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With New York City rents at a new high, and broker fees still a concern for the moment, many renters are understandably reluctant to add yet another expense in the form of renters’ insurance. However, it may be more costly to go without, as residents of 555TEN saw firsthand: Not only did a crane collapse at a construction site across the street cause damage to the building’s rooftop pool and sun deck, but multiple units were rendered unlivable. Next-door neighbor The Victory also sustained damage, but it is unclear whether that was to the extent of the $82,812,682.72 reported by 555TEN. This was undoubtedly an unpleasant experience, one that would be made all the worse without renter's insurance.
This article looks at when, why, and how to purchase renters’ insurance, as well as a selection of newly launched and forthcoming rental buildings throughout New York City, including the rental where the crane collapsed. More likely than not, these will have clauses requiring their tenants to have renters’ insurance.

In this article:

Riverwalk Heights, 430 Main Street
Riverwalk Heights, 430 Main Street Roosevelt Island
The Maybury, 550 Tenth Avenue
The Maybury, 550 Tenth Avenue Midtown West
18 West 55th Street
18 West 55th Street Midtown West
Facebook/New York City Fire Department (FDNY) The interior of 555Ten following a crane collapse next door. (

Why and When to Purchase Renters Insurance


Years before the crane collapse, a Washington Heights walk-up suffered a massive fire after a toaster malfunctioned in January 2018. The Washington Heights fire wasn’t just any fire—it took more than 200 firefighters and seven hours to get the blaze under control. A year later, one former tenant, Zachary Kussin, a real estate reporter for the New York Post, wrote about the fire and its aftermath. Kussin owned a modest $300,000 home in the building and had insurance, which is required for owners, but some of his neighbors, including several families living in rent-stabilized units, did not have insurance. For them, the past year has been a different story.


One of Kussin’s neighbors, who had spent the previous 38 years living in a rent-stabilized two-bedroom unit in the building, lost 90 percent of her belongings to water damage. After the fire, she was first moved, along with her daughter and mother, to a Days Inn in Long Island City. Eventually, she was moved to a single-room-occupancy building in Harlem—care of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Without renters insurance, Kussin’s neighbor had been just a step away from homeless. Lack of access to a kitchen meant burning through about $75 a day on takeout food, and spending another $224/month on storage for the few belongings she did manage to salvage from the fire. It is no wonder Kussin concludes his article with firm advice for renters: get insurance.

Major disasters have a way of calling attention to the need for renters’ insurance, but they are not the only reasons to get it. Of the thousands of structural fire calls the FDNY receives each month, many affect rental units. Moreover, as many renters experienced firsthand following Hurricanes Sandy and Ida, not to mention Tropical Storm Ophelia last fall, water can do as much damage as fire. Bear in mind, though, that you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy because floods are generally excluded from homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies.
Insurance Photo via Flickr cc

How to Select a Renters Insurance Policy


To begin, when you purchase renters insurance, you’re purchasing insurance to cover the belongings inside your home only. The building owner also must have insurance—their insurance covers the actual structure, including any appliances, but it will not cover your belongings. The good news is that because you’re just covering your belongings and the not the actual structure, renters insurance is remarkably inexpensive. In fact, you might be able to purchase renters insurance for less than $20 monthly.


What Your Renters Insurance Will Cover and Under What Conditions


Generally, renters insurance only covers belongings in your home (clothing, art, electronics, furniture and so on). While $50,000 may be adequate, some renters will opt for a policy that covers much more. In most cases, however, unless you have a valuable art collection, a policy in the $50,000 to $100,000 range should be adequate. In addition, some policies cover liability. This means that if someone is injured in your home, they can’t sue you. Finally, many renters insurance policies cover additional living expenses (e.g., a place to stay in the event that your home is no longer inhabitable after a fire or other insurable event).


Also bear in mind that there are specific “events” under which renters insurance is applicable. Most renters insurance policies, commonly known as HO-4 policies, cover the loss or destruction of personal belongings from 16 specific events: fire or lightning; windstorm or hail; explosion; riot or civil commotion; aircraft; vehicles; smoke; vandalism or malicious mischief; theft; volcanic eruption; falling object; weight of ice, snow, or sleet; accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam; sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or building; freezing; and the sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current. It is important to note that renters insurance does not generally cover earthquake or flood damage; if you live in an area at risk for flooding, you may want to purchase a separate policy.


Explore Providers


Most insurance companies offer renters insurance, and as already noted, it can be remarkably inexpensive. Also, unlike many other types of insurance, you can typically purchase renters insurance online without any home visit or inspection.


Find Out If You Qualify for Bundled Insurance


If you already have another form of insurance—specifically, auto insurance—you can likely bundle your renters insurance. Depending on your provider and the amount of renters insurance you wish to purchase, this may cost little as $15 per month.


