Does my New York home insurance cover vandalism?

Vandalism is a covered peril under the broad and special forms of homeowners’ insurance and dwelling policies. In New York, homeowners’ insurance policies come in several forms. HO-2, HO-3, and HO-5 all cover vandalism on buildings and contents.

A dwelling policy is similar to a homeowner policy, but it is intended for owned property rented to others. Dwelling covers the buildings, but does not have automatic contents coverage.

Apartment contents insurance, HO-4, covers vandalism of contents. Condominium policies, HO-6 and HO-8, are popular in New York City, and both cover vandalism on contents, and to some extent, on the structure of your condo unit.

In order for the coverage to be effective, however, the dwelling must be either occupied or unoccupied, but not vacant. The definition of occupied is obvious, someone is actively living currently in the home.

Unoccupied means furnished, but nobody currently resides there. Summer homes fit this category, or perhaps the owners are on an extended vacation.

If nobody resides in the home as witnessed by no furniture or no utilities, and it has been vacant for sixty days, then the vandalism coverage is voided. Ensuing damage, such as fire, will not be covered either.

Vandalism includes malicious mischief too. The distinction involves intent. Malicious mischief may be simple recklessness without the intent to damage someone else’s property. Vandalism is always the intentional act of damaging other people’s property.

Comparing Home Insurance in New York

Home insurance is an important financial purchase, in that it protects you from financial losses and damages related to your property. However, not all homeowner’s insurance policies are the same. Premiums and rates can vary dramatically between insurers, as can coverage amounts. In New York, it is best to shop multiple carriers to determine who can provide you with the best coverage at the lowest rates.

When comparing home insurance, it is important to first determine the type of coverage you need for your property. Homeowner’s policies typically cover your home either for its market value or its replacement value. Market value represents the amount of money you could reasonably get for your home from a willing buyer. Replacement value is the amount of money it would cost you to completely replace your home.

If you are comparing policies between multiple insurers, be aware that market value will usually result in a lower premium than replacement value policies. However, experts recommend purchasing enough coverage to protect your home for its replacement value, as market values can fluctuate – possibly leaving you financially unprotected in case of a fire or other catastrophic event that results in a total loss of your home.

Geography and Home Insurance

New York’s geographical location could leave your home more prone to damage from hurricanes, winds and hail – especially if you live in the lower state counties. Be sure that any policy you purchase provides you with full protection against these types of hazards. Also, check your insurance company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau to learn of unresolved issues and complaints that other customers have had. For example, following Hurricane Katrina, some insurers refused to renew the insurance policies of some New York homeowners living in coastal regions. If an insurer you are considering has a record of non-renewals, choose another company.

Where Can I Get Home Insurance Coverage in New York if I Have Been Canceled?

If your home insurer cancels or decides not to renew your insurance policy, you may be wondering where you can find coverage for your property. Although insurers in New York have the right to refuse you as a customer if they consider you to be a high risk, it doesn’t mean you are doomed to carry 100 percent of the financial liability for your home and its contents.

As soon as you receive notice of your home insurance cancelation, begin shopping around for policies from other insurers. It is best to begin your search online before narrowing down your options to the most reputable insurers willing to give you a good rate for the coverage you want. Keep in mind that your previous insurer’s decision not to renew your policy doesn’t necessarily mean that other insurers won’t want your business either. Each New York insurance company uses different methods and formulas for determining a policy-holder’s risk factor and premium.

If after shopping around, you still cannot find an insurer to cover your property, you may look to the New York state home insurance pool, which provides coverage to homeowners who cannot otherwise find insurance. The coverage comes at a higher price than that of private insurers, but will protect you in the event of a disaster. In New York, most homeowners who participate in the state home insurance pool are those who live in the lower coastal regions, which are prone to hurricane, wind and hail damage.

Is it safe to shop for New York insurance online

Shopping for insurance online is quick and easy. Most people in New York are busy and they cannot be bothered with going to several insurance companies to compare rates. When you work with an independent agent online, he can compare the rates of many top providers and locate a policy that will meet all of your needs and fit into your budget.

