should ask about certain things when shopping for insurance.

Always check the fine print as to what your insurance policy must pay and what the building association will pay. Don’t assume you can skimp on your own policy because you think the building will help you out. Also, make sure you ask for unit or loss assessment coverage in your policy– this will help you with any tenant shared charges or responsibilities.

In a nutshell, when you own a condo you will want to insure it and protect your assets.



Why Would You Need Renters Insurance?

Image courtesy of phanlop88

Most people consider insurance with the major things they buy– a car or a home, an expensive item meant as investment, etc. But if so many people get car insurance for a leased vehicle, why don’t people do the same for leased apartments? New York renter’s insurance is not mandatory but it is encouraged.

Renter’s insurance will protect your personal items and it also covers temporary housing and liability protection– you can still be sued if someone gets injured on your property (slippery floors from flooding or leaks may be fixed by the landlord but you are responsible for the safety of the property until the problem is resolved). Rentals are a special case because many of the standard problems that come from property damage will be covered by the landlord. New York renter’s insurance will cover things you may not immediately think of, such as living expenses for temporary housing or additional repairs to the apartment or condo you’re renting.

Always check the policy for the fine details– can you opt for actual cash value over replacement cost?  How much of a deductible can you choose to pay per claim? You also may want to check what can be covered that the landlord will not be responsible to fix or replace.

Just because you’re not the “owner” of some property doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cover it with an insurance policy and protect it.

Easy Tips For Finding Insurance Companies

business insurance in New YorkChoosing an insurance company can be a stressful task. You want to be sure that not only do you get a trustworthy company; but that you’re paying a fair price and that you get the right amount of coverage. Here are some tips to help you in your hunt.

It doesn’t matter if you’re getting condo insurance or business insurance in New York or any other state. In fact, every state has a Department of Insurance. They all should have a website with advice and information about insurance, how to file for insurance claims, and what insurance companies have violated consumer rights. They are immensely useful for reference.

When looking for a company, consider the kind of insurance policies you need. Does the company offer more than just one type? Sometimes you can get deals if you sign on for more than one policy with the same company. These package deals will end up saving you money in the long run. And, with that in mind also consider the rates and forms for filing insurance claims. You can compare different company rates to ensure that you’re getting the absolute best deal.

These are just a few of the many ways you can find the right insurance company for your needs.

Welcome to the Kenneth Bieber Insurance Blog

Whether you’re an individual, a family, or a company you need protection when things go awry. That is why you depend on insurance. You deserve the absolute best coverage and personal service, regardless of the type you seek. So many people go without insurance every day and that means they’re vulnerable financially. With insurance you know your bases are covered in case emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances occur.

Kenneth Bieber Inc. has been providing world class protection since 1962. A leader in providing quality auto, home, health, business, and life insurance, you are guaranteed to be covered today and in your future with incomparable dedication. By evaluating your specific needs you will be directed to the appropriate companies represented by Kenneth Bieber, Inc. You will never have to worry about New York car insurance or condo insurance again. Nor any other kind you may need.

And this blog is dedicated to providing you with information to help you make informed decisions. By checking here regularly you will get up-to-date news on insurance and related topics. Why go scouring the internet for questionable material when you can find it all in one hub. Here you will only be getting high quality content intended to help you.