Two days,2-feet of rain, and two weeks oftrial could not convince Lloyd’s of London Insurance that theApril2014’s historicrainstorm caused damage.
A jury had to tell them, in the form of a verdict for the plaintiff, a small, family-owned business onPensacola Boulevardwhose roof was catastrophically damaged in the rainstorm.
Anyonewho lived hereinApril 2014,will recall the significant damage this historic rain event caused to structures throughout Escambia County. The storm was the most significant rain event inPensacolahistory,which has maintainedweather recordssincethe late 1800’s. TheApril 2014stormwas categorizedas a 1-in-200 to 1-in-500–yearweather event. It seemingly was a surprise to Lloyd’s of Londonthat thisamount of rainfall in such a short period of timecould have causedtheroof insuredby Lloyd’sto fail.
Whileone of the largest– and oldest–insurance companies in the worldis content to collect premiums fromsmall businessesin exchange for a promise to “protect what matters most,”that is thelast thingLloyd’sof Londondid when it received thisclaim. Lloyd’s took the position that the April 2014weather eventdid not cause any damage to theflat rubber roof, that it was allpre-existingwear and tear, faulty maintenance, faulty repairs, seepage,and a whole host of other fine print exclusions in thepolicythat would allow them to deny coverage. WhenLloyd’s received aclaimpackage totaling more than a million dollars toreplace the roof and repair theinterior, Lloyd’s went on the attack.Theyhired a large,nationallaw firmwithmore than a hundred lawyers whoprimarily defendinsurance companies.
Thedefense lawyersdemanded this smallbusiness produceyears of documents,allow additional inspections,andsit for an examination under oath,before denying the claim morethan a year after therainstorm. Thankfully, this small businessrecognized what they were up againstbefore the claim was denied and sought helpearly onandbefore making a mistake that could have forfeited all coverage foritslarge claim. Impressed by their reputationrepresentingpolicyholders only, never insurance companies;client reviews and personal service;andawillingness to take on the cost and risk of the lawsuit without recovering anything unless they won, thesmall familybusinesschose Taylor, Warren & Weidner, P.A.,who immediatelyfiled a lawsuit againstLloyd’s of Londonafterdenial of the claim.
Manypolicyholdersdo not know theyears of hard workit takes to fight an insurance company,thetens of thousands of dollars in expensesthat the firm has to cover, andtheexperienceneededtoovercome the many legal hurdles the insurance company will throwup to defend a wrongfuldenial. Lloyd’s of London spared no expense to avoid keeping its promise to protect this small business, doling outmore than $100,000 on expertwitness feesalone, filingcountless motions,as well as delayingthe trial for nearly a year.
“Wewere 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 folkswhen they areattacked by their own insurance company,”said Phillip Warren,attorneyat Taylor, Warren & Weidner.“You have to be emotionally committed tothe case and client to put in the amount of work a case like this requires.”
Taylor, Warren & Weidnerfocus-grouped this case before trial, presentingthe facts toacross-section ofEscambia Countycitizens,“to see if there was anything we missed, anyangle we had not considered,”attorney KeithWeidner explained, “and they, too, came back strongly in our favor, finding Lloyd’sshould have paid the claim.”
Most people think if they pay theirinsurance premiums,andwant only what is fairif they have to file an insuranceclaim, that the insurance company will live up to its promise andpay. Unfortunately, the exact oppositeoftenoccursand policyholders are attacked and bullied out ofproceeds they are entitled to.
“That is whywe represent policyholders,”PhillipWarrenexplained.“Our civil justice system is designed to give youa voice againstwell-armored and lawyered-up insurance companies.”
Taylor, Warren & Weidneris proud of the verdict obtained for the clientin this matterand grateful for the service and sacrifice ofthe jury members. If youhave any questions about your rights,you can schedule a freeconsultation with the attorneys at Taylor, Warren & Weidner atwww.twwlawfirm.com