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This forum contains 75 topics and 285 replies, and was last updated by  kathleenpeters 44 minutes ago.

Brownstoner July 31, 2013 at 10:53 am

We've Updated Our Spam Protection

Our tech team has made some pretty big updates to combat spam in the Forum.

*One is a plugin that should filter out most of the attempts by spammers to register in the first place.

*Two, Forum users now have the ability to mark spam when they see it. If enough users mark a post as spam, it will automatically disappear.

Very sorry for all the spam lately. We hope this puts a lid on it.

Insurance July 23, 2014 at 8:49 am

Do You Really Need Life Insurance?

Life insurance isn’t just for married couples with children. The need for life insurance is much broader. “Anybody who would experience a financial loss or an emotional loss after a death will need some type of life insurance,” says Marvin Feldman, president and CEO of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education.

Who is it for?
Having dependents of any kind necessitates life insurance. Here are examples:
• Unmarried couples. Unmarried individuals may have a significant other who relies on their support. Life insurance can help provide for them.
• Stay-at-home spouses. Life insurance isn’t just for breadwinners. It can help cover the cost of replacing the services of stay-at-home parents.
• Single parents. These individuals are typically the sole source of support for their children. Life insurance can help provide for children financially should their parent die.
• Singles. Single individuals could be responsible for aging parents or may have significant debt. “Life insurance helps make sure those debts are paid,” Feldman says.
• Retirees. Insurance can help replace income from part-time work, Social Security benefits, pensions or other employer benefits. It helps spouses continue living as they’re accustomed.
• Empty nesters. Older adults may have custody of a grandchild or provide support for other family members. Life insurance may help this care to continue.
• Business owners. Life insurance has many benefits for business owners, such as helping protect family members from taking on a person’s professional debt, or providing funds for survivors to buy out the deceased’s interest.

What can it cover?
Beyond paying for final expenses, loved ones can put these death benefits toward:
• Paying off debt
• Financing an education
• Settling estate taxes
• Contributing to charity
• Creating an inheritance
• Replacing income
• Replacing employer benefits

Are there additional benefits?
Some policies also offer living benefits. Whole policies and universal life policies accumulate value that can be tapped as retirement income or used to help cover unexpected expenses. Universal life policies also may have riders allowing chronically ill policyholders to withdraw the face amount during their lifetimes to help cover long-term care costs or to prepare loved ones financially before passing. Decide which type of policy best suits your needs.

Get a general idea of how much life insurance you might need with this calculator. And for more assistance, contact your State Farm® agent.
Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce the guaranteed death benefit and policy cash value. Loans also accrue interest. – See more at:

Insurance June 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Experience with Brownstone Agency and other Insurance Companies

Hello, I’m looking to switch from Liberty Mutual to a different insurance company, as their prices have gone up by 44% in the last year.
Any recommendations? I am very interested in Brownstone Agency for the competitive price, but heard on Brownstoner that they are not as good when it comes to coverage payments. Any negative experiences with them?

I am not interested in postings by agents who are promoting their own company which has happened regularly with one participant who works with Brownstone. Please, just customer reviews.

Thank you.

Insurance June 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

Condo Building Insurance

We’re a small (4 units) condo building in Fort Greene looking for a new insurance company. Who does everyone use/would you recommend them?


Insurance May 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Homeowners Insurance under a mile form the coast

What companies have people found lately that will provide homeowner’s insurance to a property under a mile from the coast?
Thanks in advance!

Insurance March 24, 2014 at 6:16 pm

updated homeowner's insurance for a co-op

We’re about to pay off the mortgage for our co-op (that is, our personal mortgage, not the underlying building mortgage). I just received the renewal packet for our homeowner’s insurance and realized that it hasn’t been updated for many years, so the replacement value of the co-op is way out of date. Is there anything I should know about updating our insurance policy in light of the fact that our unit will very soon be fully paid off and that our apartment has appreciated considerably in recent years?

Many thanks!

Insurance February 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

State Farm Insurance

Hi – Does anyone have a State Farm Insurance agent/office (other than Alan Wheeler) that they are happy with? We need to stay with State Farm, but want to switch offices. We are in a wood frame house, so most other firms won’t insure us or I would look in to other companies again.


Insurance January 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Construction Insurance?

