February 2020 - Wyman Legal Solutions

Insurance Case Study #1: Jason and his Mismatched Granite

We recently worked with a client in Davie named Jason. Jason had a pipe burst under his kitchen sink. The damage required removal of his kitchen cabinets. To do that, his granite countertop needed to be removed first.

While removing his granite backsplash, Jason’s contractor cracked it. It was damaged to the point that it could not be repaired. And due to the unique nature of the stone, the piece could not be replaced to match the rest of the pattern.  The insurance company refused to pay Jason for his broken granite because it was damaged by Jason’s contractor. Jason’s granite, except for about a four-foot length of cracked backsplash was otherwise fine.

Eventually the insurance company stopped returning Jason’s calls. Faced with having a mismatched, cracked or missing granite backsplash in his kitchen, Jason got fed up and called us. We were able to get Jason’s insurance company to pay him over $12,000.00 to replace ALL of the granite in his kitchen (including the granite on a separate kitchen island) with entirely new granite. Plus, the insurance company paid our attorneys’ fees.

At Wyman Legal Solutions our team has the resources and knows the laws that make recoveries like this possible for our clients. Contact us today so we can help turn your property damage from “sudden and unexpected” into an insurance claim that’s COLLECTED!

Insurance Myth #3: The Insurance Company’s Field Adjuster Will Make Sure I am Paid for All of My Damage

After you notify your insurance company about your claim, they will send someone to your property to look at the damage. This person is called a “field adjuster”. The field adjuster is usually a friendly person. His job is to analyze your damage and gather information. The field adjuster then puts this information into a report and submits it to the insurance company.

By being friendly and usually sympathetic, it may feel like the field adjuster is “on your side”. He is not. The field adjuster will usually say things that make you think he wants to maximize your claim. He does not. This person has no authority to speak about whether your claim is covered. And he has no authority to tell you whether the insurance company will pay you anything at all. The field adjuster acts as your insurance company’s eyes and ears. He will tell the insurance company things you tell him that might be used later to reduce or deny your claim. They are very much on the side of your insurance company.

Insurance companies have professionals on their side looking out for their best interests.  Who is looking out for yours?  At Wyman Legal Solutions our team has dealt with hundreds of insurance claims and we advocate for you on your insurance claims. If you or a loved one have experienced sudden or unexpected damaged to your home, contact us today.

Insurance Myth #2: If I cash my insurance company’s initial payment check, then I cannot continue to fight for more money.

insurance check cashing laws

We get this question all the time. A client reports a claim to their insurance company and the company issues a small check that is not enough to pay for the damage. The client then contacts us to help get them more money. Their first questions is, can I cash the small check I’ve already received? The answer is “yes”, unless the insurance company conditioned the check on a release of the claim – which would be a bad faith and improper insurance claim practice.

Insurance companies are OBLIGATED to pay you any amounts that are uncontested. And they are required to do so unconditionally. Meaning, they must pay you what they’ve determined you are owed without any strings attached. You then have the right to supplement the claim with more information and evidence of your damages to obtain an additional, higher payment.

If your insurance company tries to get you to sign a release, then DO NOT CASH THE CHECK. DO NOT SIGN THE RELEASE. AND CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY. This is a bad faith insurance practice by the insurance company. Our insurance claim attorneys will get you that money without any strings attached. And we will help get you the rest of the money you deserve.

Contact us today if you’ve experienced damage to your home or suspect that your insurance company has operated in bad faith.




Insurance Myth #1: My homeowners insurance covers anything that could possibly damage my home.

If you have not had a reason to make a property damage insurance claim before, then you probably assume that if you pay your premiums, then your home is covered against anything or everything that could possibly happen.

You would assume wrong….

Your insurance policy is a contract. In exchange for your payments (called premiums), your insurance company promises to make payment to you for your damaged property…BUT ONLY IF your damage was created by a “cause of loss” that is covered under the policy.  But what is a covered “caused of loss”?

A covered “cause of loss,” is a “peril” that your insurance company insures you against. However, different policies cover different perils. There are two basic kinds of property insurance policies:

  1. The “named perils” policy (also known as a “broad form” policy). A “named perils” policy will pay for property damage that results ONLY from the exact list of perils (causes of loss) listed in the policy. The typical named perils policy contains the types of  losses that you would expect to be covered (fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, explosions, non-flood water damage and some others). However, even with a “named perils” policy, you’ll see that some insurance companies add or exclude or limit coverage for certain typical named perils. If a type of peril is not specifically named, then it is not covered.
  2. The “all risks” policy (also known as a “special” form policy). An “all risks” policy on the other hand covers your home against “all risks” (i.e., everything) that can damage it EXCEPT for perils that are specifically listed as EXCLUDED by the policy. Typical excluded perils include flood, earth movement and pollution. If a peril is not specifically identified on a list of exclusions, then it is a covered “cause of loss”. All risk policies tend to be more expensive because they cover more risks.

If you’ve experienced sudden or unexpected damage to your home, contact us today to evaluate your coverage.

Wyman Legal Solutions Hires Director of Client Relations

We are proud to announce that Jennifer Wyman has joined the firm as our Director of Client Relations. We are very lucky and proud to have her on board (and I am not just saying that because she is my wife)!

At Wyman Legal Solutions, we are always looking for ways to improve upon our Client Experience. Even the best law firms can improve how (and how often) they communicate with their clients. Wyman Legal Solutions is no exception. Clients are often scared, intimidated and confused by the legal process, and they often find comfort knowing that there is someone at the firm (other than their lawyer) who is staying on top of the status of their important case and who can answer their routine questions. That’s where Jen comes in.

Jen’s primary goal is to be sure that our clients have a positive experience with the firm and that they understand that there is someone they can call or communicate with about the status of their case. Part of this positive client experience involves letting clients know when their case approaches certain milestones.  Jen brings her years of client service and sales experience to our team, and our clients will feel better knowing that they will receive first-class service with a personal and authentic touch.

So, if you call the office and speak with Jen, please welcome her to the team. We are so grateful to have her.

Avoid Having Your Water Damage Claim Denied!

water damage claim denied

Water damage claims are among the most frequent claims made under homeowners insurance policies – especially in Florida. But the coverage provided for water claims can be confusing. When might your claim for water damage be covered or denied?

Insurance is intended to cover “sudden and accidental” damage – think storm damage or a pipe burst. Homeowners insurance will generally not cover “seepage” or damage that occurs gradually over a long period of time – think a slow water drip from the pipes inside your walls. If the reason for your damage is not sudden and accidental, then your water damage claim may be denied.  Insurance companies are often rewriting their policy coverage terms, sometimes yearly, to narrow the types of water damage losses they cover.

So what can you do about it?

First, do business with an independent insurance agent who represents more than one company. Independent agents can help you find more coverage options and the best insurance for your needs.  We can introduce you to a trusted independent agent. You can also try to find one on your own by looking here: PIA for Florida or The Big I.

Second, be proactive by inspecting your home for signs of water damage and by maintaining your home regularly. Also, pay attention to any mail or emails you receive from your insurance company at your annual renewal for changes to your insurance coverage.

Finally, when a claim arises, make sure you consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling water damage claims for homeowners. At Wyman Legal Solutions we help people who have suffered sudden and unexpected property damage and put them back into their homes and businesses. We are passionate about helping our clients level the playing field with their insurance companies so they can get the money they deserve out of their insurance claims. Contact us today for help.