Law & Ordinance Coverage

Law & Ordinance insurance from Donnelly and Sproul is a special type of coverage that protects businesses and homeowners from the costs of repairing, updating, or completely rebuilding structures that stem from updated building codes.

Community laws, ordinances, and building codes change over time. In most cases, this is a great thing. It means that new buildings are built to a certain standard. But if building codes have changed since your home or building was built, supplemental law and ordinance coverage can guard against expensive out-of-pocket costs.

The state of New Jersey is on the cutting edge of new technology and passing laws that guarantee the safety of the people living or working in their homes or buildings. That’s why it’s so important for residents of Glen Rock and beyond to take note of new laws as they arise and what it means for their insurance needs.

Extent of Damage Issues

When disasters occur that destroy only part of a building, regulations regarding repairing or rebuilding the structure can be problematic. For instance, in some communities, ordinances require buildings that receive a certain percentage of damage must be demolished and rebuilt completely, from the ground up, and according to the updated standards. This may be even more costly than the initial construction costs (not to mention the costs of demolition and debris removal).

The problem is that standard home and business insurance policies do not cover the costs of repairing or replacing the half of the building that did not receive damage or of bringing your home up to code, which is why law & ordinance coverage is important.

Rebuilding to Code

A common problem for homeowners is that in the aftermath of damage to the home, it becomes necessary to make repairs to bring the entire home up to current code. This means that while only your kitchen may have been damaged in the fire, plumbing and electrical work for the entire home may need to be replaced in order to meet current codes and restrictions.

You can’t move back into your home until it meets these code standards and your insurance, without the proper endorsements, may not cover it. The same holds true for businesses. You can’t move operations back into the building until it’s up to code.

There are quite a few potential problems ordinance and law insurance helps businesses and homeowners overcome, including the following:

  • Tearing down and rebuilding portions of building not covered by your standard home or business policy.
  • Bringing electrical work throughout the facility up to code.
  • Updating plumbing in the home or business according to current requirements.
  • Replacing heating and air conditioning units as well as ductwork throughout the property.
  • Meeting new ventilation requirements and standards for businesses (and as needed in homes).

Business Considerations

Businesses, especially, need this type of coverage as many land-use and building code laws may apply specifically and exclusively to businesses being built in communities. That doesn’t mean that homeowners do not need this type of insurance coverage, only that businesses often have new laws passed that require them to update to certain codes. Law and ordinance coverage helps business owners with the funds necessary to make these sometimes costly changes.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

An important post-disaster building reconstruction consideration is the requirement to rebuild facilities that provide accessibility to those with disabilities in order to be compliant with the requirements set forth by the Americans With Disabilities Act. Failure to rebuild structures with disability and handicap accessibility can create legal liabilities, including penalties incurred in ADA lawsuits and time consuming and costly accessibility retrofits. After a loss, without proper ramps, elevators, and other handicap accessibility features, for example, businesses are faced with significant law and ordinance risk exposure.

The bottom line is that ordinance and law coverage helps protect you, whether you are a homeowner or commercial building owner, from the costs of repairing, updating, or completely rebuilding the undamaged portions of your building; the demolition costs involved in removing debris from damaged property, and the constantly rising costs of new construction that includes costs associated with zoning laws and more.

Why Trust Donnelly and Sproul?

Donnelly and Sproul has a proud tradition of serving New Jersey for nearly 90 years and we’re gearing up for the next 90. We are an independent agency, meaning we can shop around to get the best product at the best price to meet your specific home or business insurance needs.