Assignment of benefits, what are the concerns or risks regarding aobs.
AOBs have long been a part of Florida’s insurance marketplace. However, abuses in the way they were being used in the marketplace have driven up costs for homeowners across the state due to unnecessary litigation associated with certain AOB claims.
Consumers should be aware, when signing an AOB, that they may become involved in the third-party vendor’s lawsuit against the insurance company if the third party and company are in dispute on the payment amount of the claim.
What precautionary measures can consumers take prior to signing an AOB?
OIR offers the following tips consumers should consider prior to entering into an AOB contract.
- Read your insurance policy carefully.
- Know what your responsibilities are after a loss.
- Know whether your insurance policy restricts your ability to assign your benefits and the terms of any restrictions.
- Know whether your insurer partners with any repair companies.
- Contact your insurance company prior to signing the AOB.
- Read the AOB carefully, ask questions, and do not feel pressured to sign it.
- Do not sign if there are blank spaces contained in the document.
Is a consumer required to sign an AOB to have repairs completed?
No. Consumers can file a claim directly with their insurance company. Filing a claim directly with the insurer allows the consumer to maintain control of the rights and benefits provided by their policy in resolving the claim.
How does a consumer know if they are signing an AOB?
After a loss, a consumer might call a roofer, contractor, plumber, water extraction company, or other third-party vendor to assist with emergency repairs. Once those vendors have assessed the damage, contractors or vendors may present consumers with a document to sign prior to beginning any work.
If the document is an AOB, it will sign over the consumer’s insurance benefits to the contractor or vendor and give this third-party the ability to negotiate and endorse claim payments or file suit against the insurance company on the consumer’s behalf.
An AOB must contain the following paragraph:
YOU ARE AGREEING TO GIVE UP CERTAIN RIGHTS YOU HAVE UNDER YOUR INSURANCE POLICY TO A THIRD PARTY, WHICH MAY RESULT IN LITIGATION AGAINST YOUR INSURER. PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS DOCUMENT BEFORE SIGNING IT. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PENALTY WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER THE DATE THIS AGREEMENT IS EXECUTED, AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE WORK ON THE PROPERTY IS SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE IF THE ASSIGNEE HAS NOT SUBSTANTIALLY PERFORMED, OR AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE EXECUTION OF THE AGREEMENT IF THE AGREEMENT DOES NOT CONTAIN A COMMENCEMENT DATE AND THE ASSIGNEE HAS NOT BEGUN SUBSTANTIAL WORK ON THE PROPERTY. HOWEVER, YOU ARE OBLIGATED FOR PAYMENT OF ANY CONTRACTED WORK PERFORMED BEFORE THE AGREEMENT IS RESCINDED. THIS AGREEMENT DOES NOT CHANGE YOUR OBLIGATION TO PERFORM THE DUTIES REQUIRED UNDER YOUR PROPERTY INSURANCE POLICY.
Can the AOB agreement be canceled?
Yes. Following AOB reform in 2019, a consumer can cancel an AOB without any penalties or fees. To cancel, the consumer must give the third-party vendor signed written notice of the desire to cancel the AOB at one of three points during the repair process:
(1) Within 14 days after executing the AOB;
(2) At least 30 days after the date the third-party vendor is scheduled to start work, if that vendor has not already completed a substantial amount of the work; or
(3) At least 30 days after executing the AOB, if the AOB does not have a start date for the work and the third-party vendor has not begun substantial work on the property.
What significant changes came from the 2019 AOB reform?
According to the Department of Financial Services, there were 405 AOB lawsuits across all 67 Florida counties in 2006, and that number had risen to 28,200 by 2016.
To stem the AOB misuse, OIR worked with the Governor, Cabinet, and Florida Legislature to pass significant consumer protection reform related to AOBs. On May 23, 2019, Governor DeSantis signed into law House Bill 7065 (2019) (“HB 7065”), a significant reform to the AOB landscape, effective July 1, 2019.
HB 7065 created section 627.7152 , Florida Statutes, which contains definitions and required provisions for AOBs, referred to as “assignment agreements” in the statute, that are executed under residential or commercial property insurance policies. An AOB that does not comply with this new section is not valid under Florida law.
HB 7065 also created section 627.7153 , Florida Statutes, which provides standards for policies that restrict the right to assign post-loss insurance benefits in whole or in part under a property insurance policy. Insurers offering restricted policies must notify an insured at least annually of the coverage options available for the assignability of benefits and must attach that notice to the premium notice. A restricted policy must be available at a lower cost than a policy that provides the same benefits but does not restrict assignment rights.
