jump to main menu jump to subject menu jump to content jump to footer


Insurance Consumer Advocate

Sha'Ron James


Contact Us
Mailing: 200 East Gaines St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0308

For Consumer Assistance:
Contact the Division of
Consumer Services within the
Department of Financial Services

Online at
Consumer Services
Toll-free in Florida
1-877-MY-FL-CFO
(1-877-693-5236)
Out of State
(850) 413-3089
Español
(850) 413-3033

Public Records Requests



Follow the ICA on Twitter


design placeholder only

 

A water loss claim is a claim filed by a consumer for a non-weather related incident in their home that involves water damage. This may occur through a leaky pipe, overflown sink, or even a faulty appliance unit. During the claims process, the consumer can maintain control by managing the payments between any third party vendor making repairs to the home and the insurance company. Alternatively, the consumer can contract with the third party to take control of the claims process partially or fully, leaving the consumer out of the claims situation. An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a legal tool that allows a third party to be paid for services performed for an insured homeowner who would normally be reimbursed by the insurance company directly after making a claim. AOB is commonly used when a homeowner experiences a water loss and contacts a contractor or water remediation company for assistance. Most AOB agreements presented to the homeowner allow the contractor to stand in the shoes of the homeowner for insurance collection purposes. Some argue that this legal arrangement allows unscrupulous contractors to overinflate or submit improper claims, causing legal battles between the contractor and the insurance company, with the consumer left out of the picture.

 

 

2016 Legislation

HB 671

House Bill 671: Prohibited Property Insurance Practices
Sponsor: Doug Broxson
Status: Did Not Pass

house committees
favorable
Bill
    Original Filed Version
Insurance & Banking
Yes
Government Operations Appropriations
Yes
Regulatory Affairs Yes  

SB 1248

Senate Bill 1248: Prohibited Insurance Practices
Sponsor: Miguel Diaz de la Portilla
Status: Did Not Pass

senate committees
favorable
Bill
    Original Filed Version
Banking and Insurance
Yes
Committee Substitute 1
Appropriations on General Government
Yes
Appropriations
Yes

HB 1097

House Bill 1097: Insurance Claims
Sponsor: Matt Caldwell (R)
Status: Did Not Pass

house committees
favorable
Bill
    Original Filed Version
Insurance & Banking Subcommittee
Yes
Regulatory Affairs Committee

SB 596

Senate Bill 596: Assignment or Transfer of Property Insurance Rights
Sponsor: Dorothy L. Hukill (R)
Status: Did Not Pass

senate committees
favorable
Bill
    Original Filed Version
Banking and Insurance
Yes
Judiciary
Rules

2015 Industry Data Call

The Insurance Consumer Advocate’s office is monitoring this issue for advocacy action and asked the fifteen highest-writing homeowner insurance companies in Florida to provide claims data information in an effort to target the issue and the impact it has on the Florida consumer. The links below include a Request for Information to these companies, a template for company data input and a certification statement verifying the accuracy of the responsive data. The Insurance Consumer Advocate remains committed to collaboratively work with all interested parties on this issue to develop an advocacy and policy strategy that is in the best interest of the Florida consumer.

 

