The statute of limitations on a claim against a performance-type bond is 5 years from the breach of the bond, i.e., the bond-principal’s default (based on the same statute of limitations that governs written contracts / obligations). See Fla. Stat. s. 95.11(2)(b). This 5-year statute of limitations is NOT extended and does NOT commence when the surety denies the claim. It commences upon the default of the bond-principal, which would be the act constituting the breach of the bond. This does not mean that the statute of limitations starts when a latent defect is discovered. This is not the case. In dealing with a completed project, the five-year statute of limitations would run when the obligee (beneficiary of the bond) accepted the work. See Federal Insurance Co. v. Southwest Florida Retirement Center, Inc., 707 So.2d 1119, 1121-22 (Fla. 1998).
This 5-year statute of limitations on performance-type surety bonds has recently been explained by the Second District in Lexicon Ins. Co. v. City of Cape Coral, Florida, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2521a (Fla. 2d DCA 2017), a case where a developer planned on developing a single-family subdivision.