As the owners of a home built in 1960 my husband and I have become excessively familiar through the years with the always expensive phrase ‘bring up to code’. Building codes change over time, usually making our homes safer for us and our families, but also increasing the cost of remodeling projects and repairs. For a remodeling project, planning on a percentage over-run for building code updates is just good planning. For a repair when your home has been damaged by an unexpected windstorm or other loss planning and budgeting are harder. The repairs must be made, the updates added and most homeowner’s policies limit the amount of coverage for those increased costs due to adherence to updated building codes.
Law and ordinance insurance is coverage for financial loss caused by the enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating the construction and repair of damaged buildings. If the roof is damaged by a wind storm and you are required to upgrade to a more expensive type of shingle, law and ordinance coverage will cover the cost of the upgraded shingles. Homeowner’s insurance alone generally will not. Upgrades required to electrical systems, HVAC systems, plumbing and the like are also included in the coverage.
The older your home and the stricter your community’s building codes the greater will be the need for this coverage. Check with your insurance agent to add it to your homeowner’s policy.