News Articles and Press Releases

2017
DATE TITLE SOURCE
02/23/2017 Insurance losses demand action from state lawmakers: Where We Stand Orlando Sentinel
02/22/2017 HCI Chief Says Florida Lawsuit Rate Reaches 35% in Assignments of Benefits Problem Area AM Best Insurance News and Analysis
02/22/2017 Action 9 investigates hidden insurance rate hikes Todd Ulrich & Gerry Mendiburt - WFTV 9 ABC
02/22/2017 Crisis? Maybe, but top FL insurer says severity of AOB claims falling Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/21/2017 UPC Chief: Insurers Must Fight Assignment of Benefits Problem in Florida Best's News Service
02/21/2017 Sen. Nelson: Demotech downgrades risk mass FL homeowner ‘disaster’ Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/20/2017 Demotech Suspends Florida Insurer Rating Criteria Insurance Journal
02/20/2017 Florida AOB Abuse Update: ‘Alarming Trend’ Reaches Crisis Point Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
02/17/2017 Fight against insurance claims abuses takes aim at attorneys fees Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
02/17/2017 Legislation introduced in Senate would tighten protections against AOBs Michael Moline - Florida Politics
02/17/2017 Jeff Brandes Files Bill to Curb Insurance Fraud Allison Nielsen - Sunshine State News
02/16/2017 St. Pete lawmaker wants to get tough on insurance fraudsters Janelle Irwin - Tampa Bay Business Journal
02/16/2017 Editorial: Water claims spell trouble for Florida property insurance market Tampa Bay Times
02/16/2017 Lobbyist’s blog post gets tongues flapping among Tallahassee’s lobbyist set Michael Moline - Florida Politics
02/15/2017 Demotech suspends written financial guidance for Florida property insurers Florida Trend
02/15/2017 Drive for assignment of benefits reform picks up steam Florida Politics
02/15/2017 Heat Is on Florida Lawmakers to Fix Assignment of Benefits Crisis Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
02/14/2017 Thousands of Florida mortgages could be at risk because of insurance abuse Mary Ellen Klas - Miami Herald
02/13/2017 Florida Justice Reform Institute calls for assignment of benefits changes Russell Boniface - Florida Record
02/13/2017 Report points to problems with AOBs, and a way around one proposed fix Michael Moline - Florida Politics
02/13/2017 Fla. property market 'slow-motion train wreck' may trigger Citizens repopulation S&P Global
02/10/2017 Contractors And Property Insurers Expect To Clash Over Attorney Fee Law Sarah Mueller - WFSU
02/09/2017 Florida’s AOB Abuse by the Numbers: ‘Alarming Trend’ Reaches Crisis Point Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
02/08/2017 Florida Insurance Commissioner Wants Some Relief For Insurance Companies Sarah Mueller - WLRN
02/08/2017 Florida property insurers face ratings downgrades Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
02/08/2017 Another Viewpoint: Florida Chamber strikes right tone on insurance reform Daily Commercial
02/07/2017 Demotech Suspends Florida Insurer Rating Criteria; Says Downgrades Coming Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
02/07/2017 Insurance Office going after one-way attorney fees in AOB fight Michael Moline - Florida Politics
02/05/2017 Editorial: Time to bring water damage claims abuse under control Eleanor Roy - Palm Beach Post
02/03/2017 Opinion: The Insurance Industry’s Image Problem & How They Can Fix It Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
02/03/2017 Leaky pipe problems pose risk to Florida homeowners insurance Mary Ellen Klas - Tampa Bay Times
02/03/2017 Florida Legislature should seize opportunity to enact needed insurance reforms R Street News
02/02/2017 Florida Chamber meeting in Miami to take on state’s insurance woes Michael Moline - Saint Peters Blog
02/02/2017 Florida CFO: We arrest 4 a day, but few referred on water claims Charles Elmore & Susan Salisbury - Palm Beach Post
02/02/2017 South Florida’s leaky pipe problem poses risk to homeowners insurance Mary Ellen Klas - Miami Herald
02/02/2017 Jeff Atwater delivers frank advice at Chamber’s Insurance Summit Michael Moline - Saint Peters Blog
01/31/2017 State insurance commissioner addresses chamber Clayton Park - The Daytona Beach News-Journal
01/26/2017 Friday Editorial: Insurance reform leads agenda of Florida Chamber Times-Union Editorial Board - The Florida Times-Union
01/23/2017 Storms, water claims shake insurance market — but Post guide can help Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
01/11/2017 House panel stages civilized discussion of assignment of benefits reform Michael Moline - Florida Politics
01/10/2017 Contractors mount defense of assignment of benefits agreements Michael Moline - Florida Politics
01/10/2017 FL Insurance Commissioner Weighs In On Water Loss Claims, Assignment Of Benefits Nick Evans - WFSU
01/10/2017 South Florida lawmaker wants proof of insurers’ claims of abuses Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
01/10/2017 Debate Heats Up Over Property Insurance Claims CBS Miami
2016
DATE TITLE SOURCE
12/22/2016 Unlicensed Miami Public Adjuster Arrested Following $100,000 Fraudulent Water Claims Scam CFO Atwater's Press Office
12/14/2016 Insurance group joins compaign for assignment-of-benefits reform Florida Politics
12/13/2016 Top Florida Stories of 2016: The AOB ‘Insurance Crisis’ Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
12/08/2016 State-owned Citizens Insurance numbers might rise Jim Turner - The Ledger
