Legal Commentary

04/01/2019

A Look Inside AOB: Florida’s One-Way Attorney Fee


Assignment of benefits has many moving parts, including one-way attorney fees.

Florida’s “one-way attorney fee” statute enacted to protect Florida policyholders from large insurance companies has instead spawned a huge industry of assignment of benefits (AOB) predators who take advantage of policyholders and threaten the livelihood of hundreds of independent insurance agencies and the agents they employ, says Insurance Journal writer, Jeff Grady.

AOB is when homeowners sign away their property insurance rights to a vendor such as a water mitigation/clean-up company, plumber, contractor or roofer. What they don’t realize is that they may become a party to a dispute between the contractor and insurer and that promises of a new kitchen, flooring or other improvements that are not approved by the insurance company may cause them problems in the future.

Florida’s trial bar and the major beneficiaries of the heightened lawsuit activity claim that it is the insurance companies lowballing contractors, dragging their feet on legitimately closing out claims and Florida’s aging home stock with outdated pipes while the insurers point to the tidal wave of AOB lawsuits that have mushroomed to 120,000 in 2018.

This Insurance Journal article further explains what has been going on and some of the potential fixes being discussed in the current legislative session.

View the original story: Commentary: How Florida AOB Crisis Is Impacting State’s Independent Agents

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