Letters to the Editor

New insurance ripoff

Increasing “assignment of benefits” (AOB) water-damage claims are placing additional pressure on Florida insurances rates.

Last week, state lawmakers failed to advance legislation that could fix this looming insurance crisis, which is organized and carried out by unscrupulous vendors and lawyers in what has developed into a rapidly growing lawsuit-for-profit scheme.

Vendors and lawyers are working together to extract excessive fees from the homeowners’ insurer, to their detriment. Some law firms are even holding seminars to teach vendors how to participate in the lucrative scheme.

So, why are cleanup, repair and mitigation costs doubling and tripling compared to two years ago? Why are vendors suddenly insisting they cannot perform work without an AOB? And, why are lawsuits tied to these assignments popping up like weeds and multiplying fivefold? Because vendors and their lawyers have stumbled on a new way to rip off homeowners and their insurers.

We call on the Legislature to deal with this coming crisis.

William Stander, executive director, Florida Property & Casualty Association, Tallahassee