Assignment of Benefits Data Calls
In June 2019, OIR issued Informational Memorandum OIR-19-02M to notify insurers that a data call would be issued sooner than required in order to evaluate the preliminary impact of HB 7065. OIR has proactively issued a data call in 2020 to evaluate the preliminary impacts of the legislation.
Previous AOB data call reports are listed below:
- 2017 Report released on January 12, 2018 – Press Release , Report
- 2016 Report released on February 8, 2016 - Press Release , Report
- Client Reviews
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- (800) LAW- 4141
The End of Assignment of Benefits in Florida
- The Professional Law Group
- February 16, 2023
- Assignment of Benefits , Home Insurance Claim , preparedness
On December 16 th , 2022, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (S.B.) 2-A , a new law to help support the state’s property insurance industry. S.B. 2-A, which went into effect on the first of the year, includes many reforms to property insurance regulations. Almost all of them are designed to benefit insurers instead of homeowners in need.
The most important of the bill’s many changes is its prohibition on assigning benefits. According to the law, property owners with insurance policies issued after January 1 st , 2023, may not assign their insurance benefits to another party.
Why is Florida ending the assignment of benefits? After all, it has long been a tool used by property owners to simplify the process of repairing their homes and businesses. According to the legislators in favor of banning this process, it frequently led to insurers being faced with unnecessarily high claims. They allege that prohibiting assignments of benefits will reduce the strain on insurers and eventually lead to lower prices for consumers.
However, this could take years to occur and may harm policyholders in the meantime. By removing a proven, helpful tool from property owners, the law will make it significantly harder to receive fair compensation for damage after disasters strike. It could also make finding skilled contractors to fix a property more difficult by reducing the incentives these companies receive for prompt work.
If you own property in Florida, it is in your best interest to understand how this new law could affect you. Below, we break down how the assignment of benefits process used to work, how the changes may affect you, and what you can do to ensure your next home insurance claim is paid in full.
How the Assignment of Benefits Worked Previously
Florida’s assignment of benefits process was intended to make property repairs and insurance claims easier for policyholders. It allowed property owners to assign the benefits from their insurance policy to a third party when they needed to file a claim. For example, a homeowner could grant a trusted full-service contractor the rights to the insurance benefits in exchange for guaranteeing that it would repair disaster damage in full.
When this occurred, the contractor received the authority to file claims on the owner’s behalf, make decisions about the best way to repair the property, and receive insurance payments directly from the insurer. Home repair companies could use their in-depth knowledge of the damage to ensure it was fixed correctly and fight back against insurers attempting to underpay claims. Meanwhile, the owner could relax and trust that their claim was being handled by a professional on their side.
The Impact of the Change on Homeowners in Florida
If you already have an insurance policy purchased or renewed before 2023, the new prohibition on assigning benefits does not yet apply to you. For policies issued after January 1, 2023 the right to assign benefits for this type of work has been eliminated. Insurers lobbied for this change, but policies require that property owners take action to stop the damage and prevent it from becoming worse. If a property owner does not do this the insurance company may try to use that as a basis to deny coverage and refuse to make payments. Ironically, policy holders still have the obligation to stop the damage and protect the property, but the insurance companies have made it harder to do so.
Without the ability to hand over the process entirely to a trustworthy contractor, homeowners will be required to do the following themselves:
- Submit claims to their insurer
- Document the damage on their property
- Identify the necessary repairs and report them to the insurer
- Negotiate with the insurer to receive fair compensation
They will be required to accomplish all of this on top of the already-difficult task of living in a damaged home, scheduling repairs, and handling all their other daily responsibilities.
This will clearly make recovering after a disaster more difficult. While it could eventually make insurance more affordable, it has yet to be seen whether this will come to pass. In the meantime, homeowners will likely continue facing some of the highest insurance premiums in the country while receiving fewer benefits.
Managing Your Home Insurance Claim Without the Assignment of Benefits
Without the ability to assign your insurance benefits to a third party, you will be responsible for managing much of your home insurance claim. However, you do not have to handle the process on your own. Trustworthy, professional contractors will continue to provide their services and work hard to help you prove that certain repairs are necessary.