How to Access Your Renters Insurance When Needed


Hopefully, you’ll never need to use your insurance, but if you do, a few things to bear in mind. First, before disaster strikes, create a detailed list of all the items in your home—the more detailed the better. If you have any big ticket items (expensive items of furniture or art, ensure you have a digital record of the receipts and appraisals for these items). Second, contact your insurer as soon as possible—the process can take time. Third, be aware of your policy’s specific terms. Depending on the policy, you’ll either receive a payment for the replacement value of the item or items you’ve lost or a payment based on the actual cash value of your belongings (e.g., if you have a television set that is a decade old, you’ll only be insured for the value of a decade-old television set and not a new one).

While New Yorkers may not require renters insurance due to volcanic eruptions, there are many other conditions under which insurance may be required. Given the low cost of purchasing a renters insurance policy and high cost of replacing one’s personal items if and when a fire, theft or other insurable event occurs, every renter should treat renters insurance as a necessity rather than option.

Now Leasing
430 Main Street, Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Heights (Related)
Corner living room
Amenity terrace
At 28 stories high, Riverwalk Heights is the tallest building on Roosevelt Island and the culmination of the Riverwalk master plan. 104 of the 357 residents have been set aside for employees of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center almost directly across the East River; they, like all residents, enjoy close proximity to the Roosevelt Island tram and ferry terminal.

Tower Residences start on the eleventh floor, the better to make the most of vistas of the East River, the iconic Manhattan skyline, and the emerging Queens skyline. All interiors feature keyless entry, light wood and natural stone finishes, open kitchens with Fisher & Paykel appliances, primary baths with dual vanities and walk-in showers, and LG stacked washer/dryers.

The Atmosphere amenity area at the top of the building includes a residents’ lounge, reservable dining and VR game rooms, a club room with bar and billiards, a coworking space with conference rooms, and terrace gardens and sun decks with grills and dining areas. Further down, amenity offerings include a fitness center with yoga studio, a basketball court, and a children’s playroom. Moreover, conveniences like personal storage, bike storage, and a dog washing station further streamline life in the building.

275 Lorimer Street Lorimer House (Nooklyn LLC)
Living room and open kitchen
Lobby with courtyard access
In the heart of East Williamsburg, this massive development was designed by ODA was designed to unite “both indoors and out.” The 270-unit Lorimer House and the 66-unit Copper Lofts collection are connected through an elevated bridge to create one cohesive development, and both buildings open up to interior courtyards. They also enjoy excellent proximity to Sternberg Park, popular restaurants and nightlife, the Lorimer Street J/M trains, and the Broadway G train.

All interiors at Lorimer House feature feature floor-to-ceiling windows, interiors by Durukan Design, modern kitchens with quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances, sleek baths with custom vanities, custom closets, and in-unit laundry. An extensive amenity package includes an attended lobby and mailroom, a coworking lounge with conference room, a fitness center, reading rooms, a first-floor courtyard, an eighth-story social terrace, a roof terrace with outdoor kitchen and dog run, and on-site parking with a car elevator.

The Copper Lofts component offers an intimate, boutique-like living experience along with high-end interiors. Not only do residents have access to an exclusive amenity package that includes a reading room and fitness center, but they can access the larger amenity package at Lorimer House.

4 availabilities from $3,100
Up to 2 months free rent on a 14-month lease

Aerial view of 1100 Myrtle Avenue The MC (Corcoran New Development)
Open kitchen with integrated appliances
Residents' lounge with pool table
At the intersection of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick, and in close proximity to popular restaurants and nightlife in both neighborhoods, The MC is not the tallest new building to take shape. However, it is one of the more eye-catching with its rippling glass wall and masonry-inspired facade. All interiors feature oversized windows, soaring ceilings, LED lighting, chef-inspired kitchens with Blomberg appliances, spa-like baths, smart thermostats, keyless entry, and in-unit laundry.

Select units have private balconies or garden patios, and all residents have access to the building’s second-floor terrace and roof deck with sunbathing, grilling, dining, and coworking areas. Indoor amenity offerings include an attended lobby, package room, library, media lounge, game room, party room with catering kitchen, fitness center, and dog run. The building offers bike storage and an indoor parking garage with electric vehicle chargers, but it is around the corner from the Myrtle Avenue J/Z/M trains.

10 availabilities from $3,140
Up to 2 months free rent on a 14-month lease

92-29 Guy R Brewer Boulevard The Monarch (MNS)
Living room
Sky Lounge with terrace access
The Long Island City rental boom has been well documented, but Jamaica gets an amenity-rich luxury rental of its own with The Monarch. A lobby and courtyard oasis set the tone for the building, where amenity offerings include a fitness center and yoga room, a pickleball court, a basketball court, a media lounge, a conference room, an indoor Sky Lounge, and an outdoor roof deck. Additional conveniences include a package room, bike storage, on-site parking, and dog run.

