The Florida House Insurance and Banking Committee advanced a bill to stop assignment of benefits (AOB) insurance abuse in the state on a 14-1 vote, Florida Politics reports.
The bill would allow insurance companies to offer AOB-free policies that would not allow policyholders to assign benefits to third parties and revamps fee awards, though in a slightly different manner than a bill advanced by a Senate committee earlier this week. David Altmaier, the state’s insurance commissioner, praised the action, saying that insurance “rates will likely continue to rise” if the AOB issue is left unchecked.
The number of AOB-related lawsuits increased from 1,300 in 2000 to 135,000 in 2018. This has been blamed for the extra $1.6 billion that Floridians have paid for insurance over the past ten years when compared to consumers in other states.