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New MN mandate requiring fire sprinklers in new homes

By December 12, 2014No Comments

Minnesota legislators passed a new mandate which goes into effect January 24 2015, requiring that all new construction Townhomes and any new one or two family homes built with over 4500 square feet of floor area have a built-in fire sprinkler system. Depending on the size or the home and whether you have a well or city water, these sprinklers are expected to add $9,000-$20,000 to the cost of a new home.

If you are planning to build soon and want to avoid the added expense of the sprinklers, get the permit submitted and approved before the mandate goes into effect, or consider scaling back the square footage of the home to under 4500.

To those of you that have a house that’s 4500 square feet or larger, this could affect you as well. If you have a fire, for example, you have to rebuild the home to code, including a sprinkler system. It is very important that you call your agent and add a coverage called “Ordinance or Law” coverage for at least $10,000 to your home policy. This will provide the additional coverage needed for adding the sprinkler system to your rebuilt home.

If you do build a house with the sprinklers, insurance companies offer discounts for that level of fire protection. However, don’t expect the discounts to be too dramatic since having sprinklers will also create an increase in claims for broken or leaky pipes.

As always, I’m never too busy to be a resource to you, your family or friends for any insurance related question.

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