I thought I would take some time to fully explain a series of events that have occurred over the past few years and shed some light as to why home insurance premiums keep increasing. Let’s face it, we have not had any storms in a while, so what is going on???
Note: The intent of this email is to EDUCATE you and not condemn anyone for filing a claim.
If you haven’t been contacted by a roofer yet, get ready. There has been a huge push by roofers to “sell” a new roof for “free.” How? By convincing you, our client, to sign a form called an Assignment of Benefits (AOB). In essence, a lot of roofers (not all, there are truly some great ones out there) and “storm” companies have been canvasing neighborhoods, going door to door soliciting new business under the terms of an insurance policy to replace a roof. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you truly have damage.
However, these “professionals” have been focusing on neighborhoods with aged roofs and convincing clients they have hail damage when, in fact, they don’t. Here is the catch… “sign this form and we will handle everything.” What they are not telling you is that when you sign an AOB, you are, in essence, giving that entity FULL rights of your policy to that company.
The idea behind an AOB is for that entity to act on your behalf to work with the insurance company to settle a claim. What actually is occurring is a huge increase in claims frequency and values that are truly not legit. For example, an average roof costs about $10,000. However, we have seen claims exceed $20,000 for that same $10,000 roof. Insurance carriers are now fighting back and you, the insured, are stuck in the middle. Because an AOB was signed, the insured gave up all their rights to that third party and therefore all rights (to the insured) are waved.
This has resulted in carriers (legitimately) denying claims, as the roof is aged (roofs typically only last about 15 years in Florida due to the extreme temperatures). The insurance carrier (industry) is then requiring that individual to replace their roof because it is over its life expectancy. In other words, filing a roof claim may come back and haunt you if the roof truly is not damaged.
Following is a link to the Consumer Protection Coalition. I highly advise you review this site, as it contains a tremendous amount of information pertaining to this specific issue.
There have been several individuals put in prison for insurance fraud and it is vitally important that you fully understand exactly what is going on in our State. This has been occurring for many years in Northeast Florida and has now spread to other parts of the State. Please be sure to watch this recent video, as it shows exactly what I am referring to. We know this first hand through the many claims we have experienced during the past 5 years.
If you have a roof/hail claim, please call us before you do ANYTHING so we can properly guide you. You have insurance for a reason; we just want to be sure you understand how your policy works and what is involved with this particular trend. We are YOUR advocate, so please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.