How Emergency Contractors Can Hijack Your Insurance Claim
Over the past few weeks we have discussed the increasing activity of the practice of public adjusting without a license and some restoration contractors (some licensed and some who are not) putting “Assignment of Benefit” clauses into their contracts that basically sign over a policyholder’s entire insurance claim proceeds to them. First, let me say that there are many fine and ethical restoration companies out there. We try to work with them all. But if a restoration firm (even if they are a preferred vendor of your insurance company) presents you with such a contract, it is a big red flag in our mind.
Action 9 News in Orlando recently did a story about a homeowner who experienced a water loss and quickly hired an emergency contractor who tore out the damaged portion of the kitchen and then kept the insurance proceeds without finishing the job. The conclusion of the report was to strongly recommend that folks that have an insurable loss not sign an all inclusive right to proceeds contract with contractors.
While it’s a natural reaction to want to fix and clean things up quickly, we urge you to take your time choosing a contractor and beware of the red flags of contractors who ask for assignment of benefits or tell you they will file and negotiate your insurance claim. Contractors are not allowed to do that in Florida.
As we’ve said in the past, remember, it’s your insurance claim. Don’t let anyone, including your insurance carrier vendors take control of it. Stay involved and make sure you assemble a team of professionals that understand the pitfalls and have your best interests in mind.