Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Defective Construction?
For many homeowners experiencing problems from improper construction work, their first thought is to make a claim with their homeowner’s insurance. Not only will their homeowner’s insurance usually not cover the damage, making a claim is often a bad idea for other reasons as well.
A construction defect is any improper, faulty, or defective construction work. When people speak of construction defects they usually are referring to both the improper work itself and damage to the building caused by that improper work.
Homeowner’s insurance or property insurance typically do not cover construction defects. The insurance policies usually have language providing that damage due to faulty workmanship and construction is not covered by the policy. Homeowner’s insurance and property insurance policies provide coverage for sudden accidental damages, whereas construction defect damages are usually the result of damages continually occurring over a long period of time. For example, property insurance likely will cover a tree falling onto a home, but likely will not cover the damage from water getting into a home over time from an improperly installed window. There are of course gray areas and arguments as to why homeowner’s or property insurance should cover construction defects, but as a general matter, insurance companies typically deny those claims.
Not only is your homeowner’s insurance unlikely to cover the damage, making a claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy also may not be desirable because claims can cause increased insurance premiums. Making a claim for property damage could also cause issues with having the insurance on your home renewed because the insurer may not be willing to renew the policy until repairs are made.
If you have damages that appear to be the result of improper construction—for example, water damage to walls, ceilings, or floors with no apparent source of water or cracks appearing around doors and windows—the best course of action is to consult a construction defect lawyer. A construction defect lawyer can assess whether the damage is the result of a sudden accident that would be best addressed through a claim with your homeowner’s insurance or the result of defective construction that would be best addressed by pursuing a legal action against the contractor. If the damage is from defective construction, a lawsuit against the builder can allow you to recover the money necessary to repair the home. The builder should have its own insurance policy, and that insurance is who should pay for the damages to your home.
At the Steinberg Law Firm, our construction defect lawyers will assess damage to your home at no cost or obligation to you. If we determine that the damage is the result of defective construction and legal action against the contractor is necessary, we will handle the case on a contingency basis which means that you do not have to pay anything out of pocket for us to represent you. We cover the expense of bringing a lawsuit against the builder, and we are only paid if we recover money for you. If we recover money for you, our fees and expenses are paid out of the recovery and the remainder can go towards repairing your home.