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construction defect

Generally speaking, a deficiency in the design or construction of a building or structure resulting from a failure to design or construct in a reasonably workmanlike manner, and/or in accordance with a buyer's reasonable expectation. The most dangerous defects have the capacity to fail, resulting in physical injury or damage to people or property. However, many defects present no increased risk of injury or damage to other property but nevertheless cause harm to the property owner in the form of loss of use, diminution in value, and extra expenses incurred while defects are corrected. This latter type of defect is often referred to as a passive defect. Whether, and to what to extent, coverage applies in liability policies for claims alleging construction defects is a matter of serious debate both in insurance circles and in the courts. (Note: Many states have more specifically defined the term "construction defect" for purposes of applying statutes that dictate processes for remedying and litigating construction defect claims. These statutory definitions vary by state.)


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