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Christmas tree fires and package theft are just a couple of reasons you need apartment insurance during the holidays

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Whether you’re spending the holidays in your New York City apartment or heading out of town, there are some excellent reasons to make sure your renters, co-op or condo insurance is in good standing, says New York City apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage

Consider these holiday-related insurance claims:

1.    Christmas tree fires

“Fire damage is usually the least of the problems,” says Schneider. “The bigger issue is the water damage from when the fire department puts out the fire. It ruins wood floors and often travels down into the neighbor’s apartment.”

The average claim amount for a Christmas tree fire is $2,500-$10,000, says Schneider, with some reaching into the six-figures.  Your insurance will cover everything if you’re at fault—or if the tree of your uninsured neighbor catches fire and damages your apartment.

2.    Package theft    

If the brand new iMac you ordered for your daughter vanishes from the package room before reaching your apartment, your apartment insurance will cover it.

“Apartment insurance covers theft and presumed thefts, though the deductible does apply,” says Schneider. He also suggests checking whether your credit card company covers loss of items charged to card.

3.    Entertaining

Accidents can and do happen when you cram dozens of people into a NYC apartment and ply them with alcohol. 

“If someone falls and hurts themselves in your apartment after having a few too many drinks, your apartment insurance will cover you as the host so long as the event is social, not business, and you’re not operating a cash bar,” says Schneider.

The same is true if an inebriated guest gets behind the wheel of a car and plows into a Citibike stand. Or if your teetotaling aunt trips over your carpet and chips a tooth.

4.    Travel

If you opt to leave town for the holidays and hand your apartment over to your dog sitter, your insurance will cover any mishaps--from bathtub overflows to an unattended candle that starts a fire.  (Note: If you’re subletting your place for more than a few days, be sure to notify your insurance company, otherwise you may very well not be covered.)

While on the road, if you or your airline loses your luggage or your skis, this is generally treated as a theft and is covered by your policy as long as you have off-premises theft coverage.  

"However, loss in the sense of misplacement, like dropping your camera overboard on a cruise, is typically not covered unless you have specific insurance for the item or a broader overall policy," says Schneider.


Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc., an insurance brokerage, has been serving NYC renters, co-op and condo owners for over 45 years. For a free quote, click on over to Gotham Brokerage or give them a call at 212-406-7300. 

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