Property Insurance Law Watch: New Assignment of Benefits Introduced in Florida Senate
According to reporting from the Florida Record, a new property insurance bill has come out of the Florida state senate, and is moving to committee. The bill, which is sponsored by Senator Dorothy Hukill, a Republican from Port Orange, seeks to overhaul the state’s rules and regulations regarding the ‘assignment of benefits’. In this post, our top-rated Fort Lauderdale property insurance lawyers explain what it means to ‘assign benefits’ and why it has become a controversial issue in Florida.
Assignment of Benefits: Explained
The industry term ‘assignment of benefits’ refers to the act of policyholders transferring their insurance claim rights directly to another party. There are several different reasons why a property owner may decide to do this. Though, the primary reason is that policyholders can assign their benefits as a form of collateral. This allows some policyholders who may have trouble doing so otherwise to exchange for the right to recoup any payment from the insurance company for immediate repairs. Should a dispute arise, the contractor then becomes the party in any case against the insurer.
Understanding the Controversy Over Assignment of Benefit in Florida
This is the third consecutive year that there has been a major push for assignment of benefits reform in the Florida state legislature. There are a couple of issues that make this topic particularly contentious in the current environment. First, property insurance rates have been rising steadily in recent years throughout the entire state. Many have traced the reason for the rise in rates to the number of claims in South Florida. Some argue that unscrupulous contractors and insurance restoration companies are leveraging the claims process for their own benefit, taking advantage of homeowners by doing shoddy work and profiting off of unnecessary lawsuits.
In light of the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, state officials are especially worried about assignment of benefits fraud. Indeed, Florida regulators and insurance companies both came together following the storm to release similar statements, warning policyholders to watch out for potential fraudsters. The message from Florida state officials: If a company is offering a property repair deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. All policyholders need to be careful when selecting companies to work with. In the meantime, our law firm is keeping a close watch on any new development in regards to this bill and all other related issues so that we can best serve property owners in South Florida.
Contact Our Property Insurance Team Today
Was your property damage claim denied by the insurance company? Let our top-rated legal team help. At Geyer Fuxa Tyler, we are committed to fighting for the rights of Florida homeowners, condo owners and business owners. If you have any questions about assignment of benefits, or any other property insurance issue, please give us a call now at (954) 990-5251 to schedule your free consultation. From our office in Sunrise, FL, we represent all around Broward County, including in Hollywood, Coconut Creek and Davie.