Triggering a Construction Defect Insurance Claim
When a property owner, developer, or association discovers a construction defect in a particular project, the first step typically taken is to notify the general contractor of the defect. Once this occurs, the general contractor will usually notify any subcontractors that worked on the specific area containing the defect, while also informing its commercial general liability (CGL) insurance company of the notice. The CGL policy is intended to provide financial support in cases involving damage to property caused by defective construction. However, as anyone who has dealt with an insurance company knows, insurance companies will often try to find a way to get out of paying out on a claim. One way in which they do is to say that the defect was not a covered event or did not occur while the insurance policy was pending. Retaining the services of an attorney experienced in construction defect claims law, who not only knows of but can also plan for these instructions and deadlines, may be the difference between a claim approval and a claim denial. A general discussion of the construction defect law in Florida, and what events serve to trigger a claim to a CGL insurance company, will follow below.
Florida Construction Defects
In Florida, prior to filing a lawsuit for claims arising out of an alleged construction defect, a property owner must serve a notice of claim to the contractor pursuant to Florida Statute ch. 558. Any such claim notices must include a description of the defects.
Events which Trigger a Construction Defect Insurance Claim
As mentioned above, insurance companies often will try to not pay out on a claim. And, given the fact that many construction defect claims will involve numerous insurance policies, this likelihood is even greater. If a claimant can prove that a policy was in force during the applicable trigger period, then the insurance company would most likely be required to indemnify the claimant. Retaining an experienced construction defect attorney can help develop a strategy for success if a claim is denied.
Seek Legal Advice
If you are a contractor and a client has notified you of a construction defect, talk to an experienced construction defects attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. have knowledge and experience in Florida’s construction defect law, and will help ensure that your construction defect insurance company is complying with all the duties and obligations of your policy. Contact our Jupiter office today.