As many Long Island residents know, obtaining homeowners insurance can be challenging depending on where a house is located. Generally speaking, many of the heavily advertised carriers (e.g. Allstate, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual) will not write policies for houses located within a mile of the north and south shore, or east of Riverhead on Long Island. In fact, many people have even been dropped by the household name carriers without having suffered any prior losses.
The first reaction a consumer has when they are dropped from, or declined a policy quote with these carriers is, “But my home has never flooded!” One has to remember that homeowners insurance does not respond to tidal flood losses caused by events such as Superstorm Sandy. That’s what flood insurance is for, and is a separate policy all together. The reason why these coastal homeowners are dropped or declined is because of the wind exposure…not the water exposure. The closer a home is to the coastline, the greater chance of windstorm losses from non-hurricane events such as Nor’easters. Examples of these windstorm-related losses include (but are not limited to):
-Roof shingles blowing off, which leads to indirect rain water damage
-Trees being blown over, which damages/destroys the property they land on
-Siding blown off, which leads to indirect rain water damage
With well over a hundred carriers in writing homeowners insurance in New York, several of them are writing policies for coastal Long Island homes. The trick is getting access to them, as 95% of all the companies in NY do not advertise on TV. That’s where insurance brokers come in…the sales force for these companies.
Since brokers work for the homeowner and not for the insurance company, more often than not, an insurance broker can find a homeowner a policy that offers good coverage, and at a competitive price. And since brokers typically have access to multiple carriers, there’s no need to contact more than two for your shopping needs due to carrier access overlap. Just understand that while price is definitely important, the biggest concern a consumer should have is making sure the broker properly underwrites the policy quote for sufficient coverage on the dwelling should a loss occur.
For more information on obtaining a policy for your coastal home on Long Island, contact an insurance broker.