Consumer Protection Coalition releases new video in AOB fight

Consumer Protection Coalition - AOB video

A coalition of businesses advocating for Assignment of Benefits reform released a new video Monday detailing the story of a Florida homeowner who was the victim of a shady contractor.

In the Consumer Protection Coalition video, Weeki Wachee homeowner Barbara G. details the 10-month saga she went through after finding a leak under her kitchen sink last year.

When she noticed the water damage she called up a water restoration contractor, who had her sign paperwork giving away the benefits to her insurance policy.

“Just sign this piece of paper and everything will be fine,” she recalled the contractor saying. “I had never heard of an AOB – an Assignment of Benefits.”

Barbara said the contractor didn’t repair the sink, but tore her kitchen apart, breaking the sink, her countertops and ripping out her kitchen island and cabinets. By the time the insurance company arrived, all evidence of the original leak had been destroyed.

“We were never asked to pick the cabinets — we were given a choice of colors — but not the type or the depth of the cabinet, so I can’t even fit a dish in,” she said. “And we never knew what anything cost, they said it was not their policy to tell us what anything cost.”

The final bill to the insurance company: more than $36,000.

“This is up there in the top-5 of abuses that I feel that nobody should have to go through,” she said. “In a home that you love that you cherish and people come in and they just make a mockery of everything that you’ve put in your home over a leak under the kitchen sink.”

“It’s abuse. It’s out-and-out abuse.”

The video ends by encouraging viewers to visit the coalition’s website and to call their state lawmakers to “tell them to stop AOB abuse.”

The Consumer Protection Coalition is spearheaded by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and its membership includes business leaders, consumer advocates, real estate agents, construction contractors, insurance agents and insurance trade groups working to end AOB in Florida.

“Barbara’s story is just the latest example of a Floridian who fell victim to AOB abuse,” said Edie Ousley, vice president of public affairs for the Florida Chamber.

“As AOB abuse has grown and spread, more residents are stepping forward to share their stories and warn others about the risks of signing an AOB. These are honest, hardworking Florida families who are being hurt by loopholes in state law that the Legislature can fix.”

The video is below.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


3 comments

  • Bill Newton

    March 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    While this is a good cause, the Consumer Protection Coalition doesn’t really have any consumer members I can see. The Consumer Federation of the Southeast is the one consumer group on their web site, and it was renamed the Consumer Institute a few years ago, then their director left last year, and sadly, their founder, Walt Dartland, passed away recently. So, I just don’t think they’re really active these days. FCAN, the Florida Consumer Action Network, was not approached by this coalition. The industry groups in this coalition are not normally groups we would work with, although we have working with some of them when we agree on the issue.

    FCAN is supporting AOB reform, but not the section on legal fees, which is the main bone of contention. If consumers have to pay insurer legal fees, we won’t ever be able to get an attorney, which is exactly what some insurers want. This issue might be why this coalition hasn’t invited us to join.

    The group should not be suggesting they have consumer groups on board unless they can get a more representative group.

    • Tom Lally

      March 28, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      The removal of attorney fees would only occur when it is determined that the estimates/invoices provided by the AOB company is determined to be excessive to the point of fraud. Right now they can sue with no penalty when being fraudulent which just isn’t fair.

      • Trust

        March 29, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        Um, what??? If an AOB company submits an outrageous invoice and sues the carrier, the defense attorney can file a PFS or a 57.105 frivolous law suit action against the egregious contractor in which they (the contractor) will have to pay the defense fee’s and cost for the suit. Did any of you guys actually attend the Senate committee meetings??? Senator Stuebe did a fantastic job on making it fair for both sides. Too bad the bill didn’t make it through the final committee… SB 1068.

Comments are closed.


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