Assignment Of Benefits: How It Impacts Property Damage Claims In Daytona Beach
When property damages happen in Daytona Beach, homeowners insurance policies you have in place can help offset your losses. In most cases you will need to rely on outside contractors for repairs. It is common practice for businesses to perform needed work without making you pay out of pocket. Instead, they allow you to assign them benefits through a homeowner’s property damage claim. This creates problems if they inflate the price and sue the insurance company in order to obtain payment.
What You Need To Know When Assigning Benefits In A Homeowner’s Claim
An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a contract between you and a contractor or business, in which you authorize them to seek payment for their services directly through your homeowner’s property insurance company. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) reports that it is a common practice employed by roofers, plumbers, and others who provide repairs for residential customers. It is designed to make things easier both for the homeowner and the contractor involved but abusers are common.
Contractors can use the assignment of benefits to inflate their prices. Insurance companies may pay the increased amount and pass the costs to consumers in higher premiums. If the contractor’s claim is denied, they can sue the insurance company. As attorney fees are included in any final judgment, it costs them nothing and can net higher reimbursement amounts. Again, the costs are passed along to the homeowner, who may even be named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit.
To protect yourself against assignment of benefits abuses, taking the following steps before signing an AOB:
- Read your insurance policy carefully prior to filing a claim.
- Pay attention to any special wording in regards to assignment of benefits;
- Find out if your insurance company regularly partners with any local businesses or independent contractors;
- Read the AOB contract carefully and avoid signing if there are any blank spaces.
Your Rights In Assigning Benefits
Blank spaces in AOB contracts often allow contractors to inflate costs, which is why you need to carefully read through these contracts. The Florida Division of Consumer Affairs also encourages homeowners to be aware of their rights in AOB agreements. All AOB contracts are required by law to assert the following:
- That you have the right to rescind the contract within 14 days for any reason by providing written notice to the contractor;
- That you have the right to rescind the contract within 30 days if the AOB contract does not contain a commencement date for work to begin;
- That you also have the right to rescind the agreement if substantial work has not been performed within a month of signing the contract.
Contact Us Today for Help
At Bundza & Rodriguez, we protect your rights when dealing with contractors and property damage claims, helping to prevent abuses. If you are involved in a dispute, call or contact our Daytona Beach property damage claims attorneys online and request a consultation today.