What is an Assignment of Benefits?
An assignment of benefits (AOB) is a contract between you and a third party – typically a contractor, roofer or water mitigation company – giving them the right to deal directly with Citizens and receive payment for your claim. You sign an AOB, you give up your right to manage your claim and ensure it is resolved to your complete satisfaction.
In 2019, the Florida Legislature passed common sense reforms aimed at bringing balance to the AOB process. As a result of these reforms, AOB vendors must adhere to certain legal requirements to receive payment for your claim. In addition, policyholders have been given the right to cancel an assignment agreement under certain circumstances and take back control of their claim.
How Do You Benefit From AOB Reform?
AOB Reform Protects Your Rights
AOB Reform puts control back in your hands by giving you the right to cancel an assignment agreement under certain circumstances. This gives policyholders who felt pressured to sign an AOB, didn't understand what they were signing, or are unhappy with the work performed to take back control of their claim and ensure it is resolved timely and to their complete satisfaction.
AOB Reform Saves You Money
Following the enactement of 2019 reforms, Citizens filed a revised rate filing that reflects projected rate savings from the AOB reforms. Citizens has projected a reduced statewide rate need for homeowners multiperil policies from 25.2 to 7.2 percent, with roughly 67,000 policyholders expected to receive rate decreases.
You've Signed an AOB - What's Next?
Even after signing an AOB, you still must comply with all the duties owed to Citizens under your policy. These duties can be found in your policy’s Duties After a Loss section.
Under Florida law, you have the right to terminate or cancel an assignment of benefits agreement under certain circumstances which are required to be described in the assignment agreement. The assignment agreement must provide that you have the right to cancel without penalty, however, you may be obligated to pay for any contracted work performed before the agreement is cancelled. Once you have notified your assignee that you are terminating your assignment agreement, you must notify Citizens as soon as possible by submitting notice of your cancellation either online or by mail. Until you do so, Citizens must continue to deal with and pay the assignee to whom you assigned your benefits.
AOB Vendors and Legal Representatives
Under Florida Law, if a Citizens policyholder signs an AOB agreement with you, you must submit a copy of the signed assignment agreement to Citizens online or by mail/delivery within three business days of the contract being executed or work beginning, whichever is earlier. Citizens will review your agreement to ensure it meets all statutory requirements and inform you if the agreement cannot be accepted as written. Until an AOB complying with applicable legal requirements has been received, Citizens must deal directly with the policyholder for all claims-related correspondence.
Citizens has 90 days from the receipt of a claim to make a claims determination, unless factors beyond our control reasonably prevent us from doing so. Suit cannot be filed against Citizens unless a written Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation which complies with Florida law is provided to us. The Notice of Intent must be provided to Citizens at least 10 days before suit is filed but cannot be provided before we have made a claim determination or the 90 day period to do so has elapsed. Citizens has 10 days to respond to the Notice of Intent by either making a presuit settlement offer or requiring participation in appraisal as provided for under the insurance policy.
For detailed information about Florida's new AOB requirements, review Ch. 2019-57, Laws of Fla. (2019)
Policyholders, vendors and legal representatives can submit AOB-related documents electronically or by mail.
You must have a valid claim and policy number to submit assignment of benefits documents online.
- The policy number can be found on the policy Declarations page or Policyholder ID card.
- Policyholders can submit a claim online through myPolicy or by calling our Claims hotline at 866.411.2742. All other authorized individuals must call our Claims hotline. Representatives are available 24/7.
Mail or Delivery
You can mail or deliver all required AOB documentation to Citizens at:
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
301 West Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Know the Signs of AOB Abuse
Although most AOB is not fraud, AOB fraud and abuse are on the rise. Be on the lookout for following AOB Fraud red flags:
- Someone knocks on your door and tells you there is damage you didn’t know about.
- You’re promised something for nothing, such as a free roof or kitchen renovation.
- Someone claims the damage is greater than it clearly is.
- Permanent repairs begin before your insurance company is notified or allowed to inspect damages.
Help Stop AOB Abuse
Calling Citizens as soon as you become aware of or suspect any damage puts you in control of your claim and ensures repairs are completed to your satisfaction and Citizens’ high-quality standards:
- Call Citizens First as soon as you become aware of a possible loss.
- Never sign anything related to a possible loss without first calling Citizens or your agent.
- Know your rights. Any AOB agreement signed on or after July 1, 2019, must contain a provision describing the circumstances under which an assignment agreement may be cancelled. If you were pressured to sign an agreement you don’t understand or aren't comfortable with, contact your agent to learn your rights.