In July of 2009, Matrix Inc. an online sporting goods retailer and located in Safety Harbor, FL experienced a devastating fire in their main warehouse completely destroying their building structure and all of their inventory. Tutwiler & Associates was quickly hired with Michael Platts as the lead public adjuster assisted by Mr. Rick Tutwiler due to the size and complexity of the loss. The Tutwiler team realized the need to expedite the claim in order to get the client back into business. Working closely with the clients accounting and operations staff, the complicated claim was documented, organized and submitted within 6 weeks. Three separate loss and damage packages were prepared covering the building loss, business personal property and business interruption.
Unfortunately, the insurance company took the position from the outset that the fire was a result of arson and subsequently denied the claim, even accusing the owner of setting the fire. Tutwiler repeatedly tried to mediate the conflict attempting to secure undisputed damages to get the business up and running and putting the firm’s 25 employees back to work.
After 9 months of delays, the claim was eventually turned over to legal counsel who tried the case in federal courts. Tutwiler’s attention to detail helped the client’s legal counsel prove their case while also avoiding many of the pitfalls that can be used against an insured if their claim is not handled properly. The jury found the client did not set the fire and awarded full policy limits to the client. Counsel on behalf of the insurance company appealed the ruling but did not prevail. Our client was finally paid an amount well above their policy limits much to their satisfaction.