Assignment of Benefits (AOB) bill a win for consumers in Florida

Assignment of Benefits (AOB) bill a win for consumers in Florida

The Consumer Protection Coalition (CPC) today described the Florida House’s passage of an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) bill as an important step in protecting consumers and urged the Senate to step up and follow suit. HB 7015 allows policyholders to rescind an AOB contract without any penalty or fee and requires cost estimates for work and notices that a vendor intends to file a lawsuit against an insurer. It also modifies how attorney fees are paid, a key provision for discouraging the filing of frivolous lawsuits against insurers over inflated, unreasonable claims.

AOB abuse has exploded in recent years as more vendors and attorneys have used AOB contracts to take control of a homeowner’s policy, inflate a claim, then sue an insurance company that disputes the bill. The number of lawsuits involving an AOB grew from 405 in 2006 to more than 28,000 in 2016. Last year, 20,000 lawsuits were filed as of July.

This constant vendor repair abuse has resulted in higher insurance premiums. Without this AOB reform homeowners of a $150,000 home can expect to see a rise in the premiums of 29% by 2022, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Next step, the Florida Senate, as they take up the HB 7015 or SB 62 to continue working on this important issue for policyholders in Florida.

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