Mission Statement

"Our mission is to create peace of mind and build enduring relationships."

Bob Lancaster Insurance's mission statement is the core of our culture. Our customers always come first, and we strive to provide them with the products and service that best respond to their needs. Building trust and fostering loyal, long-lasting relationships are the essence of who we are and fundamental parts of our company values.

Putting our mission statement to work

Our employees work hard to connect with our customers on a very real and personal level. Find out what Bob Lancaster’s mission means to them and how they carry it out every day.

Bob Lancaster Insurance, serving Florida's insurance needs since 1964. Contact us today at 321-725-1620 - see what we can do for YOU and YOUR BUSINESS!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Homeowners Guide to Assignment of Benefits

What is Assignment of Benefits? Learn what you need to know and avoid the pitfalls of signing the wrong documents.

Assignment of Benefits homeowners insurance form

It’s a scene that has been portrayed countless times in movies and on television. A desperate individual in a rush, usually due to an emergency or stressful circumstance, is persuaded into signing a document by the promise of a quick fix to their problem. As the story unfolds, the individual is shocked as the unforeseen consequences of the hastily signed document come to pass. This enduring Hollywood plotline has become a harsh reality for numerous Florida home insurance customers who have signed a document that includes Assignment of Benefits (AOB) language following a household emergency. To prevent becoming the next unwitting star of an AOB drama, please learn how you can protect yourself and your family.

How Assignment of Benefits Starts

Following a pipe leak or other household accident, your first instinct might be to call the proper contractor to help you get your home back to normal – fast! The contractor is ready to start working, but before he begins repairs he asks you to sign some “standard documentation.” He might say something like “I can’t begin working until these documents are signed.” He might even offer to help relieve you of the “burden” or “headache” associated with dealing with your home insurance company. Wanting to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, you sign the paperwork, unaware that it’s an assignment of benefits document or a contract that includes an assignment of benefits clause.
Important fact: You should always call your Florida homeowners insurance company first to ensure that your loss is properly documented and maintain control of the process.

What Does Assignment of Benefits Mean?

So what exactly did you just agree to? By assigning your benefits (claims proceeds) to your contractor, you’ve just signed over all rights to your claim. The contractor is now in total control of reporting the amount of loss to your insurance company and negotiating the payment. You, the homeowner, are no longer in control of your insurance claim.

The Issue

Now that your contractor is in control, he can bill your insurance company for work he hasn’t done, overcharge your insurer, or simply take your proceeds and never even begin working on your home. Either way, you can on the hook to pay for your contractor’s scams.

The Consequences

If the inflated bill exceeds what is covered by your homeowners insurance policy, you’re on the hook to pay the difference. The contractor could place a lien on the home, and contractor liens in Florida can be enforced by foreclosure. This type of fraud, while extremely costly to individual homeowners who’ve fallen victim to the scam, affects all Florida homeowners. Fraud is currently one of the primary drivers in home insurance premium costs. AOB fraud is far from a victimless crime!
Good to know: Although AOB scams are often associated with water extraction claims, unscrupulous roofing contractors are a growing source of AOB fraud.

How to Prevent Yourself From Becoming a Victim

• Following water damage or a home emergency, the first call should be to your homeowner’s insurance company. They can refer a licensed, experienced and reputable contractor. This will also help expedite your claims process.
• Never partner with a contractor who requires you to sign an assignment of benefits document.
• Ask the contractor for proof of liability insurance.
• Never sign a document you don’t fully understand. When in doubt, call your homeowners insurance company for help.
• In the event of a family member’s home emergency, make sure to tell them not to sign anything that requires them to assign their benefits to a contractor.
                                     Contact us for all your Insurance needs! (321)725-1620
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964

No comments:

Post a Comment