Ordinance and Law Coverage

Ordinance and Law coverage is often overlooked and confusing when trying to figure out how it is applied to a loss. Most property insurance policies first exclude the increased costs caused by ordinances and laws and then give it back through endorsements or additional coverages subject to limits. Just the meaning of the exclusion, without considering the gap-filling coverage, is confusing for many and wrongly used by insurers to deny what should be a direct payment under general coverage A repair costs.
Continue Reading What Does Demolition and Value Mean Under Coverage A of the Ordinance and Law Coverage?

We still field questions from adjusters about what gets paid if there is a total loss in Florida. I am certain that most adjusters remember something about a Florida total loss case where law and ordinance benefits were automatically paid without showing proof of loss. That case is known as Mierzwa1 and that part of Mierzwa was overruled by Ceballo.2
Continue Reading Total Loss Does Not Mean Supplemental Coverages Get Paid—Ceballo Overruled Mierzwa So That Law and Ordinance Does Not Get Automatically Paid Following a Total Loss

One of my favorite aspects of being a first-party property insurance attorney is being able to pick apart an insurance policy and take a position on the way a certain provision should be interpreted.
Continue Reading Interpreting the Plain and Ordinary Meaning of an Ordinance or Law Insurance Provision; What Does it Mean to “Incur” and When Does this Happen?

Building officials play a substantial role in ensuring that zoning codes, local ordinances, and building codes are met. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to challenge the policyholder’s engineers, contractors, and even the building officials about the applicable building codes to lower or prevent payment of insurance benefits owed under Ordinance or Law Coverage. While the rest of this post will discuss this issue with an emphasis on Florida law, please join me this afternoon for a livestream at 2 pm EST when we will discuss Ordinance or Law Coverage and how to combat a more frequently raised issue.
Continue Reading The Insurer Disagrees With the Building Official and Will Not Pay Ordinance or Law Coverage—Find Out What To Do By Watching Tuesday at 2 With Chip

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