All Roads Lead to Increased Premiums

Insurance is not a new issue in the Bronx. Advocacy work around it dates back to the 1970s and was directly connected to the redlining which took place in low-income neighborhoods in NYC. Advocates for affordable housing were able to target specific carriers and pressure them to write policies in neighborhoods which they had previously excluded altogether. As time went on, more carriers were willing to insure in the Bronx and, therefore, collect healthy premiums from the transitioning and thriving neighborhoods in the borough.

About 5-7 years ago, these year-over-year renewal increases started to grow to 5%-10%. Then, from 2019 on, some increases were closer to 30% for plans that offered less coverage, had more exclusions, and higher deductibles. On top of these larger yearly renewal increases, it also became more challenging to find an alternative quote — we could no longer simply switch to a new carrier to keep costs down. Data from the Rent Guidelines Board corroborates the cost increases that we have seen in our own portfolio showing a dramatic increase in the cost of insurance since 2018 with yearly costs increasing nearly 48% by 2021. UNHP worked with Bronx Multifamily Building Operators to survey rising insurance premiums and to take a closer look at the issue, its impact on Bronx multifamily housing, and offer some recommendations, outlined in this All Roads Lead to Increase Premiums Report.