It’s a problem that costs you and every other insurance policyholder money. Fraudulent insurance claims ranging from Orlando Employee Benefits claims to weather-related homeowner’s benefits claims are rampant in South Florida. That’s why news that PIA of Florida joins the CPC to combat benefits abuse is making headlines. In mid-January, the Professional Insurance Agents of America joined forces with Florida’s Consumer Protection Coalition to fight the unscrupulous practice known as assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse. Overall, conservative estimates place insurance fraud losses at $80 billion per year. These losses are absorbed by insured individuals and businesses in the form of higher premiums.
What is AOB?
Assignment of benefits refers to the practice of policyholders transferring their insurance benefits to a third-party (often a vendor). Policyholders opt to do this because it expedites the processing of their claims, since once they transfer the benefits they aren’t required to pay any money upfront to have repairs completed. What policyholders don’t realize is that unscrupulous lawyers and vendors are using AOB to file bogus lawsuits against insurance companies. The money insurers must pay to fight these wrongful suits is eventually passed on in the form of higher premiums across the board.
You Can Fight Back
State Sen. Dorothy Hukill and Rep. Matt Caldwell have filed legislation to combat AOB abuse. The CPC, led by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, supports this legislation and has created a website (FightFraud.Today) to spread awareness of the issue and educate the public about how to avoid falling victim to these scams. Additionally, the website includes an online position you can sign registering your outrage of AOB abuse and urging lawmakers to pass reforms.
Don’t Sign Away Your Rights
The next time you have an insurance claim, make sure not to fall victim to AOB fraudsters. Call us at Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, (407) 859-3691. We are familiar with this rampant issue and are happy to direct you to reputable, honest service providers who have your best interests in mind, rather than the ulterior motive of lining their pockets by committing insurance fraud.