If you are concerned about the safety of shopping for insurance online, you have nothing to worry about. Most people use online sources to shop for insurance and it is the best way to get a good deal. People do not have time to spend hours comparing quotes for insurance coverage, they would rather be out spending time with friends or shopping at the mall. When you find a good deal, you will have peace of mind knowing your belonging are protected.

New York is a great place to live and spend time in the great outdoors. If you want to find a better rate on auto or home insurance, consider using an independent agent to compare quotes online. You can easily check out the reputation of several companies and buy with confidence. Since online companies have less overhead costs, many can offer a much more affordable rate for the same amount of coverage. Go online and get your best insurance quotes today.

In New York, how long does a ticket stay on my insurance

Auto insurance in New York is a necessity if you plan to drive an automobile. Although we all think we are great drivers, sometimes we get in a hurry on the way home from work or we drive too fast when meeting friends for a night out. If you have ever gotten a speeding ticket, you know what a hassle it is. A ticket will usually stay on your insurance for about three years after you are covicted of a moving violation. If you are hoping to save a little money on insurance, contact your independent agent who may be able to help you find a discount on your coverage.

Comparing quotes for auto insurance is the best way to make sure you are not paying too much money. If you have a few tickets on your record, you should shop around for different insurance in January before recent violations will show up on your abstract. Getting pulled over for a traffic violation does not necessarily mean you are guilty. If you plead not guilty – the ticket will not show up on your insurance plan. Of course, the best way to save money, is to drive carefully in the first place.

Contact your independent insurance agent to begin comparing quotes today. You may be surprised how much money you can save by switching to a new company.

Insuring Commercial Vehicles in New York

For many business owners, the road to growth, prosperity, and success depends upon the company vehicle. Whether your company has one business vehicle or a fleet, it’s important to be adequately covered. Even if you drive your own personal vehicle primarily for business, you’ll need to be appropriately insured.

Commercial vehicle insurance pays a benefit based upon policy specifications if your company vehicle is stolen or damaged. It can also help protect your business from liability claims in the event that one of your employees causes injuries or damages while driving the insured vehicle.

Insuring a New York commercial vehicle is similar to insuring a personal vehicle. That is, you need liability coverage, both for property damage and bodily injury. You’ll also need protection for medical costs suffered by the businesses driver and passengers. But keep in mind, that a business vehicle can’t be covered by a personal insurance policy. This is because the risk of driving a business vehicle is typically higher than that of a personal vehicle.

Commercial vehicle insurance requirements vary from state-to-state, but it is required. Unlike many personal vehicle insurance policies, commercial vehicle insurance policies are written in such a way that you can list a number of employees and drivers to be covered under the policy.

The premiums for insuring commercial vehicles vary too, depending on your business, location, drivers driving records, what you commercial vehicles transport, and what security, anti-theft, and safety features the vehicle has installed.

It’s important to discuss what your vehicle will be transporting with your New York insurance agent, particularly if you will be traveling with valuables. You may need additional coverage if you routinely transport expensive items.

How Does Theft Coverage Work in New York?

The United States Department of Justice reports that approximately 20 percent of all homes will experience a break-in, which usually results in theft. New York reported more than 290,000 incidents of theft and larceny in 2010. If your home is the victim of a break-in and thieves take some of your possessions, notify the police and your insurer immediately. Your insurance provider will replace the items according to the coverage in your policy.

To ensure you receive compensation for all of your belongings, make a home inventory as a preventative measure in case of a future robbery. Keep a copy for yourself and give a copy to your insurer. Include serial numbers for your electronics, as well as as pictures of your valuables and copies of any appraisals you may have. Be sure to update your home inventory frequently, and adjust your home’s contents coverage accordingly.

Vehicle theft in New York is still prevalent, despite the common use of anti-theft devices. In 2010, for example, more than 20,000 vehicles were stolen. If your vehicle is stolen or the contents inside it are stolen, your insurer will only provide payment for those theft-related claims if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto policy. To make a claim, you must first report your vehicle missing and get a police report. Provide the report, along with a listing of your vehicle’s contents, to your auto insurer. If your insurance company accepts the claim, you will likely receive a check for your vehicle’s book value.

