As the Florida House prepares to debate Assignment of Benefits (AOB) reform this week, realtors’ advocacy group Florida Realtors voiced its support for House Bill 7065 and Senate Bill 122. Both of those bills promise to reduce insurance premiums for policyholders by cracking down on AOB abuse, writes the Florida Record.
Initially conceived of to streamline the claims process, AOB has become a prime target for plaintiffs’ lawyers. AOB involves a policyholder signing their rights to reimbursement over to contractors, some of whom then inflate repair costs and team up with plaintiffs’ lawyers to sue insurance companies when they refuse to pay.
The Florida Justice Reform Institute points to the rising rate of AOB lawsuit filings as a proof point for the need for reform. Two weeks ago, the organization released a report indicating that AOB filings in Florida increased by more than 900 percent between 2008 and 2018, and that just five law firms were responsible for 20 percent of all AOB property lawsuits.