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Consumer Protection Petition

Spanish version: Petición española

Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse has become a costly scheme that harms hardworking Florida homeowners and families and must be stopped.

While signing an AOB form can be helpful in processing claims for emergency repair work, shady remediation firms and billboard trial lawyers are misusing AOB to assume complete control over homeowners’ insurance benefits, inflate the cost of repairs and file unnecessary lawsuits. Why should policyholders be pressured to sign away the rights and benefits of the insurance coverage they bought and paid, simply to get repairs done? That’s wrong.

AOB abuse is driving up the cost of insurance for Floridians and essentially stealing money from their wallets.

This problem is spiraling out of control. Since 2000, the number of AOB-related lawsuits has skyrocketed a whopping 90,000 percent. The problem is especially severe in South Florida, where Citizens Property Insurance Corp. recently had to raise insurance rates because of non-weather related water damage claims. But it is spreading statewide.

This can’t be allowed to continue. Fraudulent claims and legal fees are a factor in determining premiums, which affects everyone in Florida with homeowners insurance. Florida already has the highest property insurance rates nationwide because of its high risk of natural disasters. After 10 years without a hurricane, Florida should be benefiting from reduced rates - not increased ones - and focusing on protecting against the next major storm.

I’m asking the Florida Legislature to reign in AOB abuse and protect consumers. Pass meaningful legislation to curb AOB abuse before it gets even worse.

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