Nobody wants to see a notice of construction defects. If you’re a developer or contractor, you don’t want to be accused of faulty construction and if you’re a property owner, you don’t want to deal with damages and costs associated with construction defects.
While the process can be a hassle for property owners and investors, it can be a downright nightmare if you’re a developer or contractor. In the State of Florida, we have something called Chapter 558 Notice of Construction Defects. Chapter 558 is a form of mandatory alternative dispute resolution process. It was designed to ease the pressure of construction defects lawsuits on the court system. However, what was intended to be a system of relief has since become a source of frustration in the construction industry.
If you’ve ever received a Chapter 558 notice, then you know how much time, energy and cost must go into claims resolution. There is also a lot of misinformation regarding what to expect if you are hit with a notice of construction defects claim.
To help navigate these claims, here’s what you need to know in the event of a notice of construction defects
- Know Your Insurance Policy
- Not all insurance policies are the same. Review your insurance policy for dispute resolution. It may help to involve a trusted, construction law attorney to help understand your policy language.
- Respond to a Chapter 558 Notice Immediately
- Send any construction defects notice to both your insurance company and construction attorney immediately after receiving one. If you fail to inform your insurer in time, regardless of whether you have coverage, it may be voided.
There are cases wherein your insurer may not provide coverage, or may refuse to participate in the dispute resolution process. In this case, it is not wise to go it alone. The advice and insight that a certified construction law attorney can provide is immeasurable.
If you have more questions about the Chapter 558 process, or other construction defects proceedings, give us a call. Adam Wolfe is a Florida Bar Board Certified Construction Law litigator; a designation belonging to fewer than 350 attorneys in the State of Florida.