Sunday Feb 1, 2015 at 12:01 AM
While Florida has been advantageous to go nine years after a blow affecting allowance rates, we accept apparent an access in claims fabricated by baptize abstraction firms, roofers and added contractors application assignments of allowances to pad their profits.
Imagine this: You deathwatch up to acquisition your kitchen abounding from a burst pipe. You aimlessly alarm a baptize extractor who arrives and says, “Don’t worry. Aloof assurance these forms and we’ll handle everything.” The accuracy is, you’ve aloof active abroad ascendancy of your allowance affirmation and may accept acceptable arrant third parties to aerate the bulk of the work. Ultimately, you could be sued or face a affirmation on your acreage for the aberration amid what your insurer accurately owes the architect and what was absolutely billed. Similar scenarios are arena out circadian beyond Florida, at a bulk to homeowners advantageous college allowance ante because of abstract claims.At affair are claims filed beneath what’s alleged an “assignment of benefits’’ or “AOB” form. The anatomy was advised to acquiesce allowance payments to go anon to the architect for appointment performed after the homeowner accepting to pay money up front. Unfortunately, appointment of allowances has been abused by some vendors who carefully accumulate homeowners in the aphotic about the nature, bulk and cachet of their claim. Worse, back these contractors present an aggrandized affirmation to an allowance company, they sometimes use the AOB anatomy as the base for suing the insurer on account of the homeowner.As a affiliate of the House Allowance and Banking Subcommittee, I accede appointment of allowances a cogent botheration afflictive Florida’s allowance consumers and plan to abode it during the accessible aldermanic session, which starts in March.We can’t acquiesce to wait. While Florida has been advantageous to go nine years after a blow affecting allowance rates, we accept apparent an access in claims fabricated by baptize abstraction firms, roofers and added contractors application assignments of allowances to pad their profits. Former Florida Allowance Consumer Advocate Robin Westcott warned that the affair is active up homeowners’ allowance ante by about 17 percent annually. In some genitalia of the state, claims acclimatized with an appointment of allowances anatomy averaged $32,000, about amateur the bulk of claims acclimatized after one.To accomplish affairs worse, state-run Citizens Acreage Allowance Corp. appear aftermost year that for every dollar in exceptional it was accession in Florida, it was advantageous out 27 cents in baptize accident claims. In Miami-Dade County alone, Citizens paid out 51 cents of every dollar on baptize claims.By contrast, alone 18 cents of every dollar Citizens calm statewide was actuality set a to pay claims for a approaching hurricane. In added words, our accompaniment insurer was spending added on baptize claims than it was on advancing for the aing adverse storm. Florida assembly are evaluating how to stop this afore it gets worse. Possible fixes should acquiesce consumers to abide complex in their own allowance affirmation while allowing the accepted use of appointment of benefits.I am optimistic that bringing calm our accompaniment allowance regulators and allowance industry experts will advice Florida brand out appointment of allowances corruption — a botheration that is active up the bulk of homeowners’ allowance premiums.Santiago, R-Deltona, is a affiliate of the Florida House Allowance & Banking Subcommittee.
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