Holiday Insurance Tip to Help You and Your Belongings Survive the Season

Most NYC renters don't have adequate insurance coverage

Dec 09, 2010, 08:25 ET from Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.

NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Christmas tree fires, which can tear through an apartment; burglaries, which spike when gifts are under the tree; and improper fireplace use can turn the most wonderful time of the year into a nightmare.

In New York City, where most residents live in apartments, condos and co-ops, 60 to 80 percent may not have renters insurance to cover fire damages or theft losses. Renters are not typically covered by their landlord's insurance policy. The costs of a quick break-in or small holiday fire can add up quickly: a shiny new iPhone4, a MacBook Pro, a 52" HDTV and a decent shoe collection can easily add up to $25,000 to $50,000 or more.

"A holiday home or apartment fire is devastating," said Jeffery Schneider, president of Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc., a New York insurance brokerage. "Without the right coverage, tenants lose everything."

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heaters and radiators ignite 26 percent of Christmas tree fires. Decorative lights spark 23 percent of such fires, and burning candles account for another 14 percent.

Add in cooking-related fires, which can cause extensive smoke damage, and other mishaps and the holidays can be downright hazardous. "We have people trying to start wood fires in gas fireplaces every year," Schneider said. "Or the flue is shut and smoke fills the apartment or they incinerate the turkey."

Beyond replacement of valuable goods, a renter's insurance policy defrays the cost of other lodging if fire or smoke damage make the apartment uninhabitable.

Best of all, renters insurance is surprisingly affordable and makes a good gift for those folks who have great stuff but don't protect it.

"For less than the cost of a latte a day, renters can insure their personal belongings and protect themselves against potential liability claims," says Schneider. "The small investment can pay off handsomely if something goes wrong."

About Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.

Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc., is a family-owned business that's served the five boroughs for more than 50 years. The company also provides insurance policies in Connecticut and New Jersey. Go to for more information.

CONTACT: Jeff Schneider, President and CEO

PHONE: 212-406-7300


SOURCE Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.