latent defect

A latent defect is one that is concealed or inactive and cannot be discovered by ordinary examination.

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Damage from a latent defect is typically excluded from coverage under all risks property insurance policies. For example, a homeowner discovers that their roof is decaying because the shingles were treated improperly with fire-retardant chemicals. The cost to replace those shingles is precluded due to the "latent defect" exclusion. However, if a fire were to ensue, the exclusion would not prevent coverage for the damage from the fire.