This collection of one- to two-bedroom units features floor-to-ceiling windows, kitchens with stainless steel appliances and custom cabinets, spa-like baths, and in-unit laundry. Residents are well situated near Rufus King Park, Captain Tilly Park, the Queens Performing Arts Center, local retail, Jamaica Multiplex Cinemas, and the Jamaica Center - Parsons/Archer E/J/Z trains.

14 availabilities from $2,125
2 months free rent on a 13-month lease

Bronx rental building The Bronx Vibe (Bohemia Realty Group)
Living room with glimpse of bedroom
Roof deck with movie screen
On July 2, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place to officially open The Bronx Vibe. It is located down the street from Yankee Stadium and in close proximity to the Bronx Museum of the Arts, local parks and restaurants, and the B, D, and 4 subway lines.

All interiors feature high ceilings, VRT flooring, recessed lighting, oversized soundproof windows, chic kitchens with stainless steel appliances, and tranquil baths; the majority of units have in-unit laundry. The building's extensive amenity package includes a penthouse-level fitness center, a coworking center with kitchen and adjacent terrace, a game room with pool table and wet bar, a second-floor terrace, and a roof deck with movie screen. Additional conveniences include virtual doorman service, a package room, on-site parking with electric vehicle charging, and a luxury pet spa.

Coming Soon
Malt Drive, two-towered Long Island City rental complex Malt Drive (TF Cornerstone)
On the former site of the Pepsi-Cola plant that gave Long Island City its iconic sign, the two-building Malt Drive complex is gearing up for a leasing launch. All studio through two-bedroom apartments are set to feature sunny atmospheres, modern appliances and finishes, and in-unit laundry.

Both buildings will offer fitness centers, children’s playrooms, residents’ lounges, parking garages, bike rooms, attended package rooms, and roof terraces with BBQ grills. The south tower will also offer a coworking lounge and a dog grooming station among its amenities.

Another great perk of life at Malt Drive is its address along the Newtown Creek waterfront, which features multiple seating areas, a playground, a dog run, and an outdoor classroom. Public transportation options include Hunter’s Point South ferry terminal, Long Island City LIRR, the Hunter’s Point 7 train, and the 21 Street G train.

550 Tenth Avenue The Maybury (Gotham Organization)
Living room
Amenity terrace
When The Maybury was still on the drawing board, Community Board 4 specifically requested that it “avoid looking like a dystopian glass box.” To that end, designer Handel Architect created a facade with rust-red panels. Developer Gotham Organization bought the parcel of land from non-profit Covenant House in a deal that included a new facility for Covenant House; the new apartment building only took shape after that was completed.

Of the 453 units, 137 have been designated rent-stabilized. All interiors will feature quartz countertops and panelized appliances, and a collection of 28 micro-units (315-350 square feet) will feature built-in beds and sofas. Amenities are set to include an attended lobby, concierge service, a fitness center and adjacent yoga studio, outdoor terraces, and a 45th-story cocktail lounge.

Society Brooklyn, two-building Gowanus rental Society Brooklyn (Society Living)
In the latest testament to the rise of Gowanus, one of the buildings in the two-towered Society Brooklyn complex has risen on the former site of Bayside Fuel Oil Corp. along a new waterfront esplanade. Renderings depict glass towers rising from brick podiums, both of which will be topped with rooftop terraces with outdoor pools.

In addition to the rooftop pools, amenities are set to include gyms, coworking centers, and children’s playrooms in both buildings. The apartments will start on top of ground-floor retail, and the complex is taking shape near the Movement Gowanus rock climbing gym, Gotham Archery range, The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, and the R train.

18 West 55th Street diagram Axonometric diagram of 18 West 55th Street (NYC Department of Buildings)
In June 2024, construction topped out on the Morris Adjmi-designed 18 West 55th Street, a new rental in Midtown's Plaza District. Early permits called for no more than six units per floor starting on the third floor, and only one unit per floor from the 22nd on up.

Amenities spread across several stories are set to include storage space, a bike room, laundry room, pet grooming station, mail and package rooms, fitness center with squash court and group fitness room, children's playroom, lounges, and a golf simulator. Another great perk will be its address up the street from the Peninsula Hotel and close to Central Park, Fifth Avenue shopping, Rockefeller Center, the Theater District, and Carnegie Hall.

Pfizer building residential conversion, Turtle Bay

Leasing estimated for 2026

219-235 East 42nd Street Pfizer buildings (CityRealty)
When pharmaceutical giant Pfizer moved its headquarters to The Spiral, it was speculated that the owner of its former headquarters near Grand Central Terminal would take advantage of the Midtown East rezoning to tear down the buildings and erect a larger tower. However, Crain's New York Business announced that it will turn this building into housing and take advantage of unused air rights to add new stories.

As is often the case with office-to-residential conversions, the Pfizer headquarters conversion will require reconfiguring the interiors to turn them into legal apartments. The project also includes removing the facades, installing more energy-efficient outer walls, and replacing every window on the site. When all this is complete, the project is expected to have a new name and a new street address.

The MC Leasing

The MC Leasing
The MC
1100 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.