Monday, August 20, 2007

Brooklyn Homeowners Can't Get Insurance

Brooklyn Hurricane Flooding Map

What's it like trying to get homeowner's insurance in Brooklyn? Check out this bit of frustrating insanity circulating in the South Slope Community Group email stream:
Allstate is canceling my home owners insurance next month because they say we live in a “flood zone” since we live less than a mile from the coast. I’ve been shopping for a new policy.

Here is the latest news:

I called GEICO since I have auto insurance with them and they recently asked me to switch to them for home owners. They recently “stopped all home owners insurance in the 718 area code”. I called the Liberty Mutual agent...Their agent says that Liberty Mutual has also started using the one mile limit. So we got rejected for the same “flood zone”... Tri State Insurance uses a 2,000 feet from the shoreline rule so we are in a “good location” BUT they will not insure any building built before 1900. The city lists our house as being built in 1899.

State Farm says our location is good BUT our house is partially wood and partially brick. They won’t insure wooden houses. I am arguing that since most of our building is brick it should be okay. They say that they might consider it.

Tower might consider us but they are twice as expensive as All State or State Farm...
Some of the trouble, of course, stems from Brooklyn's vulnerability if (when) a major hurricane hits New York City.

9 Comments:

Blogger surfkook said...

I live on Metropolitan and Manhattan in Williamsburg at the top of the hill and we were cancelled too. We're not even in the flood zone! We ended up with Tri-State, even though I think our frame and brick place was built in 1899. What a joke!

8:23 AM  
Anonymous jukeboxgraduate said...

Renter's insurance is equally bad. I moved from the LES to Greenpoint, and my renter's insurance went WAY up. I couldn't believe it. I keep thinking that I need to get my insurance through someone local, but have been scared to try to move it. I am surprised that my carrier has not cancelled it, given what was written here - ESPECIALLY since we are on the border of what NYC considers the flood zone.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Brklynstories said...

Consider yourself lucky about Allstate. A good friend of mine used to do litigation for them and said that they try as much as possible to never pay money that is owed to their clients. Don't know about State Farm.

Try Nationwide insurance. They seem to be good on paying up on claims, but then, I also haven't checked with them since the tornado came through Brooklyn.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the map you provide...Thinking of NYC as an hourglass with Brooklyn the top half and Staten Island the bottom. Now imagine a hurricane on it's way with a forced evacuation. Imagine the Verrazono Bridge the only passage in the middle for all those tiny "grains" trying to pass through!

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the very same problem with Allstate 11 years ago when I tried to get insurance for the new house I was buying. There had been some bad storms a couple of weeks before, and apparently they'd issued some sort of a moratorium on new policies in Brooklyn because of it. My real estate lawyer told me about these folks, http://www.brownstoneagency.com/ and I've been insured with them ever since. Ask for Christopher Lehman!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberty Mutual (who insured me through a renter's policy in the Columbia Waterfront District 2 blocks from the water and 10 feet above sea level - a clear flood zone) wouldn't insure my new co-op three blocks back from the Promenade up in Brooklyn Heights - 100 feet above the East River.

Try Travelers.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

This is great news for the vast majority of Brooklynites. The inability to cover a property with insurance will certainly drive real estate values--and therefore rents--down, something just about all of us (except for the very, very fortunate) can cheer about.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

insurance has been a major pita for us over the past few years...companies cancelling for all sorts of stuid excuses

bob ur a moron
that mentality will keep you a poor renter for the rest of your life

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've got MetLife renters. Live in CG. Renewal comes up in November. Have been there 4 years. no issues. YET.

3:44 PM  

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