Florida Court Rejects Restrictions on Assignment of Benefits

December 06, 2017

Saying the issue is “best addressed by the Legislature,” Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected an effort that would have required assignment of benefits (AOB) to have written consent from an insurance policyholder and their mortgage lender, reports Daily Business Review.

AOB is the practice of policyholders signing their insurance benefits over to contractors in exchange for home improvement or auto body work. In tandem with plaintiffs’ lawyers, the contractors file inflated insurance claims and then sue if it is challenged by the insurer. The Wall Street Journal reported in October that there were more than 28,000 AOB lawsuits filed in Florida in 2016, up from only 405 in 2006.

The insurance industry said these claims have caused insurance premiums to skyrocket. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said the average statewide annual homeowners insurance premium for a $150,000 new home will jump 29 percent by 2022.

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