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

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

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Consumer Protection Coalition launches ad on Assignment of Benefits claims

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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

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

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Report Points to Problems with AOBs, and a Way Around One Proposed Fix

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Lawmakers Set to Take Another Stab at Fixing Insurance Claims Abuses

Sun Sentinel – Ron Hurtibise Groundhog Day isn’t until Feb. 2, but two legislative meetings scheduled next week in Tallahassee will likely have a “been-there, done-that” feel to many of the participants. Banking and insurance panels from the state Senate and House will kick off this year’s efforts to solve the “assignment of benefits” problem…

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