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David Haber, Founding partner, Haber Slade and Frank Soto, partner with Haber Slade in Miami.

The issue of whether a 558 notice serves as a “claim” under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy, such as the one issued by Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co. (C&F) in Altman Contractors v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance, No. SC16-1420, 2017 WL 6379535 (Fla. Dec. 14, 2017), has finally been resolved and construction defect claimants can expect earlier participation from their carriers.

Prior to the Altman decision, homeowners and/or condominium associations were frustrated during the Chapter 558 process after sending a notice of claim because insured construction parties could not get insurers to become involved in pre-suit negotiations. Such a result was antithetical to the purpose of Chapter 558—which was instituted specifically to streamline the construction defect claims process and encourage early alternative dispute resolution.

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