12/08/2016 Florida’s Citizens to Lawmakers: AOB Reform Must be Passed in 2017 Insurance Journal
12/07/2016 Citizens Insurance seeks to eliminate 'one-way' attorneys fees when suits include assignments Ron Hurtibise - Orlando Sentinel
12/07/2016 Water Claims Could Lead to More Citizens Policies Jim Turner - News Service of Florida
12/07/2016 Citizens Insurance chief sees ‘absurd’ rise in litigation expenses Michael Moline - Florida Politics
11/09/2016 Heritage CEO: Failure to Enact Assignment of Benefits Reform Affected Florida Election Best's News Service
11/02/2016 Home older than 40? Insurer slaps cap on water claims Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
10/26/2016 Insurance regulators provide additional details of legislative priorities Michael Moline - Florida Politics
10/25/2016 David Altmaier outlines legislative priorities at insurance conference Michael Moline - Florida Politics
10/24/2016 Roofing contractor accused of defrauding homeowners and insurance out of almost $1 million Jackie Callaway - ABC Action News
10/21/2016 Understanding How Insurance Policy Conditions Apply When There is an Assignment of Benefits Timothy Engelbrecht - JD Supra
10/10/2016 Citizens Insurance, regulators warn of fraud post-Hurricane Matthew Michael Moline - Saint Peters Blog
10/10/2016 Citizens Warns Florida Policyholders of AOB Scams in Wake of Hurricane Matthew Insurance Journal
10/07/2016 Repair scams a certainty after Hurricane Matthew, insurers warn Paul Brinkmann - Orlando Sentinel
10/07/2016 Why are Citizens Property Insurance policyholders statewide paying for a 'water claims' crisis in south Florida? Jeff Harrington - Tampa Bay Times
10/04/2016 Homeowner sues insurance company over alleged deceptive practices Lindsey Sablan - WINK News
09/30/2016 Citizens insurance vows to keep fighting for law restricting water claims benefits Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
09/28/2016 Citizens Insurance juggles incentives in managed repair program Michael Moline - Florida Politics
09/28/2016 Citizens Insurance fears being left in lurch during workers’ comp fight Michael Moline - Florida Politics
09/28/2016 Citizens vows to keep seeking 'assignment of benefits' changes News Service of Florida - News 4 Jax
09/27/2016 Citizens' ongoing non-weather water woes overshadow Hermine claims Tim Zawacki - SNL Financial
09/27/2016 Citizens Insurance braces for third-party Hermine claims Michael Moline - Florida Politics
09/19/2016 Citizens: Water Loss Claims, Litigation Behind 6.4% Homeowners Hike Best's News Service
09/19/2016 State lawmaker calls Citizens rate hike ‘slap in face’; 9% in PBC OK’d Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
09/19/2016 Florida Regulators Approve Rate Increase for Citizens Policyholders Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
09/18/2016 Rate hikes for Citizens insurance approved Associated Press - Florida Today
09/16/2016 Citizens Insurance wins 6.4 percent increase in property premiums Michael Moline - Florida Politics
09/16/2016 Citizens rates to rise up to 10 percent in South Florida Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
09/16/2016 Insurance will cost more; regulators approve Citizens rate hike Nancy Dahlberg - Miami Herald
09/16/2016 Takeaways from Tallahassee - Seems like only Peter was on vacation Peter Schorsch - Florida Politics
09/16/2016 Florida’s worst consumer rip-off Scott Johnson - Tallahassee Democrat
09/02/2016 Consumer Protection Coalition calls for reforming Assignment of Benefits abuse in 2017 Session Peter Schorsch - Saint Peters Blog
09/02/2016 Florida Commissioner: Assignment of Benefits Problem Needs to Be Handled in Surgical Way Thomas Harman - AM Best
08/30/2016 Editorial: Florida water scam is soaking consumers, must be plugged Palm Beach Post
08/30/2016 Agents ask regulators to check solvency of Citizens takeout firm Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
08/28/2016 POINT OF VIEW Local claims, not Miami-Dade’s, drive Citizen premiums Palm Beach Post
08/19/2016 Insurance Regulators Take Up Major Rate Requests Nick Evans - WFSU
08/19/2016 Citizens pitches rate hike as water claims rise My Panhandle WMBB
08/11/2016 State's largest insurer withdraws 8.1 percent rate-hike request for South Florida Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
07/26/2016 Citizens Implements $1.8M Estimate Review Program for Florida Water Loss Claims Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
07/25/2016 Despite lack of hurricanes, claims abuse driving up Citizens insurance premiums in Florida Christian Camara - R Street.org
07/25/2016 POINT OF VIEW Assignment of benefits - Florida’s worst consumer rip-off Scott Johnson - Palm Beach Post
07/19/2016 Citizens hires company to review water damage repair estimates, negotiate lower invoices Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
07/19/2016 Citizens Insurance to spend $1.8M for investigating water damage claims Lloyd Dunkelberger - Saint Peters Blog
07/18/2016 Karlinsky: Assignment of benefits bills not approved in session, still a 'major issue' Carrie Salls - Florida Record
07/01/2016 POINT OF VIEW Contractor took advantage, now trying to soak my insurer Eleanor Posner - Palm Beach Post
06/30/2016 After a spike in water damage claims, Citizens changes policy Nancy Dahlberg - Miami Herald
06/23/2016 Citizens Board approves 2017 rates Florida Trend
