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Defect Claims as Occurrences? Check Your State Laws

July 10, 2012 — CDJ Staff

Although four states have defined construction defect claims as occurrences, contractors are still dealing with “coverage gaps for faulty work construction,” says Mike Tsikoudakis in a piece at Business Insurance. He quotes Julian Ehrlich, the senior VP of claims for Aon Risk Services that “one of the interesting and compelling aspects of the issue of coverage for defective construction is that jurisdictions differ, so policyholders don’t know what they’re going to get.” He further notes that “in context of construction defect, the term ‘occurrence’ is ambiguous.”

One problem, as noted by Jeffrey J. Vita, a partner at Saxe Doernberger & Vita, is that construction firms end up needing to simultaneously defend against defect claims and to also file suit to be certain their insurance firms will cover claims. Insurance for construction defect claims is described as “expensive and somewhat limited.” Mr. Vita expects more states to help this situation with new laws, clarifying what is an occurrence.

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Defect Claims as Occurrences? Check Your State Laws