Ordinance or law is a coverage you can add on to your homeowners insurance policy or landlord protection policy.
Let’s say you’re a faithful insurance buyer–you’ve had your home covered (at replacement cost, no less) since the day you bought it. One day, a fire takes down a couple rooms in your house. You expect to pay a certain amount to rebuild, but then your town inspector pays a visit and tells you that in order to conform to new building codes, you must replace the undamaged (but outdated and possibly dangerous) electric wiring throughout your entire house. Suddenly, the bills start racking up, and next thing you know, your original estimated costs have increased by 50%!
Local ordinances can significantly increase the cost to repair, demolish or rebuild your home and add to your out-of-pocket costs. In California, building regulations are constantly changing, as we learn how to make property safer and better able to withstand wind and other natural forces. Certain districts may now require features like new or improved sprinkler systems, better wiring and sturdier roofs, whereas a home built in 1965 would have had far fewer regulations to abide by. To bring a 1965 home up to today’s standards would cost much more than simply repairing the damage.
What does ordinance or law cover?
The construction, demolition, remodeling, renovation or repair of a building or other structure.
The demolition and reconstruction of the undamaged part of a covered building or other structure.
The remodeling, removal or replacement of the portion of the undamaged part of a building or other structure needed to complete your repair.
Without ordinance or law coverage, these repairs would be classified as an “improvement” to your property, and therefore may not be covered by insurance.