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Ask an Expert: Is it normal for co-ops to demand proof of insurance for big deliveries?

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
September 4, 2012 - 2:55PM

Q. My co-op is now demanding that in addition to notification and approval of deliveries of large items such as couches, beds, etc., we must have the retailer and delivery service file proof of insurance documentation with our managing agent prior to delivery.

The time needed to process the documentation with the managing agent would be ridiculous for many deliveries like a simple piece of furniture.

The response we have received is that this is standard protocol for NYC co-ops.

Is this true? Do all co-ops in NYC require their shareholders to request proof of insurance from retail stores and their delivery services?

A. While not necessarily standard, requiring proof of insurance for large deliveries is not uncommon, say our experts.

"All co-ops do not require a certificate, but they should consider it," says property manager Michael Wolfe, president of Midboro Management.

"It is a good practice to have such a requirement," agrees co-op and condo attorney Robert Braverman of Braverman & Associates. "It protects both the co-op corporation and the shareholder receiving the delivery from liability that may arise from damage to property and/or personal injury resulting from the delivery."

(Gil Bloom, vice president of Standard Pest Management, notes that even exterminators are usually required to submit proof of insurance before treating an apartment.)

Many companies are "quite efficient at providing the managing agent with the required information," says Braverman, but this isn't always the case.

"I believe the building's legitimate concern regarding damage can be addressed by limiting the times deliveries are made so that staff can supervise and by the taking of security deposits to cover potential damage," says co-op and condo attorney Dean Roberts of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus.  "One recommendation I make to many clients is to require residents to present a copy of the delivery invoice with the company's name and contact information," so that the building can pursue the company's insurance carrier if there is a problem.

Indeed, points out apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage, if your co-op sued you for damage incurred during the delivery, your renter's, co-op or condo insurance policy "would provide a defense, and should you lose the suit, it would pay the judgment."

All in all though, says Schneider, "it would be better to have the vendor provide coverage."

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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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