Tallahassee, Fla. — As communities across Florida begin the recovery process from Hurricane Irma, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) warns Floridian to be aware of unlicensed vendors who try to take advantage of storm victims.
“As Florida homeowners seek help with cleaning up and repairing storm damage from Hurricane Irma, PCI warns them to be cautious about the vendors they hire,” said Logan McFaddin, PCI Florida regional manager. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous, unlicensed vendors who try to take advantage of storm victims. After suffering storm damage, the last thing homeowners need is to be ripped off by a fraudulent vendor.”
Assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse is a practice where lawyers and local unlicensed vendors work together to encourage homeowners to sign away their insurance rights. Homeowners are not just the victims. Some auto glass repair shops, who aren’t affiliated with insurance companies, try to convince unsuspecting consumers to sign over their insurance benefits. They may inflate the glass claim and then turn around and sue the insurance company, often without the policyholder’s knowledge. AOB abuse is a growing problem in Florida and is contributing to increases in insurance premiums.
“To avoid AOB fraud, PCI encourages Floridians to make sure they have use a preferred, licensed vendor to perform their home, business or auto repair,” said McFaddin. “Our goal is to get Floridians back on the road or their property repaired in a quick manner, while ensuring quality work is performed to protect their insured assets.”
PCI recommends the following tips to help homeowners save time and money and avoid being caught in a unlicensed vendor scam.
PCI’s Tips for Selecting a Repair Vendor