Get the Facts
REPLACE TO CODE
Make Sure Your Insurance Policy Will Let You Replace To Code
his winter, too many building owners will get caught by Imagine if… surprise: They’ll have pipes burst in the cold, doing tens of Here are some examples of the kinds of issues that can befall a thousands of dollars in damage. They’ll get estimates to repair. property owner, just with plumbing-related issues alone: They’ll file a claim with their property insurance company—only to find out that their policy will only cover a fraction of their costs. • Regulations require specific plumbing materials, forcing The Problem: Insufficient coverage for building code upgrades.
you to replace all the plumbing in the building with copper, for example, rather than galvanized steel. Even if you only have to replace a portion of your plumbing, copper and galvanized systems don’t necessarily mix without a plumber taking specific measures to prevent the two metals from coming into direct contact.
Here’s What Happens: Building codes evolve; but, buildings don’t. If you are the owner of an older building or even a historic building, chances are the previous owner has not been tearing the building apart and replacing plumbing every time municipal or state authorities pass an adjustment to the building codes governing • You must renovate your property to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or some similar plumbing, sewage, or septic systems.
intervening law, which may require changes to bathing and toileting facilities that in turn require remodeling.
Ordinances are Clear: Owners of damaged buildings must make all repairs in accordance with the new codes, not the codes that were • In one case, for example, a fire destroyed the gymnasium in force at the time the property was damaged. The Rub: Not every insurance policy provides this specific coverage. Indeed, for a brand new building, there’s little need for it. But, the exposure becomes greater the more years that go by and the more local authorities revise building codes. 12
Central Keystone Living // FALL 2015
area of a school. The school system rebuilt the gymnasium with a larger girls’ locker room area, which the school board understood was required under Title IX, which forces schools to bring boys’ and girls’ athletic