Beware of the AOB…..Assignment of Benefits….Avoid this at all cost.

   

“What is an Assignment of Benefits?”

“An Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is a contract between you and a contractor (such as a plumber, water remediation firm, roofer, etc.) where you give the contractor control of your claims benefits. They file a claim for their services and direct the insurance company to pay them directly.

What’s in it for the contractor?

Once you sign an AOB, you lose control of the direction of your claim. The contractor takes control, and can submit whatever they like to your insurance company, sometimes billing the company two, three, four, five times the going market rate for their services, and sometimes including work that was never performed. You don’t see this, and you can’t verify what they did.

What are the potential pitfalls in signing an AOB?

  • You have committed to this contractor, and you have little to no recourse if you’re not satisfied with their work.
  • You can no longer comparison shop if you are not satisfied with their work. Even if they walk off the job with their work incomplete, they can still claim compensation from the insurance company which gets deducted from your benefits.
  • Both you, and the contractor, are still bound by the terms and conditions of the policy, and if the contractor violates those terms and conditions, those actions could potentially jeopardize coverage for your entire loss.

What’s in it for the contractor?

This is where the age old mantra of “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” comes into play.  Has the contractor done any of the following?

  • Solicits a job from you unannounced for damages you didn’t even know were allegedly present?
  • The contractor is offering you something for nothing, such as a free roof or kitchen.
  • Wants to start work immediately and advises you to delay contacting your insurance company?
  • Offered to “take care of” your deductible.

Any of these issues could potentially lead to a fraud investigation which could jeopardize your coverage.

Possible Litigation:

As mentioned above, there is no standard for what the contractor can submit to the insurance company, and if the company questions the scope and/or the pricing submitted by the contractor the company can be sued directly by the contractor.  And while you may not be a party to this lawsuit, more likely than not you will end up being a witness.

What should you do if you have a claim?”

Contact your insurance agent to report the claim.  He can guide you through the process.  Some insurance carriers will have contractors that they have vetted and will recommend.

This article is compliments of Federated National and SWFL Insurance Agency.

Questions or need a Homeowners or Property coverage quote, call 239-265-9577 or email joshw@swflagency.com.  We are Your Insurance Answer People in SWFL.

How Roof Damage Is Covered On Homeowner’s Insurance

Fort Myers, Florida features a lot of different things, including a bustling city, beaches, and nature preserves. There are many golf courses to enjoy, museums, and even art galleries. It is the location of the Edison Winter Home and has a lot to offer residents.

When you are looking at homeowners insurance, it’s critical to know what is covered. If your roof is damaged in a storm, you should be able to call the insurance company and file a claim as opposed to paying for the repairs on your own.

While you would like to think that such a thing is always going to be covered, you cannot be too sure. A storm in Florida can be categorized as a hurricane and depending on where you live, you may require extra coverage to protect you in such an instance. This is because there’s a greater risk of hurricanes and thus roof damage.

You don’t want to pay for damage to your roof out of pocket because it can be expensive. Regardless of whether you have shingles, Spanish tiles, or any other materials on the top of your home, you want homeowner’s insurance to cover it in Fort Myers.

Take the time to work with an agent where you can explore various options within the homeowner’s insurance coverage. You will want to look at all the conditions where you have coverage against roof damage and if it requires extra storm protection, it may be worth spending the money, especially in Fort Myers where you are coastal.

Experienced agents in Florida can guide you through the entire process. This will ensure you get the help you need without having to do all of the work on your own. You can receive multiple quotes and buy affordable insurance.