On August 10, 2020, Merlin Law Group hosted Hurricane Irma Public Adjuster Seminar: One month before the filing date for public adjuster submission days to earn 4 CE points on hot topics related to Hurricane Irma. Do not forget the deadline for submitting property damage claims from Hurricane Irma is September 10, 2020.
I introduced my two very knowledgeable colleagues, Larry Bache and Corey Harris, on the subject of the evaluation. Evaluation is always a hot topic of discussion in first-party property insurance. I discussed a sub-topic on whether regulations or laws are included in the evaluation. This is an important question to understand when valuing the value of a loss. It is equally important to know how to protect the insured's right to evaluate the regulation or legal coverage at a later stage if the right has not yet been given at the time of the initial evaluation.
Regulation and legal coverage is an important coverage under any insurance. I discussed this in a previous blog, Ordinance or Coverage: Do I Need It?
According to a property insurance, the ordinance or law is the cost of adapting a structure to an applicable ordinance or code. Ordinance or legal coverage can generally not be recycled until it arises and can therefore not be assessed until it arises. According to most household policies, the insurer pays for the amounts that the policyholder incurs as a result of the enforcement of a regulation or law. The key words here are "arising" and "enforcement". To "incur" triggers the insurer's obligation to pay under the insurance. But when do ordinances or laws arise?
You may think that costs arise once they have been paid or the property is actually repaired or replaced. But that is not necessarily the case. A policyholder "undertakes" the amounts necessary for the regulation or legal coverage when the applicable regulation or law is applied. The Supreme Court notes that "incurring" means being responsible for the expense, but not necessarily having actually used it. 1
If a policyholder suffers property damage and goes for evaluation, where to know if code compliance issues will be recorded when determining the amount required to restore the property to its condition prior to the loss. For example, does more than 25% of the roof need repair or replacement? If this is the case, the insured's contractor may need to apply to the city for a permit for roof repair before the ordinance or legal coverage can be assessed. Ordinance or law arises when the city denies the permit because the repair will exceed the area allowed under the Florida Building Code §706.1.1. 2 If the insured's contractor has not yet applied for a roof permit at the time of the initial evaluation, it is important to preserve the insured's right to evaluate the issue of the regulation or the law at a later time by noting this before the assessment.
If you have questions about this very important issue in the evaluation. , then contact a qualified property insurance staff.
1 Ceballo v. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. ., 967 So.2d 811 (Fla. 2007).
2 See Jossfolk vs. United Prop. & Approx. Ins. Co. 110 So.3d 110 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).