How to fire-proof your home in New York

Fireproofing your New York home can keep you, your family, your belongings, and house safe in the event of a fire. Follow these tips to fire-proof your home.

  • Clean out the dryer vent. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 15 deaths, 400 injuries, and over 15,000 structure fires occur each year as a result of clothes dryer fires. If possible clean out your dryer lint vent after each load of laundry, or at a minimum clean it out after every five loads. You should also periodically clean out the dryer vent that runs from the dryer to outside.
  • Never overload wires. If you are blowing fuses in your house, that’s a sure sign that you are overloading your wires. You should call a skilled and professional electrician as soon as possible to prevent a fire hazard. It’s also important to never place a higher wattage light bulb than what is called for by a fixture.
  • Use and maintain smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives. Period. Make sure you have one on each floor, and ideally within each bedroom. Change the batteries twice per year, and run a smoke alarm test monthly.
  • Purchase and strategically place fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are a safety appliance that you should have in your New York home. It’s a good idea to have one near the kitchen, a fireplace, and your furnace. Make sure everyone (with the exception of children who are too young) in the family knows where it is located and how to use it.
  • Have an exit plan. When a fire strikes, it may cause confusion and panic. Have a clear plan for your family’s exit in the event of a fire. Discuss and practice the plan ofte

Driving Safely in Snow in New York

Anyone living in New York knows that snow is par for the course during the cold, winter months. Snow can be treacherous when driving. Not only can the road get slippery, but your visibility can be impaired during a snow squall. Fortunately, there are some safety precautions you can take to help you arrive at your destination safely.

  • Prepare you car. Having a great set of snow tires or all-season tires is your first priority to combat the hazards of winter driving. In addition, keep winter driving supplies in your vehicle. These include a snow shovel, ice scraper, gravel (in case you get stuck in the snow), blanket, water, and non-perishable food.
  • Practice safe driving methods. Drive at a speed that is safe for road conditions, which may be well under the speed limit. Leave enough distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you to be able to abruptly stop. These days, most cars have anti-lock brakes, but if you don’t, you’ll need to pump your brakes to avoid skidding. Although it against your natural indications, you should turn into a skid, says Edmunds.com.
  • Stay home. If you do not have to be out on the New York roads during a snow storm, stay home. It’s best to allow the storm to blow through, and give road crews time and space to clear the roads.

Registering a Vehicle in New York

Registering a Vehicle in New YorkResidents of the state of New York who own and operate a motor vehicle are required by state law to register this vehicle with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This law applies to all types of vehicles, including new and used cars, whether purchased from an individual or a dealer. Furthermore, new residents of the state who have their vehicle registered in another state are also required to renew the registration for the vehicle in New York as soon as they move to the state.

If it’s your first time registering your vehicle, you will only be able to register in person at the DMV. However, individuals who are renewing their registration can do so online, by mail or by telephone, in addition to the standard option of registering in person. New residents have up to 30 days after their arrival to officially register their motor vehicles.

For first-time registrations, vehicle owners must act upon the following:

  1. Provide proof of insurance. Note that your insurance must be from a New York auto insurance company. Auto insurance policies from any other state are invalid.
  2. Compile required paperwork. If your vehicle was purchased from a dealership, the dealer should have already sent the required paperwork to the DMV. If you did not purchase your vehicle from a dealership, you will be responsible for providing proof of ownership and Form MV-103 (only for vehicles purchased before December 1994).
  3. Complete an application for registration form.
  4. Provide proof of sales tax paid on the vehicle and proof that your vehicle meets the state-mandated emission standard.
  5. Have proof of identity on hand.

Registration fees will vary depending on a few different factors, including the weight of your vehicle and requirement of specialized license tags. Keep in mind that an initial registration fee will be a higher cost than a renewal. Registering a motorcycle has similar guidelines as those for registering a standard automobile; however, motorcycles are registered for one year only and all must be renewed on April 30th.