Our world changes around us all the time. Whether it’s the type of technology we use, the genres of music that are popular, or even what type of homes we live in, life 50, 20, or just ten years ago looks pretty different from how it looks today. The same goes for how homes are built and how building codes are written and enforced to keep us safe.
To get us started, it’s very important to know that each year, your local Department of Housing passes laws to regulate the construction and layout of new buildings in the area.
“But my home’s already built, so I don’t need to worry…right?”
Wrong. Just because your home was built during a time when codes were different, these laws and regulations still impact how your home will be repaired or rebuilt in the event of severe weather events, like hail damage.
Local Departments of Building and Safety create new building codes to ensure that structures can withstand various types of scenarios, including earthquakes, high winds, hail, and fire. Other building codes are created for energy efficiency and encourage “green” living or use of alternative energy sources. This includes installing different lighting and windows to help decrease electricity and gas consumption. It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that the cost of these types of upgrades aren’t usually cheap.
That’s where building code upgrade coverage comes in. Without this form of insurance coverage, the costs to make these mandatory upgrades falls on you, the homeowner.
HERE’S What We typically see
We find that homeowners are sometimes unaware of whether or not they have code upgrade coverage or if they will need it when we begin working through the process of filing a storm damage insurance claim. Sometimes homeowners have this coverage, and that’s great! Other times, it comes back that their roof needs to be replaced to meet the latest building codes, and they do not have code upgrade coverage (Shoot!). This typically comes as an unfortunate (and often expensive) surprise to them, taking a lot of the joy and excitement out of getting a new roof.
As shown in this graphic, homes in these PA counties are an average of 54 years old, so it’s important to take care of them as such.
HERE’S WHAT WE RECOMMEND
Education and asking the right questions is KEY to avoiding unexpected costs associated with code upgrades. To ensure you’re fully protected, we recommend that you revisit you speak to your insurance agent to check if your homeowner’s policy includes code upgrade coverage. It’s as simple as that. If you aren’t covered, ask if code upgrade coverage is available, get the proper information from your agent about what exactly would be covered or excluded, and work with them to see if it makes sense for your home. It’s typically a relatively inexpensive addition to your total policy that can end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Greenawalt understands that insurance can be complicated and sometimes even a little scary. Luckily, you’re not in this alone!
Our team strives to make the process of getting a new roof as worry-free and exciting as possible, so feel free to reach out to us with questions and we’ll be happy to help you out based on our experience as a fully-insured and licensed contractor.