06/23/2016 Florida's Citizens Says AOB Abuse to Blame for Statewide Rate Increase of 6.8% Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
06/22/2016 Citizens Signs Off On Possible Rate Hikes Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida
06/22/2016 Thanks to non-weather related claims, Citizens Property Insurance board approves 6.8 percent average rate hike Jeff Harrington - Tampa Bay Times
06/20/2016 Citizens seeks steep rate hikes in South Florida Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
06/20/2016 Citizens Seeks Rate Hikes Over Water Claims Jim Turner - News Service of Florida
06/08/2016 State flags insurer's proposed assignment of benefits restrictions Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
06/07/2016 Departing insurance commissioner warns South Florida to solve insurance claims crisis Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
05/24/2016 Water claims forum aims to quell rising insurance rates Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
05/18/2016 Ever heard of an AOB? Well it is costing your insurance rates to rise Jackie Callaway - ABC Action News
05/16/2016 Fraud prompts rate increases and new rules for Citizens Insurance customers Adam Winer - ABC Action News
05/13/2016 Changes Coming For Citizens Policy Holders News Service of Florida
05/10/2016 Former ICA: Florida’s Assignment of Claims System Needs Mending Best News Service - John Weber
05/10/2016 Citizens insurance: Big changes July 1 could cost you if you ignore Palm Beach Post - Charles Elmore
05/10/2016 Citizens alerting policyholders of new claims restrictions Sun Sentinel - Ron Hurtibise
05/10/2016 Citizens Implements Contract Changes to Address Florida Water Losses Insurance Journal
05/06/2016 Mitigation Firms Play Havoc With Florida Homeowners Market AM Best Insurance News and Analysis
05/05/2016 Clearwater insurance CEO takes aim at lawyers Margie Manzel - Tampa Bay Business Journal
05/03/2016 Florida’s McCarty: Assignment of Benefits Issue Undermines Progress on Rates Best's Insurance News and Analysis
05/03/2016 Special Report: Execs Warn of Impending Florida Market Crisis Over Water Loss Claims Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
04/28/2016 Florida Regulators Approve Policy Language Aimed at Limiting “Assignments of Benefits” Claim Practice Cozen O'Connor - Lexology
04/20/2016 Underwater: Cleaning up fraudulent water mitigation claims Brian S. Tenzer, Esq. - Property Casualty 360
04/19/2016 Citizens negotiating managed repair program Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentine
03/25/2016 Florida homeowners, be wary of losing insurance policy rights under certain repair contracts Letter to the Editor - Bradenton Herald
03/24/2016 Citizens Wants to Address the Rising Cost of Homeowners Insurance Coverage Shawn Nordstrom - Live Insurance News
03/23/2016 Insurers see a scam, critics see an excuse to raise rates John Romano - Tampa Bay Times
03/21/2016 Commentary: Florida's Failure to Pass AOB Reforms Will Impact State Insurance Market William Stander - Insurance Journal
03/20/2016 Letter: Florida homeowners lost in legislative session Letter to the Editor - Tallahassee Democrat
03/16/2016 Citizens Insurance: Limit "weaponized" water claims to 10k under plan Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
03/16/2016 Citizens Warns of 'Crisis' on Claims Issue Jim Turner - News Service of Florida
03/16/2016 Citizens: Let's ask governor to investigate water claims, insurance rate hikes Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentine
03/14/2016 Homeowners Lose as Florida Legislature Allows AOB Lawsuit-For-Profit Scheme to Fester William Stander - Claims Journal
03/14/2016 Insurance rates set to rise as legislature fails again to enact reform Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
03/11/2016 Florida Property And Casualty Association Says Thank Legislature For AOB Inaction Drew Wilson - Florida Politics
03/10/2016 Private insurers confirm that claims abuses have led to higher costs and rates Insurance Business America
03/08/2016 Florida Assignment of Benefits, Ridehsaring Bills Approaching Dead End Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
03/04/2016 Citizens Insurance: Records shed new light on water-claims 'crisis' Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
03/02/2016 Report: Florida Water Claims up 46 Percent in 5-Year Period Amy O'Connor - Insurance Journal
03/01/2016 Senate Committee Passes Assignment-of-Benefits Reform in Water Damage Insurance Claims Phil Ammann - Florida Politics
02/24/2016 Assignment of benefits rules in need of reform Adam Hasner - Sun-Sentinel
02/24/2016 Senators delve into insurance controversy Jim Turner - The Tampa Tribune
02/24/2016 Senators try 'herding' lobbyists to address insurance issue Daniel Ducassi and Christine Sexton - POLITICO Florida
02/17/2016 Assignment Of Benefits Bill Postponed; Insurers Group Urges Action Janelle Irwin - Florida Politics
02/12/2016 Citizens Launches 'Call Citizens First' Campaign to Combat Florida Abuse Insurance Journal
2015
DATE TITLE SOURCE
12/7/2015 Most insurers fail to respond to state advocate's request for water damage data Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel
10/13/2015 Consumer advocate challenges insurers on water damage claims Ron Hurtibise - Sun Sentinel

 

 


We want to hear from you!
Please share your experiences with us.

Name: A value is required.
Email: A value is required.Invalid format.
Comments: