Recent legislative changes prohibit a policyholder from assigning any post-loss benefits of a residential or commercial property insurance contract issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2023. Therefore, Assignment of Benefit agreements may not be established for claims made under contracts subject to this new law.
WHAT IS ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS?
As a Florida homeowner, it is important that you understand the dangers of signing an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contract. An AOB is a contract between you and a third party, usually a contractor, roofer or water mitigation company. This contract gives the third party the right to deal directly with American Traditions and they can collect payment for your claim. Recent history has shown that following events such as hurricanes and hail storms, unscrupulous contractors are quick to canvas impacted areas. These contractors typically make promises regarding getting your damages handled, but only if you sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contract with them.
DON'T FALL VICTIM TO THIS SCHEME
- if you have damage, contact your insurance company FIRST and as soon as possible to file a claim.
- Do not allow a contractor to pressure you into signing ANY contracts or other documents. Talk to your insurance carrier or agent first, in the event of a claim.
- Do not allow a third party, such as a water remediation firm, roofer or contractor, to contact your insurance company on your behalf. You should be the one to make the first contact with your insurance company.
- Be aware if you feel you are being misled into signing an AOB. As a policyholder, you must perform certain obligations under your policy and understand your duties.
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER ABOUT THE DANGERS OF SIGNING AN AOB CONTRACT
This information is provided by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation:
- You will lose all rights to the insurance claim, including the right to mediate the claim or to make any decisions regarding the claim, including repairs.
- There is no right of rescission or cancellation provision with an AOB and once signed, the AOB is a valid contract and you are bound by the provisions of the contract.
- Depending on the language in the AOB, the third party may be able to endorse checks on your behalf.
- Once you have signed an AOB, the third party may file suit against your insurance company, with or without your knowledge.
- You may be subject to property liens, or other financial fees or penalties for failure to comply with the terms and conditions in the AOB.
The unfortunate reality is that these contractors are often only looking out for their own best interest. As your insurance carrier, we are very well equipped to quickly inspect and review your damages, and often times we can provide a reputable contractor that will make the necessary repairs to your satisfaction. We will work with you to be sure that your claim is handled fairly and promptly.