In December of last year, my colleague Ashley Harris discussed Security First Insurance Co. v. Florida Office of Insurance Regulation,1 where the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal (Fifth DCA) upheld the Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) prohibition of proposed language in an insurance policy that would require “all insureds, all additional insureds and all mortgagees” named on a policy to consent to any post-loss assignment of benefits (“AOBs”) to a third party.
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The Arizona Court of Appeals in a recent opinion said, Yes to both. In Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Udall,1 four homeowners insured by Farmers Insurance Exchange (“Farmers”) sustained separate losses, which required water damage mitigation and restoration services. The homeowners hired a vendor to perform the mitigation and restoration services. In each case, the insureds assigned to the vendor their “rights, benefits, proceeds and causes of action” under their respective insurance policies.
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Assignment of benefits is one of the hottest topics in Florida first party property insurance and it’s no secret that insurance carriers are not in favor of AOBs. Some insurance carriers, like Security First Insurance Company, tried to take matters into their own hands and add language into their homeowners, condominium unit owners and “dwelling fire” policies that would require the “insureds, additional insureds and mortgagees” named on a policy to consent to any post-loss assignment of benefits to a third party.
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I am often asked whether an Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) is valid in [insert state here] under a property insurance policy. The purpose of this blog series will be to provide readers with an answer to the question on a state-by-state basis. As New Jersey is my home-state, it’s up first.
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Well many folks in the insurance industry have been waiting some time for this moment… the decision of the validity of post-loss assignments of benefits in Florida. Several opinions were recently issued on the same day (May 20, 2015) by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals related to assignments of benefits in property insurance claims.1 The cases involve the typical scenario where a policyholder hires a water remediation contractor after suffering a loss, and instead of having to pay them out of their pocket for the work, they issue and assignment of part of the claim proceeds to the vendor.


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