Consumer Protection Coalition welcomes new members to help end Assignment of Benefits abuse

Insurance Journal

Originally published by Consumer Protection Coalition   |   Read Release

Addition of members signals start of push for AOB reform in 2019 legislative session

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2018) – The Consumer Protection Coalition today announced the addition of new members to join in its efforts to stop Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse during the upcoming legislative session.

Joining the coalition are the Insurance Information Institute (III), the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and two water and mold restoration companies with strong customer bases in Florida, Rytech and VetCor Services. The III is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the public’s understanding of insurance and how it works. The NICB is a nonprofit organization whose members work to address insurance-related crimes and works closely with law enforcement agencies.

“Support for the Consumer Protection Coalition is growing,’’ said Edie Ousley, vice president of public affairs for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which spearheads the coalition. “As awareness of the issue increases, more organizations are seeing the impact of AOB abuse on real people and want to get involved to stop it. We look forward to leveraging these members’ knowledge and expertise as we seek reforms in the 2019 legislative session to protect Floridians.’’

The coalition was founded two years ago as a broad-based group of business leaders, construction contractors, insurance agents, insurance trade groups, consumer advocates and others working to curb AOB abuse, which is increasing the cost of insurance for Florida families. The CPC has supported commonsense legislation the last two years and looks forward to working with incoming Senate and House leadership to pass meaningful reform next Spring.

Here is what the new members have to say about joining the coalition:

“Raising awareness about AOB is key to stopping the abuse and preventing fraudulently inflated claims. By getting involved in the coalition, we hope to better inform and educate the public on the dangers of signing an AOB so they don’t become victims.’’

- Lynne McChristian, Florida’s representative for the Insurance Information Institute

“We have been watching AOB abuse grow in Florida for some time now and believe reform is critical to protecting policyholders and insurers from dishonest practices that are driving up the cost and reducing the availability of insurance. The NICB and its 1,100 members are eager to work with the coalition to raise public awareness of the issue and stop AOB abuse in Florida and other parts of the country.’’

- Alan Haskins, Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Insurance Crime Bureau

“Rytech is a strong supporter of the coalition and its work to end AOB abuse. Contractors don’t need AOBs to get paid by insurance companies, and those who pressure customers to sign them and abuse AOBs are hurting our industry and all the contractors trying to make an honest living. It’s important we do something to stop these contractors from preying on customers for their own gain.’’

- Daniel Kurzweil, Marketing and Business Development Director for Rytech of the Tri-County

“Assignment of Benefits abuse has created a cottage industry and status quo within the insurance industry that is perpetuated by bad public policy and legislation that must be fixed. These conditions are significantly impacting all citizens throughout our state by raising insurance rates. My team and I look forward to working with the Consumer Protection Coalition and industry partners to educate the public about AOB abuse in order to stop these practices that are hurting our citizens.’’

- Paul Huszar, President and CEO of VetCor Services