Furthermore, whether or not you can assign benefits, property owners can still pay contractors with money from the policy by using documents known as a direction to pay and a letter of protection . The process is a little more complicated and requires the policy holder to work with a contractor and attorney who can work through the necessary steps.
- Direction To Pay: This is a document in which the property owner directs or instructs the insurance company to pay another party, such as a contractor, from the some of the money paid for the claim. Sometimes the insurance company will follow the directions and pay as instructed by the policy holder. This is helpful but it gives the contractor less rights and less control than the contractor would have had with an assignment of benefits.
- Letter of Protection: This type of letter can be used two different ways. 1) By the property owner to instruct his or her attorney to “protect” a contractor or service provider by paying the contractor’s bill from money received from the claim; and/or 2) By the insured’s attorney to assure a contractor or service provider that their bill will be paid.
Similar to the situation with attorney’s fees, these methods have been used for years in personal injury cases. Now, the same techniques can be used with property damage claims. The attorneys at The Professional Law Group are familiar with what is involved and can help. Let us know if you have questions. Learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you receive fair compensation for your damaged property today by scheduling your free case review .
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Assignment of Benefits in Florida Will Soon Be Dead and Are Now Critically Examined
Recent Florida legislation makes the assignment of benefits for a property insurance policy illegal in Florida. Recent cases demonstrate that such assignment of benefit contracts will be critically examined by courts when insurance companies raise issues about their validity.
Last week, a Florida appellate Court ruled that a proposed assignment of benefit contract was void. 1 It noted the insurer’s argument and the issue to be determined:
Citizens moved to dismiss the complaint with prejudice, contending that the assignment of benefits agreement, on its face, failed to comply with section 627.7152(2) (a)4., Florida Statutes (2021) (requiring that an assignment of benefits agreement ‘[c]ontain a written, itemized, perunit cost estimate of the services to be performed by the assignee’) rendering the assignment agreement invalid and unenforceable. Id. § 627.7152(2)(d) (providing: ‘An assignment agreement that does not comply with this subsection is invalid and unenforceable.’) More specifically, Citizens contended the assignment agreement did not contain ‘a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed by assignee’ as required by the statute. In response, Total Care contended that the assignment agreement contained an itemized per-unit cost estimate in compliance with the statute; Citizens lacked privity to challenge the assignment agreement; and non-compliance with the statute would render the assignment agreement voidable, not void, and—if voidable— Citizens would have no standing to challenge the assignment agreement since it was not a party to, or third-party beneficiary of, the assignment agreement.
The court noted that prior legislation required an estimate which was itemized:
Enacted by the legislature in 2019, section 627.7152, Florida Statutes (2021), governs assignment of benefits agreements. Subsection (2)(a) enumerates several requirements for a valid and enforceable assignment of benefits agreement. Relevant to the instant case, the statute requires: ‘An assignment agreement must… [c]ontain a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed by the assignee.’… In addition, section (2)(d) provides: ‘An assignment agreement that does not comply with this subsection is invalid and unenforceable.’
A mere listing of costs and services was found not to be sufficient:
While Total Care contends this document meets the statute’s requirement of ‘a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed by the assignee,’ we conclude it falls far short. It is not tailored to the insured or to the services to be performed on this particular property. Instead, it is simply a listing of services offered by Total Care, divided into two categories—’Emergency Service Price’ and ‘Non-Emergency Prices.’ The services listed under the two categories overlap nearly completely (the emergency category lists twenty-two services, while the non-emergency category lists eighteen identical services), with the difference being the cost of an available service performed on an emergency versus nonemergency basis. Such a generic menu of services available to any customer manifestly fails to comply with the ‘itemized, per-unit cost estimate of the services to be performed’ required by section 627.7152(2)(a) 4. Indeed, this document is not an ‘estimate’ at all, because it fails to set forth: the specific services being performed by Total Care on Mr. Bernal’s property;….”
The court cited with approval a similar case ruled upon last year:
We find persuasive the reasoning and holding of our sibling court in Air Quality Experts Corp. v. Fam. Sec. Ins. Co. , 351 So. 3d 32 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022), which is indistinguishable in all material respects from this case. In Air Quality, an assignee under a homeowner’s property insurance assignment agreement submitted bills to the insurer. When the insurer refused to pay, the assignee sued, attaching to the complaint the assignment agreement contract and two invoices. The assignment agreement included ‘a standard price list of the types of services offered by the assignee with their unit price.’ As the Fourth District explained, ‘[t]here was nothing in the attachment which tied the price list to the insured’s home so that it could be considered an estimate.’
