I received a request from one of our readers who asked that I review Assignment of Benefits (“AOBs”) in Hawaii and discuss their applicability and validity.

Hawaii Revised Statute § 431:10-228 notes that, “a policy may be assignable or not assignable, as provided by its terms.”1 Most insurance policies include an “anti-assignment” clause which prohibits the assignment of the policy without the written consent of the insurer. The above Hawaiian Statute, would uphold the “anti-assignment” provision and prevent the assignment of any insurance policy.

However, in contravention to the majority of states we have already looked at, Hawaii makes no distinction between pre- and post-loss assignments. In Del Monte Fresh Produce (Hawaii), Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, the court enforced the anti-assignment clause without considering whether the assignment occurred before or after the loss.2

As the law stands in Hawaii, assignments are allowed, so long as the policy doesn’t prohibit them, but where there is an anti-assignment clause, AOBs will not be permitted.

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 cmathis@merlinlawgroup.com.

As always, I’ll leave you with a (mildly) related tune, here’s Hawaii’s own Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole with his hit version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow:

1 H.R.S. § 431:10-228
2 Del Monte Fresh Produce (Hawaii), Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., 117 Hawai’i 357, 183 P.3d 734, 747 (2007).