Assignment of Benefits

In the aftermath of a devastating storm, when lives are upended and memories are scattered about, light and hope do arrive. They arrive in many forms, including: through first responders who clear the way and answer the call from every state in our great nation and beyond; through family and friends who make a way to care for their own; through those who have made it their life’s work and business to aid in disaster recovery efforts; and through the many volunteers who freely give of their energy and resources to aid their fellow beings in their most challenging times. But, sadly, among them also are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Continue Reading Disaster Relief: Is a Post-Loss Anti-Assignment Clause Prohibited in Louisiana?

On February 14, 2020, the Iowa Supreme Court dismissed the case of 33 Carpenters Construction, Inc., (“33 Carpenters”) against State Farm Life and Casualty Company (“State Farm”).1 33 Carpenters approached the insureds after a hailstorm to see if they would allow them to inspect their roof. 33 Carpenters found hail damage and entered into a series of contracts to help the homeowners complete the repairs, including an assignment of benefits (“AOB”).
Continue Reading No Love for the Contractor’s Assignment of Benefits in Iowa

The Supreme Court of Iowa in three opinions1 this week affirmed various rulings which held that 33 Carpenters’ contractual assignment was unenforceable, as it was operating as an unlicensed public adjuster. I wrote about the lower appellate court decision in, Contractor Acted as an Unlicensed Public Adjuster, Notwithstanding Assignment of Claim and Benefits.
Continue Reading Court Affirms Contractor Acted as Unlicensed Public Adjuster

When engaged by a member of the public to obtain insurance, an insurance broker is expected to possess reasonable knowledge of the types of policies, their different terms, and the coverage available in the area in which their insured seeks to be protected. If the insurance broker neglects to procure the insurance or if the policy is void or materially deficient or does not provide the coverage they undertook to supply because of their failure to exercise the requisite skill or diligence, the insurance broker may be liable to their insured for the loss sustained.
Continue Reading Assignment of Insurance Broker Negligence Claims Invalid Prior to Judgment

My primary role as an attorney at Merlin Law Group is to represent the best interests of policyholders and get all benefits owed following a loss. But, I call it like I see it when approached with debatable inquiries from contractors and restoration companies.
Continue Reading Florida’s AOB Reform Bill Became Effective July 1, 2019: How Does This Affect Me?

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier

Assignment of benefits contracts for property damage claims may be going the way of the dinosaur in Florida. A recent Florida Insurance Bulletin notes that the new statute allows insurance companies to issue policies preventing an assignment of benefits if insurers offer a premium discount.
Continue Reading Contractors Beware Taking AOB Contracts For Restoration Work: New Policy Forms Restricting AOB Contacts Discussed By Recent Insurance Bulletin

Just last week, the Iowa Court of Appeals in 33 Carpenters Construction, Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company,1 held that 33 Carpenters, a contractor who was the assignee of a hail and wind storm claim, acted as an unlicensed public adjuster.
Continue Reading Contractor Acted as an Unlicensed Public Adjuster, Notwithstanding Assignment of Claim and Benefits