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If you have owned a home for more than a few years, you may have noticed your cost of insurance rising. Many homeowners who have never filed a claim are wondering what is causing noticeable rate changes.

While a hard market and rising litigation are driving higher premiums, another factor affecting Homeowners insurance rates, particularly in Florida, is Assignment of Benefits fraud. Florida lawmakers have attempted to get a handle on related fraud by passing legislation to tighten regulation, but homeowners need to know what it is and how to be vigilant to avoid becoming a victim.

In short, Assignment of Benefits is when a policyholder signs documentation to authorize a repair company, such as a roofer or plumber, to represent you so the contractor doing the work can act on your behalf and submit invoices directly to your insurance company.

If you’re a homeowner who is having repairs done that you plan to submit as part of a claim to your insurance company, doing this may seem like a good idea because it takes the burden off of you to deal with the insurance company. However, there are unscrupulous companies taking advantage of homeowners and insurance companies when policyholders have signed over their Assignment of Benefits rights.

Protect yourself by learning more and making smart decisions related to your home and any insurance claims you intend to report. Learn more about Assignment of Benefits, related abuse, measures you can take to protect yourself and more by visiting the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website at FLOIR.com.

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