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From category archives: Florida Peninsula

Revisiting AOB Fraud Ahead of the 2018 Hurricane Season

After the chaos of a natural disaster like a hurricane or tropical storm, it is common for unscrupulous individuals to create fraudulent schemes to pray on those experiencing a loss. As such, Florida Peninsula Insurance Company would like to provide some important information about AOB abuse well before the 2018 Hurricane Season is in full effect.   What is an AOB and AOB Fraud? An AOB (Assignment of Benefits) is a contract between you and a third party such as a contractor, roofer, or water mitigation company. When you sign an AOB, you are giving the third-party vendor the right to deal directly with your homeowners insurance carrier and receive payment for your claim. AOB fraud occurs when contractors inflate the cost of repairs, charge a fee for handling the claim, and commit insurance fraud. At times, these repairs are not completed and the homeowner must pay out of pocket to finish their repairs, as the contractor already received a claim settlement from the insurance company.   W ...

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Investigation by Florida Peninsula’s Special Investigations Unit Results in Insurance Fraud Arrest

On Saturday, February 3rd, Michele Krisle, owner of TSK Exteriors roofing company in St. Cloud, was arrested after an investigation was performed in conjunction with Florida Peninsula Insurance Company’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU). Ms. Krisle was arrested on counts of Scheme to Defraud, Fraudulent Lien, Grand Theft, and False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim after she presented Florida Peninsula with a false invoice for services which were not completed. A Florida Peninsula policyholder hired Krisle’s company, TSK Exteriors, to make repairs on his roof. TSK Exteriors attempted to have the insured sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form to seek additional monies from Florida Peninsula after the roof repair was complete. When the insured refused to sign the AOB, TSK Exteriors filed a lien against the policyholder’s home for over $17,000. Subsequently, the policyholder reported a roof leak to TSK after their repairs were completed. TSK refused to honor their warranty on the pre ...

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Beware of Fraud After Hurricane Irma

Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma are beginning the recovery process by notifying their insurance carriers and making repairs to their properties. We urge our policyholders who have experienced damage from Hurricane Irma to call Florida Peninsula Insurance Company first to protect themselves from fraud.  After natural disasters, it is not uncommon for fraudulent contractors to pray on those experiencing a loss. Contractors will go door-to-door soliciting repair and cleanup services to those in need. At times, these contractors may be out-of-town "storm chasers" who may not have the proper licenses to make the repairs they promise to deliver.    There is a high probability Assignment of Benefit (AOB) forms will be offered to policyholders when contractors go door-to-door soliciting business or making emergency repairs. When an AOB form is signed by a homeowner, they are assigning their rights under their homeowners insurance policy to the vendor, and allowing all payments to be ma ...

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How to Identify and Avoid AOB Fraud

An AOB (Assignment of Benefits) is a contract between you and a third party such as a contractor, roofer, or water mitigation company. When you sign an AOB, you are giving the third-party vendor the right to deal directly with your homeowners insurance carrier Citizens and receive payment for your claim. Essentially, you are giving up your rights to manage your claim and placing the third party in total control of reporting the amount of loss to your insurance company and negotiating payment.  This is not to say all AOB contracts are fraudulent, but AOB abuse is on the rise each year and we encourage all homeowners to be aware of these crimes. The first step is to identify a fraudulent contractor. Here are some red flags: Someone knocks on your door and tells you there is damage you didn’t know about. You’re promised something for nothing, such as a free roof or kitchen renovation.  Someone claims the damage is greater than it clearly is.  Permanent repairs ...

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AOB Abuse Leads to Increases in Premiums

Assignment of Benefits (AOB) fraud is a fast growing problem for Florida homeowners. Unfortunately, as the result of this problem, it has lead to an increase in homeowners’ insurance premiums for a vast majority of carriers doing business in our State. Most commonly, AOB fraud occurs during an emergency, such as a plumbing or roof leak. When homeowners sign an AOB contract, it puts a third party in direct control, and claims are inflated with unnecessary costs and fees. It doesn’t end there – these costs are then passed on to policyholders when insurance companies calculate and adjust their rates.  Large areas of the state, particularly the tri-county area of Southeast Florida, have already been hit with double-digit property insurance rate hikes, with more increases on the horizon if something isn’t done. State-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has calculated what will happen if lawmakers do not fix the problem. In Palm Beach, for example, coverage for a residenti ...

