Chubb Fills N.Y Condo and Co-op Insurance Gaps

October 17, 2005

The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has rolled out insurance packages for the owners of luxury condo and co-op apartments in New York. The policies address coverage gaps created by building associations reducing their commercial insurance limits and increasing their deductibles during the last few years.

Masterpiece Condominium Preference and Masterpiece Cooperative Preference provide high limits of property and liability insurance coverage. They include $100,000 in coverage for assessments to all unit owners for incidents that may not be adequately addressed by a building association or its master insurance policy. Separate $10,000 limits apply for assessments resulting from deductibles under the association’s policy.

“Rising property insurance costs have led building associations to purchase higher deductibles and/or reduced limits of coverage, enlarging the gap between their policies and those of unit owners,” said Daniel McCabe, vice president of Chubb & Son and national marketing manager for Chubb Personal Insurance.

He said Masterpiece Condo and Co-op Preference provide unit owners with greater coverage than standard insurance policies for property and liability losses that occur within their residential units.

McCabe explained that while many condo and co-op owners tend to focus on insuring their furnishings and other personal belongings, they should also be concerned about their responsibility under a master deed to pay for repairing damage to interior portions of their units. This often includes kitchen cabinetry and appliances, bathroom fixtures, flooring, interior walls, ceilings, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, windows and exterior doors. Owners also should realize that their association may assess them for uninsured or underinsured property or liability losses that occur in common areas.

Preference, which also is available in Illinois, is Chubb’s latest offering in the condo and co-op insurance marketplace. Masterpiece Deluxe Condo and Masterpiece Deluxe Co-op, introduced in the mid-1980s, helped Chubb to become one of the top insurers of condominiums and cooperatives. Although the Deluxe policies continue to provide more coverage than many standard industry policies, Preference offers even higher limits and added coverages. Like Masterpiece Deluxe, additions and alterations extended replacement cost coverage is available for eligible New York residences.

Preference includes $25,000 in jewelry coverage, $50,000 in fine arts coverage and $25,000 in silver coverage, written on either a blanket or itemized basis. Other features include $10,000 for off-premises electronic data processing equipment and $10,000 for electronic data restoration, which respond to the theft of laptop computers and personal digital assistants as well as corruption of personal data due to computer viruses. Separate limits of $2,500 are included for both lock replacement and fire department charges.

“Preference is not only very broad,” said McCabe, “but it also is cost effective. If you were to buy all of these coverages separately, it could cost an additional 15 percent in premium.”

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