Two days, 2-feet of rain, and two weeks of trial could not convince Lloyd’s of London Insurance that the April 2014’s historic rainstorm caused damage.
A jury had to tell them, in the form of a verdict for the plaintiff, a small, family-owned business on Pensacola Boulevard whose roof was catastrophically damaged in the rainstorm.
Anyone who lived here in April 2014, will recall the significant damage this historic rain event caused to structures throughout Escambia County. The storm was the most significant rain event in Pensacola history, which has maintained weather records since the late 1800’s. The April 2014 storm was categorized as a 1-in-200 to 1-in-500–year weather event. It seemingly was a surprise to Lloyd’s of London that this amount of rainfall in such a short period of time could have caused the roof insured by Lloyd’s to fail.
While one of the largest – and oldest – insurance companies in the world is content to collect premiums from small businesses in exchange for a promise to “protect what matters most,” that is the last thing Lloyd’s of London did when it received this claim. Lloyd’s took the position that the April 2014 weather event did not cause any damage to the flat rubber roof, that it was all pre-existing wear and tear, faulty maintenance, faulty repairs, seepage, and a whole host of other fine print exclusions in the policy that would allow them to deny coverage. When Lloyd’s received a claim package totaling more than a million dollars to replace the roof and repair the interior, Lloyd’s went on the attack. They hired a large, national law firm with more than a hundred lawyers who primarily defend insurance companies.
The defense lawyers demanded this small business produce years of documents, allow additional inspections, and sit for an examination under oath, before denying the claim more than a year after the rainstorm. Thankfully, this small business recognized what they were up against before the claim was denied and sought help early on and before making a mistake that could have forfeited all coverage for its large claim. Impressed by their reputation representing policyholders only, never insurance companies; client reviews and personal service; and a willingness to take on the cost and risk of the lawsuit without recovering anything unless they won, the small family business chose Taylor, Warren & Weidner, P.A., who immediately filed a lawsuit against Lloyd’s of London after denial of the claim.
Many policyholders do not know the years of hard work it takes to fight an insurance company, the tens of thousands of dollars in expenses that the firm has to cover, and the experience needed to overcome the many legal hurdles the insurance company will throw up to defend a wrongful denial. Lloyd’s of London spared no expense to avoid keeping its promise to protect this small business, doling out more than $100,000 on expert witness fees alone, filing countless motions, as well as delaying the trial for nearly a year.
“We were prepared from day one for a long and expensive fight. We maintain a warrior mentality instilled in the Marine Corps when it comes to protecting ordinary folks when they are attacked by their own insurance company,” said Phillip Warren, attorney at Taylor, Warren & Weidner. “You have to be emotionally committed to the case and client to put in the amount of work a case like this requires.”
Taylor, Warren & Weidner focus-grouped this case before trial, presenting the facts to a cross-section of Escambia County citizens, “to see if there was anything we missed, any angle we had not considered,” attorney Keith Weidner explained, “and they, too, came back strongly in our favor, finding Lloyd’s should have paid the claim.”
Most people think if they pay their insurance premiums, and want only what is fair if they have to file an insurance claim, that the insurance company will live up to its promise and pay. Unfortunately, the exact opposite often occurs and policyholders are attacked and bullied out of proceeds they are entitled to.
“That is why we represent policyholders,” Phillip Warren explained. “Our civil justice system is designed to give you a voice against well-armored and lawyered-up insurance companies.”
Taylor, Warren & Weidner is proud of the verdict obtained for the client in this matter and grateful for the service and sacrifice of the jury members. If you have any questions about your rights, you can schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Taylor, Warren & Weidner at www.twwlawfirm.com