JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An I-TEAM investigation is exposing problems with one of Florida’s most controversial property insurance practices, the assignment of benefits, or AOB. The law allows a homeowner to sign over insurance claim rights and benefits to a third party, such as a contractor being hired to do repairs. However, the state’s chief financial officer said a loophole in the law exposes Floridians to criminal deception.
Maria Rogers and Eddie Albert are northeast Florida homeowners who said they both fell victim to the same roofing company and have felt helpless since their AOBs were signed.
“It’s heartbreaking because you pay a premium, you expect people to do good, you want people to do good, and this is how they repay you,” Rogers said.
”I’ve got a leaky roof, I’ve got mold in the ceiling, my office wall, my bathroom, and I can’t fix it myself without breaking the contract,” Albert explained.
Albert, a Marine Corps veteran, told state investigators that his insurance company wrote roofing contractor Kinnecorps LLC a check for approximately $9,000 in May 2018. Kinnecorps cashed the check the next day and was able to deposit it without Albert’s signature. Albert said Kinnecorps also billed his insurance an additional $4,500 for a mold inspection that was never approved.
Six months later, the mold is still there, his roof hasn’t been touched, and he’s legally bound by the AOB agreement.
“Right now, I’ve found another roofer, the roofer said he could have the roof on before Christmas,” Albert explained. However, he said the AOB stated that if he broke the contract, he owed Kinnecorps 20 percent of the total claim or $5,000, whichever is higher.