As the inspiration for hundreds of songs, movies and art, there’s a reason why so many people call New York City the greatest city in the world (its even been named one of the best cities to buy a vacation home and the most pet-friendly city in New York). From the iconic yellow taxi cabs driving through the streets to the fervor of fans watching the Yankees swing for the fences and the more than 800 languages spoken in the most linguistically diverse city in the world, to call New York City a hub for creativity and culture is an understatement.
We believe that the greatest city in the world deserves great home insurance. So to make sure you know where to start, we’ve compiled a list of things New Yorkers need to know about getting home insurance coverage.
The average home insurance premium in New York City is about $1,045, coming in at $426 less than the New York state home insurance premium of $1,471 and well below the national average of $1,200. Though an overwhelming number of people living in the Big Apple rent rather than own — only about a third of New Yorkers own their homes — those who do decide to invest in real estate in the city, can insure it for a reasonable rate.
The highest insurance premiums in NYC are clustered around Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood — the average rate there is a whopping $3,164. This results from high home values in the area, which escalates the price to insure them.
In general, rates will vary by borough, but also by neighborhood. While someone investing in pricy Upper East Side real estate will pay more to insure their home, someone living in the Tribeca or SoHo neighborhoods of Manhattan can expect to pay about $1,000 less on average to insure their home.
Since most homes in New York City are rented, home insurance will never be a concern for most people. In fact, home insurance isn’t even required in the state of New York.
But sometimes, just because things aren’t required doesn’t mean they aren’t a necessity. Sure, you don’t have to put schmear on your bagel. But just like every New Yorker will tell you that the topping is pretty much a must, many mortgage lenders will require proof of home insurance to dole out the cash you need to purchase your home. Because of extreme weather incidents and high crime rates in NYC, mortgage lenders want to ensure their investment is protected, just like you will.
A typical home insurance policy will cover three main things: dwelling, personal property and personal liability. So if Peter Parker decides to follow his Spidey Senses and fight crime near your apartment, you’ll be covered in case your building becomes collateral damage.
Dwelling insurance covers your home you live in and any additional structures on your property like sheds and fences. Property insurance covers your belongings, and personal liability covers accidental damage on your property or any accidental damage you cause on someone else’s property (so we sure hope Spider-Man has personal liability coverage).
Chances are you won’t run into Spider-Man as a New Yorker, but you’ll still likely want to consider additional home insurance riders and coverage options.
Being located on the coast as a rare archipelago found on the US mainland, New Yorkers may be subject to extreme weather like floods or tropical storms. New Yorkers may also experience harsh winter weather like blizzards and freezes. So in the event your home is damaged by one of these weather conditions, you may want to have windstorm, flood or catastrophe insurance handy to make sure you’re covered.
New York City is also enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which aims to provide floor insurance to home and property owners. This can help in the event you find yourself under water.
And with a reported 90,000 packages per day disappearing from New York stoops, New Yorkers also have porch pirates to contend with. While these are usually covered by theft protection, you may want to consider insurance riders for valuable items inside of your home.
With such a high cost of living, New Yorkers may be interested in lowering their home insurance premium. Luckily, there are a few ways to find a good deal and get a discount on your premium.
Firstly, safeguard your home against the New York weather. Though there are songs about the beauty of New York during the holiday season, a burst pipe or overworked heating unit might take some of that magic away. Winterizing your home can help relieve stress while also getting you a better deal on your home insurance.
You can lower your premium even further by asking for a discount, offering to raise your deductible and installing preventative devices like smart home systems, fire extinguishers or smoke detectors. Saving money while making your home safer? That makes more sense than seeing a cat at a bodega.
Just because you’re settling down in the City That Never Sleeps doesn’t mean you can’t rest easy knowing you’ll be supported in the event of an emergency. That’s why Hippo and New Yorkers go together like a hot dog and a Yankees game — keep an eye out for our home insurance launch in your city.