Building valuations in NY

2 Replies

I have a single family rental home in the Albany area. 6,000 sq.ft. joisted masonry, built in 1900, assessed at $140K. Not a slum, but certainly not a mansion. My insurance policy is up for renewal, and my (new) broker just came back to me with an insanely high premium. Almost 3x higher than last year despite no losses.

The reason for the higher premium: the underwriter's new "e2value system" values joisted masonry at $165/sq. ft. So this humble investment property is worth over $900K in the underwriter's eyes.

I'm used to seeing valuations of $65/$75 per square foot in FL, but this guy claims $150-$300 per square foot is the standard in NY. Am I getting fleeced?

Are they looking at replacement or reproduction costs? I have found that our insurance brokers are now requiring reproduction costs on masonry buildings, where we used to get away with replacement. For reference (a two story row brick row building that is approximately 3,000 SF requires $550k in coverage for the building alone from my carrier).

From experience having a masonry building of similar age burn down before... Make sure your insurance policy has adequate coverage covering demolition and removal of any debris (including potential hazardous materials (asbestos, lead, etc). In our case, dumping fees were 10 fold higher because of the possibility of asbestos somewhere in the pile of rubble.

Britt Abbey

    ask for a cash value policy, that's what I always use. If you want pm me and I'll give you my agents info.

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