The bottom line is that restoration contractors should expect their assignment of benefit contracts to be challenged by insurers in Florida. Those assignments will have to meet the letter of the law to be enforceable. Before long, this will be antiquated law because all assignments will eventually be disallowed based on the recently passed legislation.
Thought For The Day
Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
1 Total Car Restoration v. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. , No. 3D22-711, 2023 WL 2505937 (Fla. 3d DCA Mar. 15, 2023) .
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Other Articles in Insurance Industry Legal Blog
- When Can Insurance Companies Require Participation in Mandatory Binding Arbitration?
- Part II: The Shift in Florida Insurance Litigation with the End of One-Way Attorneys’ Fees
- Part I: The Shift in Florida Insurance Litigation with the End of One-Way Attorneys’ Fees
- Understanding Florida’s Prompt Pay Laws For Property Insurance Claims
- Florida Makes Major Changes to Comparative Negligence Law
Policyholders Are No Longer Permitted To Assign Their Insurance Benefits in Florida
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Florida’s Senate Bill 2-A, which went into effect on December 16, 2022, has brought significant changes to Florida’s property insurance landscape, particularly in the realm of Assignment of Benefits (AOB). This blog post aims to shed light on the implications of these changes for homeowners in Florida.
What is an Assignment of Benefits?
An “Assignment of Benefits” or AOB is essentially the transfer of contractual rights from one party to another. In the context of insurance, this means policyholders can assign their benefits, such as the right to receive insurance payouts, to another party. Once the assignment is made, the assignee gains the authority to enforce the insurance contract, including taking legal action against the insurer if necessary.
Prohibition of Assignment of Benefits
Although Assignment of Benefits were previously permitted in Florida, Senate Bill 2-A amended Florida law to prohibit Assignments of Benefits in certain circumstances. The pivotal change brought about by Senate Bill 2-A is the prohibition of assigning any post-loss benefits under any residential property or any commercial property insurance policies issued after January 1, 2023. This means that property owners with policies issued after this date are no longer allowed to assign their insurance benefits to third parties. However, homeowners with policies issued before 2023 are not affected by this change; they can continue to use the AOB process.
While the intent behind this change is to reduce the strain on insurers and potentially lower prices for consumers in the long run, its immediate impact on homeowners is notable. Ironically, while policyholders still bear the obligation to mitigate damage and protect their properties, insurers have made it more challenging to do so by eliminating the AOB option. This could potentially lead to policyholders facing difficulties in receiving prompt compensation and repairs, particularly in the aftermath of a disaster.
Navigating Home Insurance Claims Without AOB
Despite the changes, homeowners can still effectively manage their home insurance claims. Some recommendations for homeowners to still effectively manage their claim, and receive prompt compensation and repairs, are as follows:
- Document Everything: Keep detailed records of damage, repair estimates, and communications with your insurer. This documentation will be crucial when negotiating your claim.
- Seek Professional Assistance: Hire a reputable contractor or service provider to assess the damage, provide repair estimates, and assist you in navigating the insurance claim process.
- Legal Assistance: Consider consulting an attorney experienced in property insurance claims to guide you through the process, especially if disputes arise with your insurer.
- Regular Communication: Stay in close contact with your insurer throughout the claims process, ensuring transparency and clear communication.
- Advocate for Fair Compensation: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with your insurer to ensure you receive fair compensation for property damage and repairs.
The changes brought about by Florida’s Senate Bill 2-A regarding Assignment of Benefits have significant implications for homeowners. While the intent is to address concerns raised by insurers, the immediate impact on policyholders is increased responsibility in managing insurance claims.
Homeowners should be aware of whether these changes apply to their policies and, if so, be prepared to take a more active role in the claims process. By being proactive and informed, homeowners can still work towards fair compensation for their property damage and repairs, even in the absence of the assignment of benefits option.
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An Update on Assignments of Benefits for Florida Contractors
While assignment of benefit agreements are quickly being phased out for insurance payments on construction projects, it’s important for contractors who plan to continue to use them while they can to know how courts have been applying Florida’s assignment of benefits statute and what contractors need to do to be compliant with those decisions.
