Property Insurance Roundtable

Ordinance or Law Coverage: Code for Recovery!


This discussion is about ordinance or law coverage and how to insure for this potential exposure. After a disaster causes property damage or loss many policyholders discover that rebuilding the structure to conform to the latest building codes can add 50% or more to their recovery cost. Then comes the unpleasant surprise of discovering the ordinance or law exclusion that prevents a full recovery. With building codes, such as sprinkler systems and handicap accessibility, frequently changing, it is important to understand what your insurance excludes and how to acquire adequate coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • [01:47] What is the ordinance or law exclusion?
  • [03:59] What are the three distinct areas of uninsured losses under the ordinance or law exclusion?
  • [10:00] How to determine if the exclusion will apply and what its probable expense will be on the loss adjustment
  • [12:59] How can policyholders protect themselves from the ordinance or law exclusion?
  • [18:26] What types of coverages are available for policyholders to counteract the ordinance or law exclusion?
  • [24:31] Is it true that once the need for ordinance or law coverage is established policyholders must ask how much of each coverage is needed?
  • [27:41] Are there any circumstances in which the building ordinance or law coverage would not apply?
  • [30:38] Who can the insured reach out to for questions and insurance concerns regarding ordinance or law coverage?
  • [32:00] How does the ordinance and law exclusion affect business income and extra expense coverage?
  • [34:48] What role could ordinance and law play when a building has contiguous walls to another structure?
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Todd Thomas v2
C. Todd Thomas
Vice President of Risk Management

Todd Thomas is the Vice President at Adjusters International (AI) and Tidal Basin (TB). He is also the Chief Consultant and Partner of Adjusters International’s affiliate Sigma Consulting Corp. He has worked in the Management Consulting industry for 23 years. Currently, he works with AI and TB's strategic partners to offer the highest quality Risk Management and Disaster Recovery consulting services possible. Thomas has worked in a management capacity on high-profile FEMA, insurance and construction projects since 1996. Thomas regularly serves as an expert witness and Special Master to courts in the area of finance & insurance.

Thomas’ experience assisting public entities, non-profits and other organizations with risk management and insurance includes but is not limited to broker selection, insurance marketing, total cost of risk, risk identification, risk allocation, underwriting, claims, financial risk management, FEMA obtain & maintain compliance, risk analysis, risk management information systems and enterprise risk management.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Financial Management (FAAFM), Member of the American Economic Association, Member of the Association of Certified Chartered Economists, a Fellow of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Member of the Global Risk and Insurance Management Institute, Caribbean Actuarial Association and Member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Todd is a Chartered Economist (ChE), Certified Risk Analyst (CRA), Certified Organizational Risk Manager (CORM), RIMS Fellow (RF), Fellow of Risk Management (FRM), Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management specializing in Public Entities (ARM-P), Master Project Manager (MPM), Accredited Financial Analysis (AFA), Accredited Management Accountant (AMA) and Workers Compensation Claims Law Specialist (WCLS).

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James R. Mahurin
Risk Management Consultant and member of the Society of Risk Management Consultants

Self-employed Risk Management and Insurance consultant providing fee-for-service assistance to the insurance buyer.  Perform risk management studies, independent evaluations of commercial insurance programs, conduct competitive proposal/bid process and self-insurance feasibility studies.  Work experience includes projects in approximately twenty states.  Litigation support and expert witness services to law firms began following the Daubert decision in 1993. This work split is approximately fifty/fifty between plaintiff and defense.  Litigation involvement includes agent custom and practice, flood (including both NFIP and private insurance), property, crime, liability, employee benefits, property leases, Broad Form Property Damage (BFPD), etc.  The BFPD includes both course of construction and construction defects.

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John Marini
Senior Advisor for Business Development & Government Affairs

John Marini has extensive disaster recovery experience and knowledge of public adjusting and the FEMA Public Assistance Program. He specializes in assisting public entities with their financial recovery through the integration of insurance claims with FEMA grant funding.

Marini has established a team of more than 140 experts who assist applicants and grantees with their post-disaster FEMA grant management and insurance recovery. He is closely involved in the management of Adjusters International’s Catastrophe Operations, assisting FEMA Public Assistance applicants and grantees with recoveries from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, hurricanes Katrina/Rita/Wilma in 2005, hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the Midwest Floods in 2008, as well as many other cases.

Luis Esteves Jansen Adjusters International 100x136
Luis Esteves
Principal and Executive General Adjuster

As a specialist in property, business income and extra expense claims recoveries and a licensed public adjuster, Luis Esteves is the Principal and an Executive General Adjuster for Jansen/Adjusters International. Luis handles between $80-$100 million dollars in losses annually, and has more than 20 years of experience with adjusting complex claims for large commercial real estate companies, manufacturing facilities, entertainment venues, multi-family properties, school districts and hospitals. As an expert on property loss adjustment who is retained by policyholders to assist in preparing, filing and adjusting first party property insurance claims, he works exclusively for his policyholder clients to maximize their financial recovery after devastating fires, floods, hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters.


Marjorie Zeoli Musick

For further information on this topic, please read our Adjusting Today® article: "Ordinance or Law Coverage: Code for Recovery!"