Protect Yourself From Assignment of Benefits Misconduct in Florida
Homeowners who face the chaos and confusion commonplace after storm, fire, and water damage in Bay County look for a restoration company that offers a wide range of services. Many companies, like ours, highlight their ability to help with insurance claims and submissions during this stressful time as a critical service, streamlining the financial aspects of a restoration job.
Working with the customer's insurance company can be a great benefit to a property owner when done ethically. Unfortunately, there is a long history of disaster recovery companies in Florida mishandling the job- an injustice that can result in adverse consequences unintended by a trusting client.
These unscrupulous businesses prey upon the anxiety and fear victims of severe weather, and other emergencies feel as they try to sort out the overwhelming crush of concerns and tasks following major catastrophes. Within the hours and days after a storm or flood, some vendors deliberately arose panic among victims. They follow up exaggerated statements about the devastation with promises to take care of all aspects of damage restoration if only the customer assigns his or her homeowner's insurance payout directly to the company pledging to fix the damage.
This practice is termed Assignment of Benefits or AOB, and has become of great concern in Florida when pursued dishonestly by disaster recovery companies. The problem stems from the unprincipled actions of dishonest and immoral individuals who inflate the cost of restorations and recommend unnecessary repairs to increase the flow of money into their coffers from unsuspecting customers' insurance carriers. Not infrequently, the vendors that demand a customer sign an AOB also perform low-quality work that does not stand the test of time.
Homeowners trade control over the restoration process and direct communication with their insurance agent and company for a potentially false sense of security. The company assigned the benefits makes all the decisions if an insurance company resists paying. Also, the property owner typically agrees in the AOB documents to cooperate if the restoration company files suit against the insurance company. Because of details in Florida's current AOB statute, insurance companies risk paying significant attorneys fees if claims presented are refused or paid at a lower rate, so they sometimes pay to evade the perceived penalty.
The overreaching effect of the AOB practices of some immoral restoration companies is steep increases in premiums and the unavailability of homeowner insurance coverage in areas where weather damage is predictable. High-pressure tactics to sign AOBs, little history of quality restoration in an area, and fear-mongering are signals that a restoration company is part of the problem, and not the solution you seek.
With decades of top-notch restoration experience and a desire to set your mind at ease, our experts at SERVPRO commit to use a clear communication style and transparent dealings with you and your insurance company as we restore the damage.