Homeowners Insurance and Demolition Insurance Some policies cover demolition, but only up to a set percentage of the cost of reconstruction.
Debris removal insurance coverage ispart of most homeowners insurance policies. You can often find it in the “additional coverage” section of your policy. Usually, your insurance company will include the costs of removing the debris when repairing damage to your home after a covered loss.
If it's not below your default policy limits, many insurers will add a percentage to cover debris removal. Since coverages A and B are subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, they are ambiguous and, therefore, the contract must be construed in favor of Ridgewood Bay as insured. Car owners claim that coverages A and B can only have a reasonable meaning, arguing that the word “demolition” is commonly understood as destroying, leveling, or razing, not tearing off or removing materials as part of a remodeling project, and that when coverages A, B, and C are read together, the differences between coverage requests are evident. Debris removal coverage is usually included in plans by default and you don't have to pay any extra for it.
Most property insurance policies first exclude increased costs caused by ordinances and laws and then return it through endorsements or additional coverage subject to limits. Normally, you shouldn't have to cover waste disposal costs in advance and have your supplier reimburse you later. The primary case where your homeowners insurance covers debris removal occurs after damage caused by a covered hazard. The coverage of ordinances and laws is often overlooked and confusing when trying to figure out how it applies to a loss.
I thought it appropriate to end this series with a look at two things covered by homeowners insurance that factor into the value of the home and that most homeowners don't think about: demolition and the removal of debris. A sump pump is designed to remove excess water that builds up around the foundation of your house, but if that system fails or the power goes out, a water overflow can occur, which could cause damage to your property and that damage isn't covered by your standard home insurance. If this debris needs to be removed to restore a property to its pre-loss state, your insurance company will cover it. This coverage helps pay the cost of demolition and debris removal if your home needs to be demolished, or the additional costs derived from complying with current building codes, which differ from those in effect when your home was built.
Normally, your insurance company will include the costs of removing debris in the property coverage to which the debris applies. The district court correctly concluded that the terms “demolition” and “requirements” are ambiguous in this case, given the interpretation by car owners that demolition only means destroying, leveling, or razing a building or part of a building, as required by the application of a code or ordinance, and Ridgewood Bay's interpretation that demolition can mean tearing down a part of a building or removing materials when remodeling as required for the building to comply with the code. The most difficult question for those trying to determine what purchase limits are found in Ordinance and Act coverage for B and C.