New Consumer Alert Warns of AOB Lawsuit Scam Raising Florida Home Insurance Rates
By: Edie Ousley
Florida Chamber and U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform Team Up to Protect Homeowners
TALLAHASSEE, FL (December 14, 2017) – A new consumer alert hits airwaves today warning Floridians against bad actors working to rip off homeowners in need of repairs from Hurricane Irma.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform have teamed up to provide this one-minute consumer alert designed to warn homeowners about falling victim to Assignment of Benefits lawsuits.
“Florida trial lawyers and unscrupulous contractors are scamming millions, while homeowners are left with skyrocketing insurance premiums, and shoddy or even incomplete repair work. One study shows Miami premiums could jump more than 50 percent in 5 years if the state legislature doesn’t end the AOB lawsuit scam.” – New Consumer Alert Warns
The AOB lawsuit scam was almost nonexistent 15 years ago, but has now spread across Florida – leaving far too many homeowners holding the bill on this ‘get rich quick’ scheme developed by a cottage industry of trial lawyers and shady repair vendors.
“This is a clear example of lawsuit abuse at its worst. It’s driving up the cost of homeowner’ insurance rates, and is one of the reasons Florida has the fifth worst legal climate ranking in the country,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.
“Florida’s legislature should stop dubious vendors and plaintiffs’ lawyers from raiding the ‘assignment of benefits’ cookie jar. Florida homeowners face skyrocketing insurance costs because of such abuse, and the legislature can provide meaningful relief by adopting sensible reforms,” said Harold Kim, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
The Florida Chamber and its Consumer Protection Coalition are leading the charge encouraging the Florida Legislature to pass meaningful reforms to stop the abuse that’s leading to higher and higher homeowners’ premiums.
Just last week, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved a statewide average increase of 6.6 percent for homeowners’ policyholders in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Average rate increases are even higher in the tri-county area of South Florida where AOB abuse is the worst, with average rates going up close to the maximum 10 percent allowed by state law for Citizens’ policies.
The consumer alert launched today, and will air for the next several weeks leading up to the 2018 Legislative Session.
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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.