Real Estate

Construction insurance
Historic Properties, Real Estate, Market Insights, Risk Insight

Construction Insurance in Today’s Growing Market

If you build it, they will come—but don’t forget about adequate liability coverage for new construction! As the construction sector keeps pace with the general real estate market, Distinguished’s senior vice president and program executive, Michael Thabet, weighs in on currents facets of the construction industry and what that means for today’s carriers and insureds. Thabet discusses the importance of having the right type of coverage for different building projects and how newly emerging claims are changing the landscape of this sector. Dive right in and share this Rough Notes article.

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wind damage
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

A Strong Wind Is on the Way

As Bob Dylan says, “A hard rain is gonna fall…” and with it this weekend, a strong wind is gonna blow! The greater New York area is bracing for wind gusts up to 70 mph Friday, according to the National Weather Service, not to mention a coastal flood advisory through Saturday.

Are you ready? Doing a quick property sweep could help protect your building from severe wind damage.

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Real Estate

Alert: New Online Process for NYC Boiler Inspections

Down deep in the basement is the heart of your building that keeps everything going: the boiler! Yearly boiler inspections are the law—and for good reason. But now those annual inspections in New York City must be submitted online. This new process, along with submitting yearly certificate fees, is now the only way to complete a boiler inspection with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB).

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Snowy Sidewalk
Real Estate, Risk Insight

Whitepaper – The Invisible Dangers of a Winter Wonderland

Due to the increased risk of accidental slip-and-fall injuries that occur because of snow and ice along sidewalks, it is important for home and property owners to understand their responsibilities for the sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

While different states have varied laws regarding the time frame for how quickly snow and ice must be removed from the abutting sidewalks of any property, in New York City the laws are some of the least forgiving.

Click here to download Whitepaper

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Brooklyn real estate
Real Estate

Whitepaper – If I Fought the Law, Would the Law Win?

Without a higher limit on their general liability, homeowners could be in for a world of hurt – the kind that affects the wallet.

When it comes to who will be held responsible for accidental or negligent injuries, with regards to a homeowner’s property, the laws can be a tricky thing to navigate. With New York being one of the most litigious states in the entire country, not only is it advantageous for a homeowner to know the laws, their rights, and their responsibilities – it is essential. It is doubly important for the homeowner to then make sure they have coverage that can handle any situation that could lead to personal liability.

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Halloween Pumpkin story
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

A Spooky but True Halloween Story

In honor of Halloween today, we’re re-sharing one of our claims that came in through our City Homes program a while ago.

On a cold, dark night in early November, snow and ice glazed the sidewalks up and down the block. Tired building owners shuffled out at first light to make sure their patches of sidewalk were cleared and salted. All but one, that is. Our insured, who we’ll call Mr. Smith, is the non-resident owner of small apartment building. He decided to sleep in that morning, confident that his son would shovel the sidewalk in his stead. Junior had been out all night and hadn’t woken up to shovel the walk. So when a young woman slipped on that very patch of snow, the only un-cleared area on the block, it didn’t take her lawyer very long to find Mr. Smith’s name and address, and serve him with her medical bills for her torn rotator cuff and spinal injuries.

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labor law
Real Estate

From the Claim Files: Accident Prone in a Brick & Brownstone


We talked with Sally Winsted, owner of a newly renovated Brooklyn brownstone, about the loss of some of her most treasured belongings after an unfortunate fire ravaged her home.

Three years ago, brick & brownstone owner Sally Winsted had an unexpected fire loss. While she was fortunate enough to save her home, she lost some of her most treasured antiques in the blaze. Unfortunately, her personal lines insurance did not adequately cover the cost of the lost items. A hard but important lesson for those who have valuable personal property.

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Market Values
Real Estate

Whitepaper – What Do Increases in Market Values Mean for Homeowners?

The steady market inflation of property tax increases of New York City brownstones could provide some unique opportunities for those who are savvy enough to grab on.

Market values for one, two and three family homes saw an increase of 8.6% citywide…while Brooklyn saw the greatest increase in market value of nearly 18%. This consistent climb in the market is fantastic news if you’re a real-estate broker, but what does this mean for the property owners that already own a home in Brooklyn area? And what does it mean for their insurance values?

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Hurricane harvey's flooding
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Hurricane Harvey May Break Records for Flooding. Be Prepared.

Hurricane Harvey is the first major hurricane to hit Texas since 2008 (Hurricane Ike, category 2). It’s scheduled to make landfall on Saturday and expected to bring enough rain to overwhelm bayous and flood large swathes of land. Texas, particularly Houston, is flood-prone and no stranger to the many scenarios which may occur this weekend, but we have four tips to help you and your insureds in Texas make it through the weekend with slightly less panic.

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water conservation
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Sustainability

Assessing Water Usage on Your Grounds

What if every time you filled a glass of water you threw half of it in your boss’s face? Well, that’d be bad! But that is kinda what happens with most landscaping water systems.

Half the water that is being used to sustain the grounds around your building is being wasted. That’s straight from the horse’s mouth—the EPA, that is. Community associations and other management looking to increase water conservation can target their landscaping areas as an integral place to conserve.

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Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

When the Hoarding Hits the Fan

Hoarding. It can manifest in a few different ways, but the bottom line is clear: It’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The hoarder isn’t the only one at risk here, so are adjacent neighbors, property owners, and community associations.

If a property owner or community association ignores a problem, they could be found liable for failing to take action and maintain a safe environment. If the situation leads to injury of person or damage of property, then the liability is even greater. With fair housing laws in effect, the process of managing a hoarding situation can drag on, so best to start as soon as you get a whiff of the problem.

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preventing legionella
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Managing Risk: Preventing Legionella

Updated July 6, 2017: Recent Cases Underscore Legionella Exposure

Since we originally wrote this article there have been several new cases of Legionella reported where people have died and fell ill. In June, one person died and six became ill in the Lenox Hill neighborhood in New York where investigators are looking into the air-conditioning system for contamination as the source of Legionnaires’ Disease. In another incident, two guests at the Las Vegas Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino contracted Legionnaires’ disease while they were staying at the resort in the months of March and April. Both the hotel and the Southern Nevada Health District were charged with investigating the two cases, remediating the problem and reaching out to past and current guests. They found that Legionella existed throughout the hotel’s water system.

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