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Insurance Fraud in Florida

  According to the National Information Crime Bureau (NICB), Florida is among the top 5 states, next to California, Michigan, and New York, with the highest rate of questionable insurance claims (QCs). QCs are claims which NICB member insurance companies refer for closer review and investigation based on one or several indicators in which the claim may be fraudulent.  Water damage claims made by homeowners can, at times, be a major red flag. This type of claim is easy to create, fabricate and allege repairs. When there is a long period of time between loss and report, or when the claim is reported within the first 90 days of the policy's inception, can be cause for concern.  A red flag could also be raised if there are inflated/exaggerated invoices, invoices for excessive equipment to repair the damage, disposing of the damaged materials before inspection, etc.  Florida Peninsula Insurance Company strives to keep our rates low and takes insurance fraud extremely seriously. One way we ...

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#FightingFraudFriday: Beware of Home Repair and Contractor Fraud

  As spring approaches, don't be a victim of home repair and contractor fraud. Reduce the risk of being scammed by making yourself aware of the following red flags: 1. Contractors who appear at your doorstep: If someone knocks at your door to ask you if you need their services, or offer to give you a consultation, it is okay to simply take their business card, listen to what they have to say, and shut the door. One thing you should do is research their company online to see if it is legitimate. Often times, there are people who will take your money and run. 2. Your contractor is pressuring you: If you feel extremely pressured to make a decision because your contractor is pushing you to sign the agreement based on a "special deal" or "today only" offer, it may be in your best interest to decline the offer. AOB (Assignment of Benefit) fraud is also very common and some contractors who require an AOB are known for their high pressure tactics. Signing an Assignment of Benefits form transfers the rights ...

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Beware of Fraud Post-Hurricane Matthew

Florida Peninsula urges our policyholders who have experienced damage from Hurricane Matthew to call us first to protect themselves from fraud.

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Water Losses and Fraudulent Water Claims Are Driving Up Rates in Florida

Damages due to water losses continue to be the top source of claims in Florida. According to a report conducted by Insurance Journal, the severity and frequency of water loss claims in Florida have steadily increased every year since 2010. The Review of the 2015 Assignment of Benefits Data Call, conducted by Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), investigated 259,742 water claims from the top 25 insurers in the state, including damages resulting from appliance leaks to water pipe bursts. Their findings show the frequency of water claims have increased by 46 percent since 2010, with an average annual increase in frequency of 8.3 percent each year.  Fraudulent water mitigation claims are also on the rise, becoming a major concern for many across the nation. Regions including South Florida, are seeing a large number of fraudulent claims, which pose a serious threat of increased homeowners insurance rates. According to the propertycasualty360.com article, Underwater: Cleaning up fraudulent water mitig ...

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Study Finds Insureds Believe it is Acceptable to Be Dishonest on Insurance Claims

According to new findings in a public opinion study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 24 percent of respondents believe it is reasonable to increase an insurance claim by a small amount in order to cover a deductible. This is also known as "soft" or "opportunistic" fraud, referring to the claim embellishment. Soft fraud is incredibly difficult to detect and investigate. Perpetrators are often hard to distinguish from honest policyholders, and as the study shows, many consider their exaggerations to be morally acceptable. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It affects innocent and honest policyholders who are left with higher premiums. Florida Peninsula takes insurance fraud extremely serious, and we encourage anyone with information on those committing insurance fraud to report it to us immediately by calling 866-923-2920, or by email at reportfraud@floridapeninsula.com.  To learn more about the study, click here.   Florida Peninsula is one of Florida's top homeowners insurance com ...

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