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Are Construction Defects Covered by Your General Liability Policy?

July 10, 2012 — CDJ Staff

Construction firms are finding that their insurers are denying construction defect claims and the courts are siding with the insurers, according to Kelly M. Gindele, writing in the Martindale-Hubble Legal Library. Ms. Gindele notes that when construction defect claims are not covered, firms can end up with “multi-million dollar claims” that it has to pay “out of its own pocket.” She notes that in Kentucky and Ohio, if “the insured’s work causes an unforeseen and unintended event to occur?Ķthere is not occurrence under the policy.” Further, if there is an occurrence, the court will “look for an exception to coverage.”

She also notes that contractors may not hold sufficient coverage, either by limiting the amounts or the time. She notes that while “insurers generally try to limit coverage for defect claims to one year,” that “construction defects may not be found in a year’s time.”

Ms. Ginele recommends that contractors “hire an insurance company with extensive experience in this field” and “independent legal counsel with insurance knowledge,” to avoid finding themselves “with limited or even no coverage when it needs it most.”

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Are Construction Defects Covered by Your General Liability Policy?