AOB-boxAssignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse is a fast-growing fraud scheme that is hurting Florida’s insurance consumers. While AOB is a long-established legal tool intended to allow vendors to receive prompt payment from insurers after doing emergency repair work in a home – without having to directly involve the homeowner – this process is being abused by a cottage industry of unscrupulous trial lawyers, water remediation firms and roofers. These bad actors are persuading homeowners to sign over the benefits of their insurance policies as a means for fraudulently inflating claims, filing thousands of lawsuits against insurers, and driving up attorney’s fees.

Bills are currently moving through the Florida Senate and House that would help end the AOB abuse and put homeowners back in control of the insurance policies they paid for. Below are links to news stories, fact sheets and other materials addressing how AOB abuse is hurting Floridians.

Assignment of Benefits abuse driving up cost of home, car insurance in Florida

ABC Action News Jackie Callaway 11:24 PM, Apr 19, 2017   Small business owner Mike Hinsch’s trouble started after a mobile glass business replaced the windshields in three work trucks.Hinch’s auto policy exploded from $16,000 a year to $22,000 over the windshield claim.This plumber had no idea the glass company hit his insurer up for…

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Florida Launches AOB Resource, Education Webpage for Consumers

Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and Insurance Journal The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has launched a new webpage as part of its efforts to educate Florida consumers about the state’s ongoing challenges with assignment of benefits abuse. The AOB resource webpage has been added to the OIR website and offers information about what an…

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Free-roof insurance scam plagues Florida homeowners

by Carrie Salls, FloridaRecord Apr. 1, 2017, 5:11pm TALLAHASSEE — A trend has emerged in the storm-battered Sunshine State in which a relatively small number of roofers and attorneys are utilizing assignment-of-benefits (AOB) clauses in homeowners’ insurance policies to sue insurance companies for more than the actual cost of repair or, in some cases, for non-existent…

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Citizens Posts Net Loss of $27M for 2016; Says Water Losses, AOB Abuse to Blame

Insurance Journal March 29, 2017 Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will post a net loss for 2016, its first loss in more than a decade, as water loss claims, assignment of benefit (AOB) abuse and litigation costs increasingly impact the company’s bottom line, according to a statement from the Florida state-run insurer. The Citizens Board of Governors was…

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Consumer Protection Coalition launches ad on Assignment of Benefits claims

March 27, 2017 Drew Wilson, Florida Politics The Consumer Protection Coalition launched a radio and television ad campaign Monday to warn homeowners of how Assignment of Benefits abuse could cause insurance rates to skyrocket in Florida. Assignment of Benefits, or AOB, is a system where homeowners can sign over their insurance policy to a contractor…

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Michael Carlson: Don’t trade a tax cut for a tax increase- preserve the salary tax credits for insurers

For three decades, Florida has offered insurance companies a highly effective, performance-based tax credit that has resulted in tens of thousands of good jobs being created or imported to our state. Not only does this credit bolster our state’s economy in a transparent, accountable way, it also helps ensure insurance rates for Floridians stay as…

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Editorial: Water Claims Spell Trouble for Florida Property Insurance Market

Tampa Bay Times Editorial A steady drip usually signals bigger trouble, and this is no exception. Insurance claims and lawsuits for water damage are climbing, and the mess is spreading from South Florida to Tampa Bay. That means trouble for private insurers and the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. And that means trouble for homeowners…

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Restoring Balance in Insurance Litigation

An Update of the Abuse of Assignments of Benefits and its Correlation with One-Way Attorney’s Fees by Mark Delegal and Ashley Kalifeh for Florida Association of Independent Agents, Executive Summary As discussed in FJRI’s 2015 paper,1 the prospect of one-way attorney’s fees has encouraged a growing number of lawyers to partner with various service providers…

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Thousands of Florida Mortgages Could Be At Risk Because of Insurance Abuse

TALLAHASSEE An Ohio insurance-rating company has warned that recent court rulings and skyrocketing losses from water-damage claims have created an “uncertain operating environment” for Florida’s property insurers and that it will downgrade the financial stability of 10 to 15 Florida-based companies, potentially threatening the solvency of thousands of homeowners policies. Demotech, Inc., a company which…

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