Historically, contractors in Florida have been able to use an assignment of benefits to secure their right to payment on a project by having the homeowner assign the right to payment from the insurance carrier directly to the contractor. In July 2019, Florida enacted section 627.7152, Florida Statutes , which set forth specific requirements and limitations for assignment of benefits agreements for construction projects. After the passage of that act, approximately 20 trial court orders were entered along with two appellate decisions were issued, providing guidance on the statute. On May 26, 2022, 627.7152, Florida Statutes , was amended. Following the amendment, approximately 10 more appellate decisions have come down interpreting the statute. Finally, on December 16, 2022, 627.7152, Florida Statutes , was amended a final time, largely doing away with the use of assignment of benefits agreements in Florida for insurance payments on construction projects.
Where We Are Today.
As of the date of this post, under the December 16, 2022 revisions to 627.7152, Florida Statutes , contractors can use an assignment of benefits, and homeowners can enter into an assignment of benefits, if the insurance policy being assigned was issued on or after July 1, 2019 and before January 1, 2023. Based on this language, it appears that a contractor and homeowner could technically enter into an assignment of benefits agreement after January 1, 2023, so long as the relevant insurance policy was issued before January 1, 2023. Further, assignment of benefits agreements entered into prior to December 16, 2022, should be unaffected by the change in statute. You can click here to review my prior analysis of the revisions to 627.7152, Florida Statutes , contained in SB-2A .
Based on this change, there are two important dates that will be relevant to assignment of benefit agreements. First, the date of the assignment of benefits determines whether it must comply with the requirements of 627.7152. See Water Damage Express, LLC v. First Protective Insurance Company and Total Care Restoration LLC v. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation . If the assignment was executed after July 1, 2019, then it must comply with the requirements of the statute. Second, the date of the policy now determines whether the policy is assignable and whether any assignment would be enforceable, regardless of statutory compliance. That date is as set forth above, and must be between July 1, 2019 and January 1, 2023.
If you plan to continue to use assignment of benefit agreements into next year, you should absolutely ask to see the relevant policy and see if your agreement will be enforceable or not based on the date of the policy.
In addition to the most recent changes to the statute, there have been multiple court opinions that have come out providing clarification on what is needed to comply with the statute. These decisions will still be meaningful for as long as there are policies issued between July 1, 2019 and January 1, 2023 still in force. First, it is absolutely critical that assignment of benefits agreement comply with the statute. Under Kidwell Group, LLC v. ASI Preferred Insurance Corp. (decided 11/22/22), an assignment of benefits that is invalid under the statute is void, rather than merely voidable, and an insurance carrier has standing to challenge the validity of the assignment based on failure to comply with the statute.
Further, the assignment agreement must have a written, itemized, per unit cost estimate. While this language comes from the statute, Florida’s courts have interpreted this to require a specific, itemized price list, tailored to the project. For example, in Air Quality Experts Corp. v. Family Security Insurance Company , it was not enough that a standard price list with per room unit prices listed was attached. The court indicated that the estimate needed to include information the number of rooms and what pricing was going to apply to those specific rooms, and a specific total. Similarly, in Kidwell (referenced above), the court determined that an invoice delivered the day after the assignment was signed was not compliant with the itemized estimate requirement of the statute.
Finally, courts also appear to be interpreting the statute broadly. In Kidwell Group, LLC v. American Integrity Insurance Company (decided 9/16/22), the court evaluated an assignment agreement that, on its face stated that that assessment provided under the agreement was not meant to “protect, repair, restore, or replace damaged property or to mitigate against further damage to property.” This language appears to have been intended to attempt to remove the agreement from the statutory definition of an assignment agreement subject to 672.7152. But, the agreement also indicated that the purpose of the agreement was “to determine repairability, scope and/or categorization of water damage, testing for contamination including bacteria and/or mold in order to prepare a forensic engineering report and/or remediation protocol report that may be used to prescribe or confirm proper remediation procedures for the damaged property.” While the court acknowledged the express disclaimer attempting to remove the agreement from the statute, the court concluded that if the agreement, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, its a duck. In other words, agreements that seem like assignment agreements, even where they contain language expressly indicating they are not, could be deemed by courts to be assignment agreements.
Court decisions like this make it harder for contractors to determine if their existing agreements are compliant with the statute, or need to be. If you plan to continue to use assignment of benefit agreements for a period of time longer, you need to make sure that you have them reviewed regularly when new court decisions come out, and that you have a plan in place for when there are no more policies applicable that were issued before January 1, 2023.
