When shopping for building insurance or brownstone insurance in New York City, burglar bars can stop the insurance process. For new owners, these decorative and functional bars can also delay the closing process.
The reason is simple: it’s a matter of safety.
Also known as window security bars, burglar bars help keep intruders out. But these same bars can prevent occupants from escaping to safety in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.
Burglar bars: Some considerations
Modern burglar bars are available in a wide range of designs. And many have safety features like quick-release locks.
Burglar bars and fire codes
Older buildings in Brooklyn and other boroughs often have fixed bars that cannot be opened. While the current New York City fire code requires security release latches, these older buildings with original window bars are grandfathered. These bars are technically permitted.
Even so, building owners and residents with these types of bars should consider replacing them. Modern security bars can often be retrofitted to existing windows. Households with children, in particular, may want the added peace of mind from extra egress. (Note: Window security bars are not to be confused with the window guards required by the NYC Health Code to protect children under the age of 10.)
Getting insurance coverage for properties with burglar bars
Having the right insurance partner is also important. Someone familiar with the New York City market will have experience with buildings that have burglar bars. (After all, many buildings throughout New York have bars installed.) He or she will also know which insurance companies will underwrite these types of properties.
In determining whether to insure a property with burglar bars, insurance companies will consider a range of factors. What types of window bars are installed? What type of building is it? How many egress routes are available?
A knowledgeable partner can explain what insurance companies are looking for and help you find the right insurer for your needs.