Hi all,

My husband and I just closed on limestone and we’re in the process of restoring it. It should take about 6 months. We need insurance. We’re estimating two more months of vacancy, (hopefully) 4 months of construction, and then we move in.

Should we bother with construction insurance?

Our architect says “no one” does. We have an insanely expensive quote from Chubb on the table, and according to this forum, they’re the only company that actually pays out if anything happens.

At the same time, we spent A MILLION DOLLARS on a house and want to make sure it’s safe. Is forgoing construction insurance penny-wise and pound-foolish? Has anyone had “normal” insurance, had a problem with construction, and everything worked out just fine?

Insurance January 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Insurance companies, close to water…

I live in Sheepshead bay, <1000′ from the water, I have had state farm for 9 years till then stopped covering in the area, switched to Castlepoint but its hit tough times after Sandy and I am again looking to switch. Seems no one but Kingston or Adirondack will cover me. I cant find review about those online…

Does anyone insure with either? any feedback?


Insurance January 14, 2014 at 11:35 am

Property insurance

We are about to renew our property insurance and was wondering if someone could help me figure out if our premium is reasonable. The house is a brownstone, 4-family, and sprinkler system in place. Our premium is $5,800; is this reasonable.
Thank you

Insurance September 29, 2013 at 10:35 am

Distinguished Programs and AIG Private Client Group Homeowners Insurance

Does anyone have experience with either Distinguished Programs Brick and Brownstone or AIG Private Client Group (Chartis) homeowners insurance? Any recommendations between the two?

Insurance September 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Water & Sewer line insurance

Early in the Spring, I (and lots of other homeowners) was offered an insurance policy to cover damage and leaks from the water/sewer lines that run from the street into my Manhattan townhouse. The offer came from the NYC DEP, which had teamed up with company called American Water Resources (AWR). The cost was something like $12/month, added automatically to my water bill. Since the pipes entering my building were pretty ancient I decided to go for the insurance.

Really glad I did! A month ago a small water leak started bubbling up on the other side of the street. Some DEP guys came by to listen to the incoming water pipes in the basements of all nearby buildings. I assumed that since the water line and the leak were on the other side of the street, the problem was not with my pipe. I was wrong. They put the listening device to my ear and I could clearly hear a torrent of water coming from my incoming pipe. They gave me an official piece of paper called a “3-Day Notice” requiring me to make the repairs within that time frame. I called the insurer AWR and they had a plumber at the scene within a couple of hours. The repair was done the following day. It involved closing the street for most of the day. I was told that the cost was low 5 figures, none of which I to pay. I don’t usually go out of my way to recommend services or products, but these guys definitely earned my respect. The DEC web site has info. here:

Insurance August 13, 2013 at 7:56 am

Looking for an insurance co. that will insure a mixed use building with a bar

I have having a hard time finding an insurance company that is willing to insure a mixed use building with a bar. Most refuse to insure the building if it has a bar or a restaurant.

Any recs?

Thanks in advance.

Insurance June 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

have concerns about my homeowners insurance

I’m renewing my policy with Brownstoners.  I have a brownstone, one half of which I occupy and one half  is rented.  I have some concerns about the renewal:  (1) the premium is $7500. for 3 years, and if I pay a year at a time, the interest rate (finance charge) is 10.9% per year.  This seems high.  (2) my building is insured for 1 million.  My deductible has been set at $2,500.  Again, this seems high.  I will have to pay several hundred extra per annum to bring the deductible down.  My questions are:  Is the finance charge legal, and, is the deductible out of the norm?  Thanks for any comments.

Insurance June 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Brownstone Agency switching insurance companies?

Just got a letter saying Brownstone Agency is terminating its relationship with Everest National Insurance, and switching to Aspen American Insurance. Anyone else already receive this? Did your premiums go up in the switch? 

Insurance April 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Looking for Home Insurance Co. that Doesn’t Require Garden Level Bars to be Swing Away??

Hi All,
Checked past threads on this issue and we are in a similar situation as many on this site.  We are a new policy with State Farm for a brownstone in Bed-Stuy.  They just called telling us we need to change the garden level, front window bars to swing away.  Even though this room is not a bedroom and the back windows do not have bars at all, they are still requiring it.  Can anyone recommend a carrier that does not require this modification?  Thanks in advance!

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