A recent study shows that the rampant abuse of the assignment of benefits (AOB) crisis can be largely attributed to a small group of law professionals and service providers. These people are the ones mostly responsible for the huge number of lawsuits aimed at insurers. In fact, one lawyer was responsible for allegedly filing more than 25,000 lawsuits between 2015 to the present day.
This new study surfaces during a time when insurers are having to contend with a deteriorated operating environment that has lead to many losses due to factors such as water claims with AOBs. Several insurance providers could face a downgrade in ratings. While the study is certainly alarming, it could also spur legislative efforts that may lead to a reform. A bill has in fact already been filed in the state legislature.
Florida law states that while insurers are legally obligated to cover a litigant’s legal costs if they are successful, the losing party is not required to pay the carrier’s court expenses. A bill being spearheaded by a state Insurance Commissioner would prevent contracts involved in an AOB agreement from receiving awards related to attorney fees. These attorney fees are for AOB claims that are ultimately successful can be almost three times the amount paid to the AOB recipient, per the Justice Reform.
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