Colorado Defective Construction is Not Considered "Property Damage"

Damaged building

Is damage to defectively installed balconies considered “property damage” under Colorado law?

September 12, 2022
Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.

In the July 5, 2022, case of Indian Harbor Ins. Co. v. Houston Casualty Co., the United States District Court for Colorado addressed the issue of whether damage to defectively installed balconies is considered “property damage” under Colorado law, requiring payment by a commercial general liability policy.

Facts of the Case
The case stems from a construction project where a subcontractor improperly installed balconies on an apartment complex. The owner of the project secured commercial general liability (CGL) coverage through an OCIP insured by Houston Casualty Company (HHC). The OCIP insured the general contractor and subcontractors. The general contractor also purchased a subcontractor default insurance policy insured by Indian Harbor.

All parties agreed that the subcontractor improperly installed portions of various balconies, including flashing, water-proof sealing, and water-resistant barriers, among other defects with the installation process. The parties also agreed that other portions of the balconies were properly installed. However, in order to repair the defects in the installations, every bit of each balcony had to be torn off and re-constructed.



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