Understanding Law and Ordinance Coverage

law and ordinance coverage

At Storm Guard we specialize in insurance restoration.  We are often asked about the most important items to discuss with your agent when reviewing your insurance policy. As a licensed public adjuster, I am often found assisting homeowners in understanding the meaning behind the endorsements in their policy.  Law and Ordinance, Code Coverage or Code Upgrade seem to always rise to the top of the list.  Many homeowners do not realize that they do not have this endorsement nor do they understand the importance.  The easiest way to explain where Law and Ordinance will apply is to give you an example…

Let’s say a hail storm damages your roof, and you need to repair or replace it because of the serious damage.  You call your insurance claims department, and they say your insurance policy will cover the damages caused by the hail storm… but not all of it.  As part of the repair, you’ll also need to add drip edge on the whole roof and use Ice and Water Shield on the eaves and valleys to meet Building Ordinances in your municipality. However, none of that is included in your insurance policy, so you’ll have to pay for that out of your own pocket, which could be several thousand dollars.

Huh??  Why??

All of these items are required by local building codes to be included any time a repair or replacement occurs and in order to pull a building permit you must be compliant.  The licensed roofer you hired MUST include these items in the repair to adhere to these local and/or state ordinances.

If you don’t have Law and Ordinance coverage on your insurance policy, you probably don’t have the insurance protection you need!

Your roof will be covered by your homeowner’s policy, but the code requirements will be out of pocket expenses because you do not have the proper Law and Ordinance endorsement.  This coverage is very important because building codes can significantly increase the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged roof.  Especially in the case of a total loss from a fire or flood.

We recommend contacting your insurance agent for a consultation.  Have your agent review your policy and explain your coverage.  If you want to check on your own if you have this coverage you can review your Declarations Page and verify that you have Law and Ordinance, Code Upgrade or Code Coverage is listed in your policy. If it is not, make sure to have it added.  A few dollars a year in your premiums can save you thousands in repair expenses!