If your home recently sustained damage covered by your insurance policy, you may be thinking about signing an Assignment of Benefits or AOB. While an AOB can be beneficial in some situations and can save you the hassle of dealing with insurers, it also has the potential to lead to further problems.
Your first move after detecting damage to your home should be to temporarily fix the problem. Once the issue has been stabilized, contact your insurer and notify them of the damage. You will also want to consult with an experienced Florida insurance dispute lawyer to ensure your rights are protected along the way.
Things to look out for when signing an Assignment of Benefits in Florida
An AOB gives a third party that you choose, authority to file a claim, make repair decisions and collect insurance payments without your involvement.
This allows you to essentially sign over the insurance collection and restoration process to a contractor or repairs specialist, saving you time and stress. However, there are certain things you should keep in mind prior to issuing an AOB:
- The rights and benefits of your insurance policy will be signed over to another party.
- Depending on the specifics of the AOB, your insurer may only be authorized to communicate directly with the third party. This means that once you sign the AOB, your insurer may not discuss the details of the claim with you during the collection and restoration process.
- Based on the language of the AOB, you may sign away all of your rights to the claim. This includes your right to mediate or make any decisions concerning the claim, including repairs.
- The AOB is a legally binding contract and you are bound by the provisions therein.
- The language of the AOB may allow the third party to endorse checks on your behalf.
- After signing the AOB, the third party may file suit against your insurance company, regardless of your knowledge.
- If you fail to comply with the terms and conditions in the AOB, you may be subject to property liens, or other financial fees or penalties.
AOBs are not for everyone. If your home has suffered damage, consult with an experienced Orlando insurance dispute lawyer for more information about whether you can benefit from signing an AOB.
Knowledgeable Attorneys Guide You Confidently Through Florida Insurance Disputes
Johnson & Williams, P.A., has extensive experience counseling homeowners on a variety of insurance issues across Greater Orlando, Winter Haven and Kissimmee, Florida. For more information about how our legal team can assist you, call us today at (407) 245-1268, or contact us online to set up a consultation.