In our practice we are often called upon to represent clients where their claim for ordinance and law coverage has been denied. This is because ordinance and law coverage is one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly interpreted policy provisions there is. Although, one of our attorneys, Robert T. Trautmann, has previously written on the DEB case in his post, Ordinance and Law Coverage in New Jersey, I recently researched what triggers ordinance or law coverage.
Slow, delayed and late replacement and repair is the usual normal state of affairs after major catastrophes. In New Jersey and New York, slow and bogged down restoration and repair is the worst I have ever seen. Most insurance companies pay and work with their customers during post loss construction. A few insurance companies deny coverage citing limitations in policies that seem to require construction to take place with a certain amount of days or years.
Ordinance or law (“L&O”) coverage is “[c]overage for loss caused by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings.”1 Additional living expense (“ALE”) coverage “reimburses the insured for the cost of maintaining a comparable standard of living following a covered loss that exceeds the insured’s normal expenses prior to the loss.”2
Continue Reading When Is A Policyholder Eligible To Receive L&O And ALE Benefits?
As Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, recently noted, "Historically, May is the beginning of peak tornado season in the United States."1 Since that means tornado season remains in full swing at this point, this installment of my Oklahoma Coverage Series will address whether Oklahoma policyholders have enough coverage.
My post on overhead & profit two weeks ago sure seemed to get people’s blood flowing. It has been a while since I have seen eleven different responses. We will definitely address this issue further in hopes of answering some of the many questions posed.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If an insurance policy says ordinance and law is an incurred expense, then an appraisal panel cannot set the amount of loss for ordinance and law until it is incurred.
When rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many property owners are getting hit by a second wave of stress when they find their property cannot be repaired as it was before because building codes have changed. It can be very expensive to bring a building up to code after it suffers storm damage. This can be especially troubling when your local code enforcement officer finds and cites code violations in areas of the property not affected by the storm. Luckily, however, New Jersey’s courts have found in favor of property owners in these situations.
The policyholder owned a historic three-story brick building in the City of Elmira, known as the Armory Building. On March 10, 2006, a windstorm caused a portion of the Armory’s southern wall to collapse. The policyholder hired an engineering firm to assess the Armory’s condition. The engineer concluded that the collapse of the southern wall was caused by hidden deterioration of mortar which weakened the wall and left it unable to withstand gusting winds. The engineer also reported that similar conditions existed in other areas of the Armory, which rendered the building hazardous to its occupants and the public. He recommended that the building be vacated until the exterior walls were rebuilt. The report was provided to the Fire Marshall who, in his capacity as the city Code Enforcement Officer, found the Armory to be in violation of several sections of the New York State Property Maintenance Code and determined that it must be vacated until the repairs recommended by the engineer were performed. He also concluded that if the repairs were not performed, the Armory should be demolished immediately.
Who thinks Section 627.7011 of the Florida Statutes (entitled Homeowners’ policies; offer of replacement cost coverage and law and ordinance coverage) applies, or was at least meant to apply, to all types of residential insurance policies? I do, but my recent experiences suggest that…
…most, if not all, insurers do not. In a Hitchcock-like voice, “this is a cautionary tale.”
Law and Ordinance Coverage (often referred to as "Code Upgrade Coverage") can be extremely complicated for those involved in any aspect of property insurance coverage. From a policyholder’s standpoint, Law and Ordinance Coverage is a counterintuitive riddle.