In his continued efforts to ensure Floridians understand the impacts of assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse, Commissioner David Altmaier has debunked the top five myths and most common AOB-related misunderstandings. [Read more…] about Florida Insurance Commissioner Debunks Top AOB Myths
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued the following statement following today’s Senate Banking and Insurance Committee’s meeting: [Read more…] about Commissioner David Altmaier: Addressing AOB Crisis Must Remain A Top Priority
Commissioner Altmaier will continue to serve as Florida Insurance Commissioner
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier today issued the following statement after being elected to serve as Vice President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). [Read more…] about Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier Elected as Vice President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued the following statement regarding the Insurance Information Institute’s (I.I.I.) report released yesterday highlighting its perspective on the current state of Florida’s assignment of benefits (AOB) crisis. [Read more…] about Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier: AOB Abuse Continues to Threaten Florida’s Homeowners and Consumers
As the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season nears its end, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis are reminding consumers that now is not the time to be complacent when protecting yourself from the impacts of flooding. [Read more…] about As Hurricane Season Ends, Efforts to Secure Flood Coverage Should Not
At the direction of Governor Scott, Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Emergency Order suspending and activating certain insurance rules and statutes for the health, safety, and welfare of Florida’s policyholders. [Read more…] about OIR Issues Emergency Order During Hurricane Michael Recovery
Following Governor Scott’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend as the state prepares for Tropical Storm Michael, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) issued the following notice to all health insurers, managed care organizations and other health entities licensed by OIR:
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier today issued the following statement in response to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis calling for reforms to curb property insurance fraud.
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier stated: “I applaud CFO Patronis’ initiative in the fight against AOB abuse. Now, more than ever, is the time for a solution to the abuse and fraud that continues to threaten the affordability of insurance in Florida.
“Not only have AOB-related lawsuits skyrocketed, but the claims associated with an AOB are 85 percent more expensive than claims without an AOB. The excessive litigation fueled by bad actors who abuse AOBs will only result in higher premiums for our consumers.
“AOB reform has remained a top priority for my office and we look forward to joining CFO Patronis in our fight to hold consumers harmless.”
For more information about this issue, visit the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) “Assignment of Benefits Resources” webpage.
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier is encouraging Floridians who will be recovering from potential flood or wind damages to their homes and businesses from Tropical Storm Gordon to use caution when signing an Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Homeowners may be presented with a document to sign before repair work begins, which could contain what is known as an AOB, that transfers the insurance claims rights or benefits of your insurance policy to a third party.
Homeowners should contact their insurance agent, insurance company or CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline (1-877-693-5236) as soon as possible when making emergency repairs. After assessing the damage, restoration professionals may encourage homeowners to sign an AOB. By doing so, homeowners are giving the vendor the right to exclusively communicate with their insurance company, negotiate and endorse insurance claim payments and potentially file a lawsuit against the insurance company, with or without the homeowner’s knowledge. AOBs have been a cost driver leading to rising homeowners insurance rates across the state due to unnecessary litigation associated with certain AOB claims.
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier stated, “As Floridians evaluate damages to their homes and property following Tropical Storm Gordon, it is vital they understand exactly what they are signing. AOB abuse has contributed to rising insurance rates and in some cases, unscrupulous contractors have left homeowners with unfinished repairs, liens against their homes and uncovered repair expenses. Homeowners are encouraged to review any documents they are asked to sign and use caution when signing an AOB. Consumers can always file a claim directly with their insurance company to maintain control of the rights and benefits provided by their insurance policy when resolving a claim.”
The following are a few tips to assist homeowners:
- Read your insurance policy and know what your responsibilities are following a loss.
- Contact your insurance company prior to signing any document that may contain an AOB.
- If the homeowner elects to sign the AOB, read everything carefully and do not feel pressured to sign it. Signing an AOB is not your only option.
- Beware of language that allows all proceeds of the claim to be made to anyone other than the homeowner or the homeowner’s mortgage company.
- Do not sign the document if there are any blank spaces.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. For more information about OIR, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter @FLOIR_comm and Facebook.