Eyeing Homeowners Insurance Claims with Bad Intent

As master of your own destiny, it is important not to be naïve.

People of nefarious intent are everywhere looking to make a buck at the expense of others. Folks of this ilk are scattered throughout our society and inevitably concentrations of those with this mindset can be found everywhere, particularly in large metropolitan areas where the sheer numbers lend themselves to these activities. Recent analysis of fraudulent water loss data in the residential homeowner insurance market reveals that Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties lead the state of Florida.

Unscrupulous contractors, gamers of the system, and unsuspecting homeowners are at the root of the epidemic, taking advantage of the homeowners insurance claims process. Arm yourself with knowledge, tempered with a healthy skepticism. Keep yourself from becoming a victim, and at the very least be able to spot those who present offers that are simply too good to be true.

One of the more common schemes involve contractors who have their clients sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB).

This allows contractors to handle homeowners insurance claims on behalf of the named insured. The contractor is then responsible for all correspondence and claims handling with the insurer. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t pay attention to the scope of work that is being performed in the aftermath of a loss. They simply want to have their homes repaired so that they can go on with their lives.

The problem is that some contractors will bill for work that was not performed, materials that were not replaced or repairs that were not needed or completed. Sales tactics such as the contractor saying they can get you your deductible back, replace damaged property with higher grade materials, or perform additional work outside of the scope of the loss for no additional compensation should be a red flag that something is not right. Insurance fraud costs us all money and in no small part is responsible for the high rates that we pay in South Florida. The regions where the losses occur are assessed the most.

When a loss occurs it is important to contact your agent as soon as reasonably possible.

Remember that the first thing to do is to stop the loss from happening, such as turning off the water, shutting down the electric, or placing a tarp over the roof and taking photographs and saving receipts. Choose a reputable contractor and read the terms and conditions of the contract agreement carefully to protect your rights before, during and after the repairs are made. Require certificates of insurance evidencing at least general liability and workers compensation coverage for each person that effect repairs on your property. Don’t be a victim when you can avoid issues by being proactive and strategic in the decision making process when it comes to repairing damage.

Call us at Rolfs Insurance Services for all of your insurance needs including help and guidance through the claim process.

Our goal is to provide you protection with the strength of knowledge and the integrity of our actions. Kindly refer us to your friends and family as it is our mission to serve the interest of those with whom we do business.

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