As a follow up to last week's blog on Unlicensed Activity & Insurance Fraud, contractors and roofers have jumped on this bandwagon of handling insurance claims when they are not licensed to do so. How are they getting away with this you ask? They require you to sign the oh so tricky “Assignment of Benefits” also known as an “AOB”.
What is an AOB? It is a contract and by signing this document, you “assign” your insurance claim “benefits” over to another party such as a contractor, roofer or mitigation company. By doing this, you lose any rights and control over your own claim! Also, there is tricky cancellation wording that you will still owe some money if you attempt to cancel the contract. Reputable restoration companies and contractors will limit their contracts to only the work you authorize them to perform.
I was recently referred to a lovely family who needed help with their insurance claim. They continued to tell me they wanted to hire their own contractors to do repairs and I was unsure why they kept saying this. I asked if they signed any documentation prohibiting them from doing so and they showed me the AOB. I can understand that they needed to signed a contract for the emergency services to dry their property. However, the company also checked off to do mold remediation and the rebuild but never provided estimates for these additional services.
I am always a bit stunned why anyone would sign a document like this without receiving any estimates for the work to be performed, much less signing their rights away on their insurance claim away.
Being a former paralegal, I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what you are signing. Do not sign any contract without a thorough review, and if you are unsure what something means or why it is there, ask questions!
We will always provide you with a free damage assessment and policy review and help you to understand your coverage and obligations. Call us 561-288-6434 or visit us here.