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State leaders want to ban Assignment of Benefits

The practice allows a contractor to file insurance claims on your behalf
Hurricane Ian
Posted at 5:02 PM, Oct 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-27 20:04:18-04

The days of signing over your insurance benefits to a contractor could soon be over in Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for a special legislative session to be held soon after the midterm elections.

The session will address the state’s property insurance crisis, Florida residents paying nearly three times the national average, and property tax rebates to areas affected by Hurricane Ian.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has his own package of proposals, including an all-out ban on the Assignment of Benefits, or AOBs.

And AOB allows a contractor to file insurance claims on your behalf.

Critics of the practice say it can lead to fraud.

“You are assigning your benefits to this person you just met on your doorstep. You are giving them a blank check that gives them access to your claim,” Patronis said.

Lawmakers have tackled AOBs before.

In 2019, a reform bill was passed that required insurers to submit annual reports to the state.

But it didn’t outright ban them.

“In Florida, even though there have been regulatory measures taken with the legislature, it’s still a roadway to fraud,” said Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute.

This would be the second special legislative session held this year.

In the spring, lawmakers passed property insurance reforms.

Patronis also plans to propose a special prosecutor focused solely on property insurance fraud and request a $3 million anti-fraud public education campaign.