Protect Yourself From An Assignment of Benefits (AOB) Crisis In Florida
Five things you need to know about the AOB
Homeowners who face the chaos and confusion commonplace after storm, fire, and water damage in North Leon County Florida look for a restoration company that offers a wide range of services. Many companies including SERVPRO of North Leon County highlight their ability to help with insurance claims and submissions during this stressful time as a critical service, streamlining the financial aspects of a restoration job.
Working with the customer's insurance company can be a great benefit to a property owner when done ethically. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend pursued by deceitful and ruthless home-improvement and disaster recovery companies in Florida that can result in adverse consequences unintended by a trusting client.
These unscrupulous businesses prey upon the anxiety and fear victims of severe weather, and other emergencies feel as they try to sort out the overwhelming crush of concerns and tasks following major catastrophes. Within the hours and days after a storm or flood, some shady vendors deliberately arose panic among victims. They follow up exaggerated statements about the devastation with promises to take care of all aspects of damage restoration if only the customer assigns his or her homeowner's insurance payout directly to the company pledging to fix the damage.
This practice is termed Assignment of Benefits or AOB, and has become of great concern in North Leon County and elsewhere in Florida when pursued dishonestly by disaster recovery companies. The problem stems from the unprincipled actions of dishonest and immoral individuals who inflate the cost of restorations and recommend unnecessary repairs to increase the flow of money into their coffers from unsuspecting customers' insurance carriers. Not infrequently, the vendors that demand a customer sign an AOB also perform low-quality work that does not stand the test of time.
Homeowners trade control over the restoration process and direct communication with their insurance agent and company for a potentially false sense of security. The company assigned the benefits makes all the decisions if an insurance company resists paying. Also, the property owner typically agrees in the AOB documents to cooperate if the restoration company files suit against the insurance company. Because of details in Florida's current AOB statute, insurance companies risk paying significant attorneys fees if claims presented are refused or paid at a lower rate, so they sometimes pay to evade the perceived penalty.
The overreaching effect of the AOB practices of some immoral restoration companies is steep increases in premiums and the unavailability of homeowner insurance coverage in areas where weather damage is predictable. High-pressure tactics to sign AOBs, little history of quality restoration in an area, and fear-mongering are signals that a restoration company is part of the problem, and not the solution you seek.
With decades of top-notch restoration experience and a demonstrated desire to work with you, not instead of you, SERVPRO of North Leon County is a strong contender when you look for a restoration partner. Contact us (850) 536-6599 and set your mind at ease when we explain our clear communication style and transparent dealings with you and your insurance company as we restore the damage.
Local disaster recovery specialist offers insight into the complexities of dealing with disaster
SERVPRO of North Leon County, the experts in fire and water damage in Tallahassee, Florida.
Tallahassee, Florida (May 13, 2016) - When disaster strikes, property owners need to make a lot of decisions quickly and under pressure. Effective disaster remediation involves a lot of moving parts: remediation specialists, insurance companies, local codes, state codes, documentation and more—and all of this has to happen in an atmosphere charged with emotion and stress.
Clay Kile of SERVPRO® of North Leon County says, “Efficiency is key when you are dealing with disaster remediation; it saves our customers money and it makes our work more effective. SERVPRO is an industry leader in work efficiency technology—continually innovating to help both our customers and our business control costs.”
SERVPRO’s proprietary DryBook™ tool is one example of the company’s focus on efficiency and cost control. Remediation projects must be managed to both industry and insurance company standards, and Kile says that tools like DryBook™ help SERVPRO Franchise technicians track and document progress on restoration, cleanup and repair services. “The DryBook™ tool helps us deliver on every detail of every water damage job, every time,” says Kile.
To help avoid regulatory headaches and paperwork pitfalls, Kile suggests property owners consider the following criteria when choosing a remediation company to deal with the aftermath of a disaster.
1. Industry standards: Does your remediation company deliver a product that meets the standards set by
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)?
Most major insurance companies, including cycle times and deadline requirements?
2. Recordkeeping: Does your remediation company have a system in place to ensure accurate, complete and convenient benchmarking of each step of the remediation process, including
Capturing and updating data, including job diary notes, electronically and real-time on the jobsite, with simultaneous updates saved at the central office?
Using e-signatures to help eliminate lost paperwork and the need to scan documents?
Providing a complete record of the damage and remediation efforts in images, with descriptions, start-to-finish?
3. Equipment selection: Does your contractor have the ability, on-the-spot, to
Identify the right equipment for the job, based on the damage description?
Validate the use of each piece of equipment, automatically, as part of the remediation records?
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of North Leon County, please contact Clay Kile at (850)688-8350 or ckile@SERVPROnorthleoncounty.com. For more information about SERVPRO of North Leon County, please visit www.SERVPROnorthleoncounty.com
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of nearly 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar losses. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.