As Hurricane Irma recedes from Florida, residents begin to return to their homes to assess the damage. Insurance companies are on high alert, preparing to try to manage the influx of assignment of benefits (AOB) claims. Homeowners need to act fast and file their claims as soon as possible. Insurance experts are also cautioning homeowners to be wary of “bad actors.” These bad actors are individuals who swoop in after a disaster and offer home repair deals that seem too good to ignore.
However, as is almost always the case, when something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. These bad actors conduct numerous AOB scams by obtaining the right to receive insurance benefits on behalf of the homeowner. From there, these individuals file exorbitant claims and then pursue lawsuits when the insurer denies the claims.
This type of fraud drives up the cost of insurance due to Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute. This statute forces the insurance companies to bear the cost of the exaggerated claim as well as the attorney fees. While these swindlers make a significant sum off the scam, the resulting increase in insurance costs hurts homeowners across the state.
Insurers Urge Caution
Insurance agents and Florida regulators alike are advising homeowners to hold off on employing third parties to help them resolve claims. Anyone asking homeowners to sign over their rights is suspect. If a homeowner is uncertain, their best course of action is to call their insurance company. An agent can walk them through the claims process.
Detecting and mitigating fraud are vital for any insurance company to remain in business. Investing in a reliable claims management system, such as Actec’s Full-Cycle Claim and Incident Reporting Solutions, is the best way to achieve this goal. To learn more about how our claims management system can help reduce fraud, contact us today.