Business Insurance: The Importance Of  Ordinance and Law Coverage 

By: Justine Avera, Producer, EPB&B Insurance, Portland, OR

Many businesses in the Portland area are are still working though the aftermath of the recent ice storm that swept through the city. Burst pipes, flooding, collapsed structures have forced some businesses into partial or full reconstruction of their sites, leading to inclusion of expensive but required upgrades in new structures.

The Changes That Have Been Made To Building Requirements

Recent changes to building codes and fire protection codes can lead to unexpected additional expenses after a loss.  In 2024, the International Building Code (IBC)  was updated to include new sections regarding new structural and roof requirements for tornado loads and stresses, and snow and ice loads.  Fire codes were also updated, as were requirements around common HFC refrigerants in cooling systems.  The IBC has been adopted in all fifty states and  is an essential tool to preserve public health and safety that provides safeguards from hazards associated with the built environment. It addresses design and installation of innovative materials that meet or exceed public health and safety goals.

How This Change Can  Effects Your Business Insurance 

When a loss occurs causing significant damage to the building or premises, it is a common requirement that the structure is built back tothe most  current code.  Policyholders can select specialized “Ordinance and Law” coverage to pay for the costs of demolition, along with the increased costs to rebuild to current code.  The limits that are automatically built in to the policy are not normally sufficient, so it is important to be familiar with current code changes, and the potential cost for compliance. 

How EPB&B Can Help You Prepare

Insurance can be tricky to understand, especially when it comes to changes in your business.  Frequent building updates and annual inspections can lessen exposure of code violations,  but having a knowledgeable team in your corner to help you naviate your insurance needs is imparative.  Contact us for a complementary policy review and we will help you find the right insurance to protect your your business.  

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