Lieutenant Governor Pressures Lawmakers on Insurance-Industry Priority

TALLAHASSEE — With time starting to run out on an insurance-industry priority, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is urging House and Senate leaders to take action on a controversial practice known as “assignment of benefits.” In a memo Thursday to House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner, Lopez-Cantera said assignment-of-benefits “abuse” has led to…

Assignment of Benefits Bill Postponed; Insurers Group Urges Action

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday postponed a vote on a measure that would regulate homeowners’ ability to sign over their right to collect insurance benefits to third parties. Logan McFaddin, state government relations manager for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), issued this statement: “Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse is a critical…

Hidden Camera Investigation Reveals the High Cost of ‘Free’ Roof Offers

ORLANDO,Fla. — Action 9 exposed some bogus offers to replace home roofs for free. In a hidden camera investigation, Action 9’s Todd Ulrich found out how the offers drive up the cost of insurance. The fliers left on front doors may claim a roof is damaged, and can be replaced for free. Several homeowners contacted…

AOB Fraud and Abuse: Suspicious Activity is a Pocketbook Problem for Florida Families

The most recent edition of the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s exclusive member newsletter Chamber Insider highlights efforts to help consumers fight fraud and abuse associated with Assignment of Benefits (AOB). While AOB is a legal tool that can be used appropriately, it also provides an opportunity for shady repair companies to partner with trial attorneys…

Insurance, Real Estate Coalition Seeks Homeowners Insurance Reform in 2016

More than a dozen Florida real estate, construction and insurance groups announced Tuesday that they are teaming up to push for homeowners’ insurance reform in the 2016 Legislative Session. The Consumer Protection Coalition seeks to curb a practice known as “assignment of benefits,” where owners sign away their insurance policy to a third party who…

Fraud Pushing Up Premiums In Florida

By some accounts, Florida has the highest homeowner’s insurance rates in the country and rates keep rising, despite not having a major hurricane in the last decade. The culprit – a concentration of non-weather related water claims. In many cases, these claims are pushed along by unscrupulous contractors and attorneys. According to Citizens Property Insurance…

Consumer Advocate Challenges Insurers on Water Damage Claims

Florida’s new insurance consumer advocate wants property insurance companies to produce data to back up their statements about rising water damage claims in South Florida. Sha’Ron James, who took over the statewide position in August, told participants at a public workshop Tuesday that she has asked the top 15 insurers to document their assertions that…

Consumers Need Legislative Fix to Home Repair Scam

on July 19, 2015 the Miami Herald ran the following op-ed by PIFF Executive Director Michael Carlson: For three years, state lawmakers have received mounting evidence about a scam in which frazzled homeowners are unknowingly signing away their insurance benefits to shady vendors during home repair emergencies. This spring’s annual legislative session melted down with…