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Assignment of Benefits in Florida: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Noble Public Adjusting Group uses our blog to educate and inform Florida policyholders about all things related to your homeowner and commercial property insurance. In that vein, today we would like to discuss an often misunderstood aspect of homeowner insurance called Assignment of Benefits, (AOB.) This is an agreement that, once signed, transfers your homeowner insurance claim benefits to a third party. An AOB gives a Florida third-party authority to file your homeowner insurance claim, make repair decisions and collect insurance payments without your involvement.
As an example, let’s say you have a pipe leak at your Florida home that causes water damage . If you call a Florida restoration company to make repairs and they have you sign an AOB that transfers your insurance rights to them, the restoration company can file your Florida homeowner insurance claim on your behalf and be paid directly without your involvement.
Where the confusion comes in, and why we put in the title, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is that Assignment of Benefits can be a great asset that frees you up from having to worry about your insurance claim getting filed, receiving your insurance payout, or your problem getting fixed. Or signing an AOB could become your worst nightmare, and it all has to do with the Florida contractor or restoration company that you choose. To help Florida policyholders understand this in detail, Noble Public Adjusting Group has broken Assignment of Benefits down to the good, the bad, and the ugly below:
Good Florida contractors who properly use Assignment of Benefits will have everyone on the same page, including the insurance company, the policyholder, and themselves, so there are no surprises. When used appropriately, AOBs can help homeowners get repairs done quickly and avoid the hassle of handling their insurance claim. Noble Public Adjusting Group has a list of vetted contractors in every realm of home repair, whether it be roofing, plumbing, water restoration, or any other type of repairs that need to be made to your Florida home. The contractors or restoration companies that Noble suggests to Florida policyholders who use AOBs do so responsibly and take on all the issues with your Florida homeowner insurance claim and subsequent repairs to your home. One great instance where an AOB can be a lifesaver is when you have an emergency like a broken water line, for instance. The plumber you sign an AOB with can instantly fix the problem and handle the insurance claim in his own time, saving you tons of headaches and possibly more damage that hesitation could cause.
Once you sign an AOB form you have assigned all of your policy benefits over to a Florida contractor or restoration company. If this contractor or supposed restoration specialist is unscrupulous, they may very well make a claim for unnecessary work, heavily pad the pricing of the work, or in some cases even commit fraud. The worst part of this scenario is that after you sign the Assignment of Benefits, you have entered into a binding legal contract and you have set yourself up for a world of trouble and could very well end up in court without your Florida home ever being repaired.
A joint effort of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has created a one-minute consumer alert warning consumers about Florida trial lawyers and unscrupulous contractors who are scamming millions by abusing Assignment of Benefits. Nearly nonexistent 15 years ago, AOB lawsuit fraud has now spread across Florida, with many homeowners holding the bill on these ‘get rich quick’ schemes from what the Chamber refers to as a cottage industry of trial lawyers and shady repair vendors.
“Florida’s legislature should stop dubious vendors and plaintiffs’ lawyers from raiding the ‘assignment of benefits’ cookie jar. Florida homeowners face skyrocketing insurance costs because of such abuse, and the legislature can provide meaningful relief by adopting sensible reforms,” adds Harold Kim , executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
As you can see after reading the above information, you should be very careful about signing an Assignment of Benefits contract. Your first step when you have damages to your home in Florida should be to call us. Noble Public Adjusting Group keeps an updated list of Florida contractors, such as roofers, plumbers, and water restoration specialist who are vetted by us for their personal integrity and the quality of their work. Some use AOBs, some don’t. You don’t need to be afraid of the AOB, but you DO need to be very wary of Florida contractors you do not know or who have not been vetted by Noble.
We did not come across the name “Noble” by accident. Fighting for policyholders is our life mission and noble cause. Noble Public Adjusting Group’s main office is in Panama City Beach. We have several other offices in Florida, in Texas and in Georgia. Call us today and let’s discuss your insurance claim, AOBs, or any other concern you have. We love hearing from our blog readers!
Noble Public Adjusting Group 107 Amar Place Suite 103 Panama City Beach (West End), FL 32413 (850) 249-MY-PA
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Assignment of Benefits
At The Morgan Law Group, our Assignment of Benefits attorneys have been protecting the rights of our Florida residents and others throughout the state for more than four combined decades.
