As litigation continues regarding the assignment of benefits (AOB), insurers scored a win after Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (DCA) ruled earlier this month that an insurer’s anti-assignment provision was not prohibited. Despite the ruling, the decision is expected to eventually escalate to the Florida Supreme Court.
The DCA ruled that a homeowner’s insurance policy may have restrictions requiring the consent of all of the insured and the mortgagees for assignment of benefits to be valid. Insurers could use this ruling to seek to use these restrictions to mitigate the number of phony or enlarged claims and allow parties with valid, unconditional interests in a property to have a say in the assignment. The ruling may turn the tides in stemming AOB abuse, which is largely blamed for skyrocketing insurance rates.
The case that led to the ruling involved a pair of homeowners with a mortgaged home seeking to fix damage caused by water. The husband and wife team contracted a water restoration company which, unbeknownst to the husband, had entered an agreement with the wife assigning ‘any and all insurance rights, benefits, proceeds and any cause of action under any applicable insurance policies’ to the company.
To read more about the case, please visit https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/09/20/501785.htm.
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