Ordinance and Law Coverage

On August 10, 2020, Merlin Law Group hosted Hurricane Irma Public Adjuster Seminar: One Month Before Claim Submission Deadlines for public adjusters to earn 4 CE credits on hot topics for discussion related to Hurricane Irma. Don’t forget the deadline to submit claims for property damage from Hurricane Irma is September 10, 2020.
Continue Reading When Can Ordinance or Law Coverage Be Appraised?

Law and Ordinance Coverage is important for policyholders incurring a significant loss and faced with rebuilding to newer building codes and local ordinances, which generally increase the cost of construction. Florida has made significant changes to its building codes since Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. Buildings are safer and stronger today than a few decades ago. But, the cost to make them safer and stronger is not inexpensive.
Continue Reading Law & Ordinance Exclusions and Coverage and Constructive Total Loss—A Florida Perspective

Yes. The answer is yes, you need it. I won’t give you that lawyer “it depends” answer on this one.


This paragraph is often contained at the forefront of property insurance policies. Essentially, it pays for additional costs and loss of income resulting from any application of local, state or federal regulation affecting the rebuild of a covered structure.
Continue Reading Ordinance or Law Coverage: Do I Need It?

The point of this blog is to implore policyholders to buy what is commonly called code upgrade coverage – formally known as law and ordinance coverage. I was thinking about this after reading two different articles discussing very different losses in very different parts of the world.
Continue Reading The Importance of Revising Building Laws and Ordinances, Which Explains Why Law and Ordinance Coverage Law is So Important To Purchase

Business Interruption coverage protects the potential earnings of the insured business while its operations are suspended as a result of damage caused by a covered peril. The period of restoration has a direct effect on the actual loss suffered. A typical definition in most ISO forms of the “period of restoration” is:
Continue Reading Can My Business Recover Additional Income Loss If Code Upgrades Are Delaying the Time to Complete Repairs?

Christopher Boggs

Ordinance and Law Coverage generates a lot of questions whenever I give a speech about the numerous building codes which impact construction. Christopher Boggs is a great insurance educator. Two chapters from his book, Wow! I Never Knew That!: 12 of the Most Misunderstood and Misused P&C Insurance Coverages, Concepts and Exclusions, provide some of the best explanations of this often misunderstood coverage. Insurance agents, property insurance adjusters, public insurance adjusters, and property insurance lawyers should have this book as a reference in their library.
Continue Reading Understanding Commercial and Residential Ordinance and Law Coverage as Explained by Christopher Boggs

Section 708.1.1 of the Florida Building Code, often referred to as the “25% Rule,” implements guidelines for roof replacement requirements. The section states,

Not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire roofing system or roof section conforms to requirements of this code.
Continue Reading How Does the Ordinance Section of My Insurance Policy Affect the Florida “25% Rule”?

Initiated Ordinance 300 – better known as the Denver Green Roof Initiative – was passed in November 2017 with a total of 137,917 votes. The ordinance requires that all buildings within the City and County of Denver in excess of 25,000 square feet, must now dedicate a percentage of the building’s roofing area to a combination of vegetative space and solar. Unlike larger cities with similar requirements, such as San Francisco or Toronto, Denver’s Initiative applies both to new buildings as well as existing buildings at the time of roof replacement or major repair. While certain limited exemptions do exist,1 all exempted buildings are required to provide a cash-in-lieu payment to the Denver Office of Sustainability equal to the cost of constructing the green roof.
Continue Reading Denver’s Green Roof Initiative Could Bring Expensive Consequences for Unwary Policyholders

Note: This guest blog post is by Brent Winans, Vice President of Clear Advantage Risk Management in Delray Beach, Florida (www.clearadvantagerisk.com). He provides fee-based (no insurance sales) risk management consulting services to larger clients and serves as an expert witness on both sides of agent errors and omissions cases across the country.

Even if your building is insured for replacement cost, if you do not have Ordinance or Law coverage, you probably do not have the protection you think you have.

A standard replacement cost policy will pay to replace “new for old,” but only if the building codes (ordinances or laws) do not require a better “new” than you had before. For instance, if your building does not have hurricane shutters or hurricane windows and the new code requires them, your replacement cost policy will pay the cost for replacing your original windows but will not pay the increased cost for new hurricane windows or hurricane shutters.
Continue Reading What You Don’t Know About Ordinance or Law Coverage Can Hurt You!

“Ordinance or law” property insurance coverage is typically triggered when, following a covered loss to a covered building, an insured incurs certain costs due to the enforcement of an ordinance or law1 requiring or regulating the demolition, construction, or repair of buildings.2 What does enforcement mean for purposes of triggering building ordinance or law coverage? Does enforcement require affirmative action of some sort by a building official, such as issuing or refusing to issue a building permit or issuing a citation for violating a building ordinance or law? Or, is enforcement simply voluntarily complying with building ordinances or laws?

Continue Reading What Constitutes Enforcement of a Building Ordinance or Law?