Our Assignment of Benefits lawyers focuses on representing those who are struggling with homeowner’s insurance claims and are considering making the decision to assign the collection of those claims to contractors amid distressed times when repairs must be made to their homes quickly. Assignment of Benefits contracts may seem straight forward when you need immediate repairs, but the complexity lies in your insurance coverage itself, and our Assignment of Benefits lawyers in Florida can help you separate the allure of these contracts versus the reality of your responsibilities after signing the legally binding agreement.
What is An Assignment of Benefits?
An Assignment of Benefits contract is a document signed by the policyholder — the property owner — that allows a third party to seek direct payment from the insurance company for services rendered in the policy owner’s stead.
Assignment of Benefits, or AOB, is a popular resource for homeowners and other property owners who suffer damages from storms, water damage, or structural damage and need immediate repairs, but do not want to shoulder the costs of the renovations while their insurance policies lag in covering the overall expenses.
By signing the AOB, the property owner gives the roofer, plumber, or another third-party contractor the ability to bill the insurance company directly for the repairs, theoretically taking the policyholder out of the equation.
Why Would I Need A Lawyer Before Signing An Assignment of Benefits Contract ?
At The Morgan Law Group , our Assignment of Benefits attorneys understand that immediate repairs to your home may be more than a want, but an actual need. Broken pipes, water damage, or even fires can disrupt your family’s quality of life in many ways, and when you cannot wait for the insurance company to pay before contracting the repairs, stress will begin to take over.
Consulting with a Florida Assignment of Benefits attorney before signing an Assignment of Benefits contract is imperative because insurance companies are balking at repayment, and the contractors who hold the benefits from your contract may stop work on your home immediately until the outstanding costs are paid.
Worse, you could become personally responsible for the total costs of the repairs if the insurance company denies the claim altogether, due to a technicality in your policy’s verbiage or coverage agreement.
Are Insurance Companies Legally Allowed To Deny Assignment of Benefits Claims In Florida?
In December 2018, the Florida Supreme Court accepted the review of a case presenting the question as to whether Assignment of Benefits restrictions should be permitted in homeowner’s policies in Florida.
In short, the case under review claims that the insurance policy in question states that “all” insureds, all additional insureds, and all mortgagee(s) named in the policy must sign the Assignment of Benefits before it can be enforced.
In this case, the wife was the only person who signed the AOB. The husband, whose name is also on the policy and the mortgage, did not sign the contract, making it void — according to the insurance company.
The result of this lengthy argument will likely change the way AOB are handled going forward, which further requires an attorney’s representation before any contract is signed.
You do not want to be held personally responsible for costly repairs simply due to the confusing verbiage in your insurance policy. Contact The Morgan Law Group Assignment of Benefits lawyers in Florida by calling 888-904-2524 before you sign any contract that may hold you liable for the expenses.
What If I Have Already Signed An Assignment of Benefits Contract In Florida?
Our Assignment of Benefits Attorney understands that some repairs simply cannot wait and that an AOB contract may have been your only option in getting your home back in working order.
If you have already signed the contract, the control of the rights and benefits provided by your policy in resolving the claim may belong to the third-party contractor.
Contact our AOB law firm today and allow us to review the contract while supplying the legal representation you need to ensure the agreement is being fulfilled.
Keep in mind, the breakdown in AOB contracts typically begin with the insurance policyholder, as most insurance companies are not in a hurry to pay a claim. What’s more, is that insurance companies are claiming that third-party contractors are taking advantage of their position as the collector, and are often unwilling to pay the full amount required for your repairs.
It is important to understand your rights during these circumstances, and our Assignment of Benefits lawyers in can help protect you before and after a contract is signed.
Contact Our Skilled Florida Assignment of Benefits Lawyers Today For A Free Consultation
At The Morgan Law Group, P.A ., our boutique law firm has more than 25 years of experience representing policyholders as our Assignment of Benefits lawyers work tirelessly to protect your rights against large insurers and third-party contractors. If you have questions regarding your insurance policy and how signing an Assignment of Benefits contract will affect you, call our skilled lawyer today at 888-904-2524 to schedule a free consultation to ensure your rights are protected.
The Morgan Law Group is an insurance law firm in Florida, serving Orlando , Miami , Naples , Panama City , Tampa , and Pensacola City. Our Orlando, Miami, Naples, Panama, Tampa, and Pensacola Assignment of Benefits attorneys offers free consultation in a safe, trusting, comfortable environment. Call our law firm now to learn how our Orlando, Miami, Naples, Panama, Tampa, and Pensacola Assignment of Benefits claim attorney can help you confront the insurance company for the financial recovery you deserve.
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