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.

PIFF’s Position on AOB Reform

PIFF recognizes the usefulness of Assignment of Benefits but recommends legislative reforms be enacted to prevent AOB abuse from becoming a statewide consumer crisis on par with sinkhole claims abuse and PIP auto insurance fraud, which resulted in increased premiums for Floridians.

PIFF supports a change to Florida’s “one-way attorney fee” law so that businesses that sue insurance companies are required to pay their own lawyers – just like they do when they sue any other business. PIFF also supports legislation that will end referral fees between vendors; require detailed written estimates for work to be performed by a vendor; prohibit unlicensed adjusting by vendors; and put reasonable limits on how much work can be performed before the insurer is able to adjust the claim.

Visit FightFraud.Today and sign the petition to let members of the Florida Legislature know that you want to stop scams on Florida Homeowners. To learn more about how Floridians are being victimized, read their stories today.

Consumer Resources:

  • Downloadable brochure supplied by the Department of Financial Services in English and Spanish.
  • “Red Flag Checklist” in English and Spanish.
  • Consumer Tips provided by the Department of Financial Services. Click for the Spanish version.
  • Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s AOB Resources
  • Post-Loss Assignment of Benefits Fact Sheet by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
  • Consumer Protection Coalition’s guide on  how to avoid falling victim to AOB abuse
  • Call your insurance agent with further questions.
  • Contact the Insurance Consumer Helpline if further assistance is needed, 1-877-693-52-36
Newsworthy

CONSUMER PROTECTION COALITION PRAISES HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE FOR PASSING ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS (AOB) BILL

Originally published by Consumer Protection Coalition   |   View Release TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2017) – The Consumer Protection Coalition praised the House Judiciary Committee today for passing a bill that would protect consumers from Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse related to homeowners’ insurance. The bill, PCB JDC 18-01, contains commonsense consumer protections that would curb…

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House AOB package clears committee despite some qualms

Michael Moline Florida Politics November 14, 2017   House assignment of benefits (AOB) legislation cleared its sole committee Tuesday and appears headed to the floor, despite reservations about its limits on attorney fees and lack of language directly sanctioning insurance fraud. Judiciary Committee members also expressed skepticism about insurers pressing policyholders to accept their preferred…

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Bill aimed at reducing insurance claims abuses advances in state House

Ron Hurtibise, Contact Reporter November 14, 2017   Attorneys fees would be more difficult for “bad actor” water restoration companies and their attorneys to collect from insurance companies under a bill advanced Tuesday by the state House Judiciary Committee. The committee voted 13-5 to advance the bill to the full House despite concerns by some…

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AOB Abuse Tops Agenda at Florida Chamber Insurance Summit

November 7, 2017 Insurance Journal   The Florida Chamber of Commerce brought together regulators, lawmakers, insurance industry executives and other stakeholders last week for the chamber’s annual insurance summit. Through several panel discussions on pressing and emerging issues facing the state’s insurance market, the summit touched on everything from recent cases expected to raise workers’…

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Committee meetings emphasize need for Assignment of Benefits (AOB) reform this session

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2017) – Legislative meetings about Assignment of Benefits underscored the need for comprehensive reform to end abusive AOB practices that are driving up the cost of property insurance and threatening the affordability of home ownership for many Floridians, the Consumer Protection Coalition said today.   Members of the Senate Banking and…

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The state senator discussed what will be happening in the upcoming legislative session.

PortOrangeObserver.com By: Nichole Osinski, Staff Writer Hurricane Irma not only brought destruction, but according to Florida State Senator Dorothy L. Hukill, it is bringing changes. On Friday, Oct. 20, at the Riverside Pavilion, Hukill discussed the aftermath of the hurricane and new bills that will be filed in the upcoming legislative session. According to Hukill, the most recent…

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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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