But participants agreed that the insurance industry needs to do better to get consumers to get the message of what a OB is and why they should avoid signing an AOB. Huszar said there was no reason why contractors would need to use an AOB – his company would instead use a management agreement to pay so they could be paid directly by the insurance company once the job was done. In the opinion of a foreigner, Huszar stated that experimental and unscrupulous contractors were more organized and convincing to legislators, that the insurance sector was the enemy. Gilway was one of four experts who participated in the Insurance Journal`s « Florida AOB Crisis: Where Does the Industry Go from Here? » webinar on June 26. We are a supplier focused on the growth of outdoor products and accessories, including hunting, fishing, camping, shooting, and personal and defense safety products, for rugged outdoor enthusiasts. « This consumer awareness is really essential to prevent and control future abuses of AOB, » said McFaddin. « Our policyholders need to understand that they cede their rights to third parties as part of their policies when they sign the pea line of an AOB contract. » « As soon as people start to feel it in their paperback and their rate goes up, then the industry has to explain why, » he said. The problem with the AOB in Florida is the result of unauthorized water renovations and roofers that make homeowners sign their insurance rights in exchange for necessary repairs to their homes. Contractors, who typically work with a lawyer, file excessive or falsified claims and then sue insurers when these claims are challenged or dismissed. Under Florida`s single-use attorney fee status, insurers will keep the bill for excessive claims and attorney fees if the insurer is found that the claim has been underpaid for any amount. « For the first time in my history – and I`ve been in business for 48 years – I`ve actually seen the Office of Insurance Regulation ask airlines to increase fares that are higher than originally estimated. This happened three times last year, » Gilway said during the webinar. And the reason is that they have to protect the financial security of insurance companies, because it goes completely wrong. « I think the most important thing the insurance industry can do is link the AOB (service allocation) to the impact it has on every consumer and the huge impact it has on the premiums that consumers pay, » Barry Gilway, president, CEO and executive director of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. told participants in a recent Insurance Journal webinar on abuses.
The insurance industry has taken several steps to respond to the increase in litigation, including the introduction of language changes in policy and the withdrawal of capabilities in areas where abuses have been the worst – but its most important defence has been and will continue to be to increase tax rates. Logan McFaddin, regional representative of the Property Casualty Insurers Association (PCI), Paul Huszar, CEO of the renovation company VetCor, and Patrick Wraight, director of the Insurance Journal Academy of Insurance, discussed with Gilway the situation of the AOB in Florida and ways to control what they all agreed to, it is abuse.