Property Insurance. Although recent legislation and regulatory action have relieved the immediate pressure on rate increases to property owners, Florida remains vulnerable to catastrophic financial loss in the event of major storm damage. The Insurance Consumer Advocate’s office continues to explore innovative measures that create a responsible structure of insurance, reinsurance and Catastrophe Fund coverage that can pay claims in a timely manner without subjecting Florida policyholders and taxpayers to inordinate assessments to cover loss.
Assignment of Benefits. An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a legal tool that allows a third party to be paid for services performed for an insured homeowner who would normally be reimbursed by the insurance company directly after making a claim. AOB is commonly used when a homeowner experiences a water loss – such as a leaky pipe, an overflow from a sink, or a damaged appliance – and contacts a contractor or water remediation company for assistance. Most AOB agreements presented to the homeowner allow the contractor to stand in the shoes of the homeowner for insurance collection purposes. Some argue that this legal arrangement allows unscrupulous contractors to overinflate or submit improper claims, causing legal battles between the contractor and the insurance company, with the consumer left out of the picture.
The Insurance Consumer Advocate’s office is monitoring this issue for advocacy action and has asked the fifteen highest-writing homeowner insurance companies in Florida to provide claims data information in an effort to target the issue and the impact it has on the Florida consumer. The links below include a Request for Information to these companies, a template for company data input and a certification statement verifying the accuracy of the responsive data. The Insurance Consumer Advocate remains committed to collaboratively work with all interested parties on this issue to develop an advocacy and policy strategy that is in the best interest of the Florida consumer.
Health Care Reform. At the local, state and national levels, in both the public and the private sector, the issue of available and affordable health care is a growing concern as employers find themselves, along with their employees, paying higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles while experiencing significant benefit erosion. The Insurance Consumer Advocate seeks to work with regulatory agencies, employee groups and employers to identify those measures that can contribute to reform of the health care system and the regulated health plan marketplace.
Balance Billing. An issue affecting Floridians is unexpected charges related to medical services provided by non-network providers, known in the industry as “balance billing”. This issue impacts medical providers, insurers and others; however, it is often the consumer who is left financially burdened by this form of unexpected healthcare cost.
Prior ICA Initiatives: