In the world of construction, rules are created by local government officials. These rules typically called ordinances, establish standards for building materials, site preparation, construction methods, etc. Each ordinance particularly reflects upon natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, windstorms and fires, which frequently endangers properties.
Wildfires in California are a major issue. Several years ago, many homes in California built near dry forest areas, with a greater likelihood of fires, were damaged or completely demolished. At this time convenient fire protection was non-existent. In order to be covered from this loss, local laws are now requiring special construction features such as on-site water supply, pumping equipment, fire-retardant roofing, and fire-resistive construction materials.
Many homeowners have the advantage of “grandfathering.” This is an exemption given to a person from having to abide by a new law. However, such exemptions can disappear under circumstances such as remodeling or when a certain percentage of a building is damaged. For that reason, property owners face full compliance with current building laws. The insured needs special endorsements in order to be provided with significant Ordinance or Law Coverage. Property owners could be responsible for thousands or more in uncovered costs.
If you live in an older home or live within an area where there are special laws for rebuilding, you should consider speaking with your insurer on adding protection against any extra costs caused by local ordinances.
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