Insurance

As Hurricane Ian Repairs Begins, Citizens Property Insurance Warns Policyholders Of Fraud

As Hurricane Ian Repairs Begins, Citizens Property Insurance Warns Policyholders Of Fraud

As Hurricane Ian Repairs Begins, Citizens Property Insurance Warns Policyholders Of Fraud

As Hurricane Ian Repairs Begins, Citizens Property Insurance Warns Policyholders Of Fraud

Policyholders recover from Hurricane Ian, Citizens Property Insurance has issued a statement advising them to protect themselves against fraud and abuse by getting in touch with their agent or Citizens first.

ALSO, READ Hurricane Ian Private Insurance Market Loss Nearly $63 Billion -KCC

The insurer warns policyholders to be aware of unlicensed contractors or offers that seem too good to be true, adding that shady contractors and repair businesses prosper in the hectic days that follow any storm.

Before signing anything, including an assignment of benefits (AOB), policyholders are advised to contact Citizens or their insurance agent.

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The company adds that policyholders are most likely to be offered an AOB while making emergency repairs or when companies come to their door soliciting business.

As Hurricane Ian Repairs Begins, Citizens Property Insurance Warns Policyholders Of Fraud

It notes, “Policyholders may be told repairs cannot be completed until they have signed an AOB contract, which allows the company to step in on the policyholder’s behalf, submit the claim, and deal directly with Citizens. The AOB may also allow them to take control of your policy.”

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, announced in May that his office would be pushing for reform to AOB laws, “including banning the bundling of this assignment of benefits.”

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Expanding on the AOB challenge, Patronis added, “Much of the fraud and abuse in our legal system we have highlighted this morning started with a policyholder assigning their benefits away to somebody else, to a fraudster. We cannot allow law firms and public adjusters to get into the business of bundling these AOB’s and selling them the same way you would security for a profit.

“I want to deter this feeding frenzy of bad actors going after our consumers to sell AOB’s on the open market, which again ultimately drives up rates, which drives carriers out of the state of Florida because the environment allows that type of activity to exist in the first place.”

As Hurricane Ian Repairs Begins, Citizens Property Insurance Warns Policyholders Of Fraud

Patronis was joined by Florida’s Citizens CEO, Barry Gilway, who said that one way Citizens is trying to keep premiums down is by taking a hard line on fraud.

ALSO, READ State Farm Alleges $2.6M Auto Insurance Fraud By New Jersey Chiropractors, Doctors

Now, after Ian, the risk of emerging and present fraud schemes in Florida’s insurance market increases, with the danger of inflating overall industry loss, as well as hiking costs for policyholders.


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