In this post in our series on Assignment of Benefits (AOBs), we are looking at Rhode Island and how AOBs are managed and handled there.
Rhode Island permits the assignment of insurance benefits.1 In making the assignment, the Superior Court of Rhode Island noted:
No particular form is necessary to constitute an equitable assignment. The language used is not material, nor is it essential that the assignment be in writing. The essential elements for a valid assignment include (1) the assignor’s intent to transfer a present interest in an existing fund or subject matter, or one reasonably ascertainable; (2) the assignor’s absolute appropriation of the subject matter with intent to vest a present right in the assignee; (3) the assignor’s complete relinquishment of all control over the fund; and (4) the effect of the transfer must be that no power remains with the assignor to revoke or control the disposition.2
Additionally, Rhode Island permits the right to assign the ability to pursue a bad faith claim against and insurance carrier in certain circumstances.3 The Supreme Court of Rhode Island stated, “[w]hile we do not advocate a general policy of allowing assignment of the right to sue an insurance company for bad faith, we are convinced that in certain limited circumstances the insured’s right may be assigned.”4
If you have any specific questions on AOBs or would like to see your state come up sooner, please comment below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, I’ll leave you with a (mildly) related tune, here’s Rhode Island’s own, The Cowsills, with their hit, The Rain, the Park & Other Things:
1 Latos v. Helios, Inc., 1986 WL 732866 at *2-3 (R.I. Super. Aug. 1, 1986).
2 Id. at *2.
3 Mello v. Gen. Ins. of Am., 525 A.2d 1304 (R.I. 1987).
4 Mello, at 1306.